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Learn from the best

Our carefully selected experts will guide you through 13 sessions spanning 11 weeks, covering topics encompassing crucial subjects such as market assessment, legal intricacies, and leadership skills.
Pascal Deschatelets
Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer
Apellis Pharmaceuticals

Pascal Deschatelets is Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Apellis Pharmaceuticals (2009). Additionally he co-founded Potentia Pharmaceuticals (2001), which was successfully acquired by Alcon Ophthalmika GmbH. In the last 15 years, Pascal founded and advised several small life science start-ups. Pascal holds a PhD in organometallic chemistry from the University of Montreal and underwent postdoctoral training at Harvard University.

Dorothee von Laer
Professor and Co-Founder
Medical University of Innsbruck

Prof. Dorothee von Laer earned her medical degree and completed her doctorate in 1985 at the University of Hamburg. In 2000, she was awarded a professorship for Applied Virology at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt. Since 2010, Prof. von Laer is the Head of the Institute of Virology at the Medical University of Innsbruck. Prof. von Laer founded Vision 7 GmbH and ViraTherapeutics and has received numerous awards and prizes.

Peter Nussbaumer
Managing Director
Lead Discovery Center GmbH

Peter Nussbaumer has over 35 years experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery at Sandoz/Novartis. He is managing director of the Lead Discovery Center GmbH and Khanu Management GmbH, the general partner of KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I GmbH & Co KG, and its subsidiary wings4innovation GmbH. Peter is a member of several scientific advisory boards, advises private and public funding bodies and holds a PhD in organic chemistry from TU Wien.

Ulrich Granzer
Granzer Regulatory Consulting & Services

Ulrich Granzer, PhD. is an independent consultant for drug development and regulatory affairs. He and his consultancy company are focusing on all aspects of drug development and regulatory affairs globally with a special emphasis on novel and orphan drugs. He has a track record of working on more than 300 new molecular entities in the US, Europe and other areas of the world.

Larissa Kahr
Head External Partnership Interface Europe -Director

Larissa Kahr has 20+ years’ experience in global pharma and finance, working on corporate and R&D strategies, new assets/technologies, risk management, market analysis, transformational technology projects, Due Diligence activities, CMC development, and set up a BD&L branch. Recently she expanded her expertise towards systemic organizational transformation and change management. Larissa holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Vienna.

Alexander von Gabain
Chairman Of Supervisory Board

Alexander von Gabain, educated in Heidelberg and Stanford, is a molecular biologist, academic, biotech entrepreneur and board member of innovation enterprises. He served as professor and vice-president at the Karolinska Institutet and chaired the founding board of the EIT and later the EIT Health Section. His accomplishments have been well-recognised through industrial awards, academic prizes and honourable memberships. 

Holger Ottleben
General Manager & Head Human Pharma
Boehringer Ingelheim

Holger Ottleben, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience in Pharma, Biotech, and Health Tech, gaining him profound knowledge of various therapeutic areas and the value chain. He served as General Manager in big pharma, top tier consulting and corporate. As co-founder of a biotech company, and board member of a VC backing start-up companies including clinical-stage biotech, micro-dispensing and telemedicine companies, he has significant start-up experience.

Barbara Heitger
System Consultant & Entrepreneur
Barbara Heitger

Barbara Heitger is a widely recognized thought leader, advisor and author in organisational development and leadership. Her focus is on Corporate Development, Complex change processes/strategy implementation, International Leadership Development Programs, working with and coaching senior management teams.

Daniela Buchmayr
Co-Founder & CEO

Daniela Buchmayr has an engineering degree in biochemistry, biotechnology and genetic engineering and held various management positions in international companies in the biopharmaceutical sector for more than 15 years. As CEO and co-founder of Sarcura, a device platform to scale global manufacturing capacity focusing on CAR-T cell therapy, she is responsible for setting and leading the strategic direction of the company and organization.

Philipp Hainzl
Managing Director

Philipp Hainzl is the managing director of Vienna’s life sciences platform LISAvienna. He is responsible for the Vienna Business Agency’s Startup Labs at the Campus Vienna BioCenter. Furthermore, he helps shaping strategic decisions on the future development of this sector and is committed to providing infrastructure and laboratory space for life science start-ups.

Alessandro Venturino
Co-Founder & Head of Research

Alessandro Venturino studied Biomedicine and obtained a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology at the University of Pavia. At ISTA he works in Prof. Siegert lab where he applies advanced imaging and electrophysiology techniques to study microglia-neuron interaction and plasticity. His 2021 study on ketamine was selected amongst the 100 hot topics in neuroscience. He co-founded the ISTA spin-off company Syntropic Medical, focusing on psychiatric disorders.

