Board Review: Charting The Course of HTI & Its Startups
It felt like a blink of an eye since our first board review; on the 31st of August, we had our second. Adaptation and growth have been the main focus since the last board review, where not only HTI BioIntelligence, as a young incubator, received feedback and iterated our approach, but also our first cohort of startups. The afternoon started with a brief update from our managing director, Jan Fischer, about what changes & improvements have been made for the past 4 months within the HTI – a new addition to our team, Michaela Gregor, as operations and venture manager, enhancing our marketing strategy through our website and social media to assert our presence in Germany and extending our community reach through public workshops. In addition, several success stories of our startups through its evolution after the first board review were also presented, such as how the Allogenetics team addition (through HTI) has accelerated several processes and currently closing a funding round, and how our startups have evolved. Our advisory board members gave tremendous feedback towards strategising and paving our way forward through the following months until December 2023.
Startup Pitches: 9 Winners Took the Stage
The 2nd board review has quite a catch in comparison to the previous – only 9 out of the 14 startups pitched in front of not only our board members and the chair of our steering committee, Prof. Dr. Stefanie Heiden, but also distinguished venture capitalists from BackBone Ventures, Philippe Bernet, and Earlybird Venture Capital, Dr. Michael Hoeck, as a mock-up to receive feedback before actually pitching to VCs.
So why only 9? 2 weeks before the board review, our operational team initiated a small & friendly competition amongst the 14 startups right after a pitching masterclass given by PwC Deutschland. Those showing outstanding improvement in pitching skills and displaying impressive style have the opportunity to pitch again during the second board review.
"Intriguing pitches from the startups; the board review showcased an excellent atmosphere and featured intelligent attendees, along with some promising startups. It's a good beginning for HTI BioIntelligence, from a Venture Capital Investor perspective."
Becoming a microscope? Emotionality in products? - A divergent panel discussion
A spiced-up panel discussion prompted exciting answers. Questions hand-picked from bowls by the audience to get to know our panellists and answer a wide range of startup questions made the segment a more immersive experience for both the audience & panellists - one of which was about an inanimate object one would be for a year. "Well, I would like to be a microscope because it could see the things that anyone would not be able to see.", said Dr. Jürgen Eck. Another answer that created an aha moment was the question "What is the last thing you did for the first time", to which he replied that entrepreneurship life is one faced every day with experiences done for the first.
The next session then brought in yes-no questions surrounding the startup world. This time, the audience was able to engage by raising an orange card to disagree and a blue to agree with the question, which yielded a spectrum of answers of yeses, nos, and yes-no.
In the instance where "yes" predominated the public, Philippe Bernet chose to disagree with a team's emotionality as the deciding factor for its product's success. "It is crucial to be market and customer-oriented; the drive and the interest in one’s product are of great importance, but founders don’t necessarily need to be a good showman/showwoman.", explained Bernet.
Dinner & Networking Session: Building & Enhancing Connections
The evening concluded with a relaxed networking session, where old & new connections are fostered, showing great camaraderie within the BioIntelligence ecosystem.
All in all, our 2nd board review was a success & we would like to thank our advisory members, operational team, guests, startups and mentors involved in our ecosystem! We are looking forward to see the progress made by HTI BioIntelligence and its phenomenal cohort of startups at the final board review!