How to Build a BioTech Startup Team | SGInnovate
May 19 2022


Online Event

How to Build a BioTech Startup Team

Presented by SGInnovate and SINERGY

It is said that investors put their money behind people, not ideas. According to Forbes, this is supported by the fact that human factors (an incompatible team, lack of persistence, and loss of focus) are identified as primary causes of startup failure, not market forces. Attracting the right team members is key to startup success. And where startups are concerned, if you can’t scale your team, you can’t scale your idea, and your startup is dead in the water.

In this session, hear from our panel of experts on hiring advice for startups trying to build a successful team, their experience building a BioTech startup team, and the various opportunities and success factors that have helped them in their team building journey.

Date: 19 May 2022, Thursday 
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm (Singapore Time / UTC +8)

11:00am – 11:05am: Introduction and Welcome
11:05am – 12:00pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A on How to Build a BioTech Startup Team

  • Jonathan Bester, CEO and Founder, Peptobiotics
  • Dr Wen Qi Ho, Vice President, Lightstone Ventures
  • Dr Akbar Vahidi, CTO and Co-founder, Allozymes
  • Moderator: Dr Konstantinos Vavitsas, Consortium Manager, SINERGY

Speakers' Profiles:
Jonathan Bester, CEO and Founder, Peptobiotics

Jonathan is founder of Peptobiotics - a Singaporean startup creating the first synthetic biology alternative to livestock antibiotics. With 80% of antibiotics being used in farm animals, and 1.2 million people dying every year from pathogens it has become imperative that the industry gains access to an alternative to antibiotics that can boost agricultural productivity without leading to antimicrobial resistance. Peptobiotics has several recombinant lead compounds with high efficacy against target bacteria. The startup is in the process of scaling fermentation manufacture and strain engineering in order to achieve highly economical yields. We are eager to connect with enterprising scientists who want to work on impactful and economically feasible synthetic biology projects.

Dr Wen Qi Ho, Vice President, Lightstone Ventures
Wen Qi is a Vice President at Lightstone Singapore Pte. Ltd., where she evaluates new investment opportunities in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors out of the firm’s Singapore office. She currently serves as a director on the board of Ligature Therapeutics Pte. Ltd. Wen Qi attained her B.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Johns Hopkins University, and her PhD in Immunology at Stanford University. She was also the recipient of the National Science Scholarship from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore.

Dr Akbar Vahidi, CTO and Co-founder, Allozymes

Akbar is a scientist-entrepreneur who got his PhD from NUS and has a decade of experience in enzyme technology and biocatalysis, delivered several industrial projects to big pharma, food and biofuel companies during his career in academia. He was the lead researcher in an interdisciplinary team that invented Allozymes’ technology for faster and cheaper enzyme development. Akbar then started Allozymes as co-founder and CTO, where he is building next-generation synthetic biology platform and applying futuristic solutions to solve sustainable manufacturing problems by unlocking enzymes potential.

Moderator's Profile:

Dr Konstantinos Vavitsas, Consortium Manager, SINERGY
Dr Konstantinos Vavitsas (Kostas) is the consortium manager of SINERGY, the Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Copenhagen and he has conducted research in Greece, Australia, Denmark, Sweden. He has also worked as a science writer and consultant on synthetic biology and biotechnology.

Topics: MedTech / HealthTech / BioTech

Industry: Health and BioMedical Sciences