Read our COVID-19 research and news.

Webinar Science and Life

Money matters: Science entrepreneurship

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Money matters: Science entrepreneurship

Recorded 23 October 2019


Barely a decade ago it was almost inconceivable that a scientist could simultaneously conduct science and also own a business based upon that science. These days, entrepreneurship is a major source of scientific advancement as well as a mechanism for gaining personal wealth. Whether you view it as a good or bad thing, entrepreneurship is here to stay as a tool for driving scientific progress. How should we best handle entrepreneurship in science? What mistakes can scientists avoid when starting their business? How can universities and other institutions help scientists to be better entrepreneurs? What funding opportunities are available for startups in bioscience? Despite the potential negative impacts on the pursuit of pure science, many scientists want to become entrepreneurs, but don’t know how. Whether you are skeptical or curious, this webinar is for you.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Xavier Duportet, Ph.D.

Eligo Bioscience/Hello Tomorrow
Paris, France

Dr. Duportet is a genome architect and science entrepreneur. He cofounded Eligo Bioscience in 2014 during the last year of his Ph.D. in synthetic biology, a joint program between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the French research institute Inria. He has raised $26 million since then from international investors to develop a new generation of ultraprecise biotherapeutics based on the delivery of CRISPR/Cas gene-editing systems to the microbiome. Eligo was recently selected as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (WEF), while Dr. Duportet has won a number of international awards and recognitions, including French Innovator of the Year from the MIT Technology Review (MIT TR), the MIT TR35 award, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Young Global Leader from the WEF, and France Biotech’s Rising Star award. He is also the founder and president of Hello Tomorrow, a global nonprofit that identifies and supports promising early-stage entrepreneurs who are transforming disruptive scientific technologies into products or services to solve societal and industrial challenges. Since 2014, the 25 finalists of its yearly startup competition have already raised more than €350 million. Dr. Duportet also launched Deeptech Founders in 2019, a European-wide training program for entrepreneur–scientists to help them to refine their spinoff startup concepts. In less than a year, 10 startups have already been created and have raised more than €12 million.

Janice Limson, Ph.D.

Rhodes University
Grahamstown, South Africa

Dr. Limson is a professor of biotechnology at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She holds the Department of Science and Technology–National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Biotechnology Innovation and Engagement, and serves as director of the Biotechnology Innovation Centre (RUBIC) at Rhodes. Her research focuses on the development of products and processes with direct societal impact. This includes the areas of water treatment and bioremediation, and the development of rapid diagnostic tests for health care management in remote areas. Through her work as chair, she studies how direct science engagement with communities regarding research and technology holds multiple benefits for communities and science students, and ultimately contributes to the successful development and deployment of beneficial products. Funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), her team has recently focused on developing diagnostic tests that may provide early warnings for high-risk pregnancies in remote areas. She is a former recipient of a Highway Africa New Media Award in journalism, the National Science and Technology Forum Award for outstanding contributions to science, engineering, and technology in South Africa, and has twice been featured as one of South Africa’s Mail & Guardian Young Leaders. In 2019, she received a National Intellectual Property Management Office award for being one of the top intellectual property creators in higher education in South Africa.

Bernhard Paetzold, Ph.D.

Antwerp, Belgium

Dr. Paetzold completed his Ph.D. in synthetic biology at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, working with pharmaceutical industry collaborators to engineer bacteria as a living pill. He is the cofounder and chief scientific officer of S-Biomedic, where his primary role is leading the company’s research and product development. Dr. Paetzold’s passion is understanding the complex interplay of the bacterial communities that live within us and on us. He is fascinated by the untapped potential of active compounds that are produced naturally on our skin.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently, Dr. Sanders is the Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

Sponsored by

Get webinar alerts

For more information on upcoming webinars, recorded sessions and more, sign up for webinar alerts.

Sign up here