Ariel Bensimon
Co-Founder & CEO

Ariel Bensimon is CEO of Solgate GmbH, the first joint spin-off company of CeMM/ÖAW and IST Austria, employing its proprietary technology platform to progress hit compounds into drug discovery programs in specific therapeutic indications. Ariel is a cell biologist by training with expertise in proteomics. During his postdoctoral work at CeMM, he successfully demonstrated the targeted degradation of multi-transmembrane transporters by small molecules.

Corinna Wilken
Life-Science Expert
Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Corinna Wilken completed her studies in Biochemistry at the University of Vienna and subsequently pursued her doctoral research at the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP).

Since 2007 she works for the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) leading the funding initiative Austrian Life Sciences Programme. At FFG, her duties encompass the evaluation of research and development projects undertaken by Austrian biotech companies.

Elisaweta Penewa Petrow
Founder & Managing Director

Elisaweta Penewa Petrow has 15 years of experience in international Executive Search and Business Coaching & Training focusing on the Life Science Industry. She is founder of in-spectum and successfully developed and launched her own patented devices for drinking water analysis. Furthermore, she gained experience in Sales, Key Account Management, and Global Business Development in the Life Sciences Industry.

Elvira Kainersdorfer
Cluster Manager
Life Science Austria Vienna

Elvira Kainersdorfer is cluster manager at LISAvienna since October 2022. She has a background in technical chemistry specializing in biochemistry, biotechnology and food chemistry (Graz University of Technology). With previous roles at Roche Diagnostics and Olympus Austria, she later became Secretary General at Austria Wirtschaftsservice (2007). In 2011 she started working as investment manager in seed financing deep tech for life sciences.

Guido Gualdoni
Co-Founder & CEO
G.ST Antivirals

Guido Gualdoni, co-founder and CEO of G.ST Antivirals, leads the development of a promising broad-spectrum antiviral nasal spray that recently concluded Phase 1 clinical trials. Holding both MD and PhD degrees in Immunology from the Medical University of Vienna, Guido has significantly contributed to viral infection research as a physician scientist at the General Hospital Vienna, focusing on metabolism-targeted therapies.

Ingrid Kelly
Partner & Techtransfer Expert
xista innovation

Ingrid Kelly is a technology transfer professional and a Partner at xista science ventures, as well as a board member of biomedical startups Brainhero, Brightmind.AI and Hephaistos Pharma. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology) and practiced as a European Patent Attorney in the Pharma industry.

Marco Masia
Head of entrepreneurship
University of Vienna

Marco Masia is head of entrepreneurship at the University of Vienna, member of the investment advisory board of the Vienna technology incubator (INiTS), and serves as Academic Chair for innovation at the European University Initiative alliance Circle-U. For more than a decade, he has covered different roles at the intersection between research, innovation, and policy. He holds a PhD in Physics a MSc in Chemistry, and an executive MBA.

Markus Pietzka
INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice

Markus Pietzka supports entrepreneurs in conceiving, launching, and growing their business ideas into scalable businesses. Previously, he held roles in sales and logistics at international ICT firms. With a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Vienna, Markus brings interdisciplinary expertise to his endeavors.


Alexander Schwartz
Partner & Consultant
xista science ventures

Alexander Schwartz is a partner at xista, investing in and working with start-ups in life science, chemistry, and physics. He has more than 15 years consulting experience working for McKinsey and other companies. During this time he focussed on strategy, innovation, and business development in life science related industries. Alexander holds a PhD in chemistry, was a research fellow at ETH Zurich and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. 

Laura Fè
European Patent Attorney & Head of the Munich Office
Murgitroyd Munich Office

Laura Fè holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leuven. She is an Italian and a European Patent Attorney, and head of the Murgitroyd Munich Office. Having worked in-house for global companies across a wide range of technologies, Laura is well-practised in understanding the dynamics and IP-related needs of a variety of clients and define strategic approaches that transform innovations into defendable assets that maintain their value.

Michael Buchecker
Pitch-, Business- & Story Coach
INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice Wien GmbH

Michael Buchecker is a strategic communication expert, story coach, and pitch trainer. Over the last 20 years he has worked with hundreds of startups in the field of life sciences and other technology areas on their unique and compelling stories and presentations. His clients achieved remarkable results in terms of receiving funding, attracting investors or taking important steps in business development.

Michael Lukesch
Founder & CEO
VALANX Biotech

Michael Lukesch is CEO and Founder of VALANX Biotech, a company using synthetic biology to address unmet needs in the production of protein bioconjugates like Antibody-Drug-Conjugates. He took VALANX’ technology from idea in 2017 all the way to commercial applications in 2023. He has a background in chemistry and biotechnology and a passion for enabling teams to take ideas from concept to reality.

Oskar Smrzka
Founder & CEO/CSO
Ablevia Biotech

Oskar Smrzka is founder and CEO/CSO of ABLEVIA BIOTECH, a Vienna Biocenter-based Startup developing drugs for the quick and safe removal of harmful antibodies from blood circulation. Before, Oskar was group leader at the peptide-vaccine company AFFiRiS, and worked at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and the Institut Curie. He earned his doctorate at the Medical University of Vienna.

Rudolf Dömötör
Managing Director
WU Entrepreneurship Center & ECN

Rudolf Dömötör is Director of WU Vienna Entrepreneurship Center and of the Entrepreneurship Center Network, a joint initiative of 31 Austrian universities promoting cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship. He is co-founder of Entrepreneurship Avenue, and co-author of the Austrian Startup Monitor, Austria’s largest startup study. Since summer 2022, he has been a member of the Startup Council of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs.

Sanja Selak
Origimm Biotechnology GmbH

Sanja Selak is a biotech and pharmaceutical executive, entrepreneur, scientist and innovator with 27 years of experience. She founded Origimm Biotechnology GmbH, which was acquired by Sanofi in 2021. At Origimm, Sanja designed and led R&D and business strategy from the idea to clinical phase, led multiple financing rounds, wrote patent applications and actively contributed to the innovation-focused and agile organisation of the company.

Peter Kayatz
Founder & CEO
Sola Diagnostics & Stams Diagnostics

Peter Kayatz, PhD, is CEO of Sola Diagnostics and Stams Diagnostics, developing cancer diagnostics and nanotechnology therapies. With extensive experience in drug development at AlcaSynn Pharmaceuticals, and as the owner of Waterbergh Management, Kayatz offers expertise in start-up consulting, business development, and financing. His contributions to life science startups are complemented by roles in various advisory boards and as a lecturer.

Regina Weinmüllner
Project Manager
Austria Wirtschaftsservice

Regina Weinmüllner has more than 20 years of experience working with various young companies, leading cooperations between several industrial partners and working as an international project manager in the pharmaceutical industry. As Investment Manager at Austria Wirtschaftsservice, she specializes in Deeptech Founders. Regina has a broad academic background in Life Sciences and holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Natural Sciences in Vienna.

Tibor Zechmeister
Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Tibor Zechmeister is a startup founder, regulatory affairs manager and business leverager. His regulatory knowledge is based on three pillars of being an active part in multiple medical device startups, a consultant and an auditor for a European Notified Body. His entrepreneurial knowledge is based on over 11 years of being in the MedTech Startup ecosystem.

Verena Winter
Director & Tax Advisor
BDO Austria GmbH

Verena Winter has over 20 years experience as a tax-advisor specializing in the areas of start-ups as well as venture capital funds. Besides her position as director at BDO Austria GmbH, Verena is member of the advisory board of the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) venture capital initiative. She completed her education in business studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Bernhard Hlatky
Wirtschaftskammer Wien

Bernhard Hlatky is a lawyer at Wirtschaftskammer Wien, specializing in public law and commercial law. After completing his doctoral studies at the University of Vienna he worked as a Legal intern at the Higher Court of Justice in Vienna and for the law firm Fellner Wratzfeld und Partner. At Wirtschaftskammer Wien his job is to advice Viennese businesses in the fields of business and commercial law. © Marko’s photography

Irmgard Nemec
Herbst Kinsky

Irmgard Nemec is an Attorney at Law at Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwälte GmbH, specializing in intellectual-, industrial property- and unfair competition law. Irmgard advises start-ups and companies with a focus on biotech, life science and food&beverage. At Herbst Kinsky, she is a member of the Corporate/Start-Up/Venture Capital team advising clients in matters such as company foundations, financing measures and general corporate housekeeping.

Tahere Kalentary

Tahere Kalentary has helped dozens of companies in the pharma and biotech sector ask the right questions, and make decisions on their R&D strategy. She’s a manager at Catenion, and has a PhD in molecular biology.