BIA Start-up Festival

Wednesday 19 May 2021

The BIA are delighted to announce a new event for emerging companies, the BIA Start-up Festival, which will take place in virtual format this May. 

This event will bring together the best of rising talent in the sector for a day of networking, 1-1 meetings, and educational sessions designed to build on your existing knowledge and allow you to learn from peers and established industry experts alike.

Attendees will enjoy a mix of informal group networking, as well as the opportunity to arrange 1-1 meetings with key experts in the field, and the event will close with a virtual drinks reception.

The event platform will open for networking on 10 May, to allow you to plan your time at the event and make the most of the networking opportunities available.

Please note: this event is limited to attendees from start-up companies, entrepreneurs in the life sciences, and invited industry experts. If you are interested in supporting this event please contact Jane Wall at


09:00   Networking / 1-1 meetings
10:20   BIA introduction 
10:30   Session 1 - What to look for in pre-seed funding

Learn about different alternatives for raising pre-seed funding, including grants, angel investment and charity investment.   
11:30   Networking / 1-1 meetings
12:15   Session 2 - The investor perspective: what we wish you knew

Hear the perspective from the other side of the table, and get advice on improving your approach from the investors.
13:15   Lunch break, informal networking at virtual "tables", and 1-1 meetings
14:00   Session 3 - Building your team for success

You can't do everything yourself - find out how best to build and develop the team you need for your company's success.
15:00   Networking / 1-1 meetings
15:45   Session 4 - Founder stories: wins and lessons

Listen to the stories of established CEOs, and the lessons they've learned since launching their companies.

Virtual networking reception - refreshments will be sent out to attendees

17:00   Keynote speaker
17:15   Networking around virtual 'tables'

18:30    Event closes


Further speakers to be announced soon...

Mark Andrews

Managing Director


For over 25 years Mark has been active in the Life Science industry. After starting in academic research in Cambridge, Mark has gone on to build a career in Life science investment and M&A Advisory.

As an active Life Science investor Mark was active as a Principal at Inventages in both Switzerland & London as well as at the DEWB Venture Capital in Jena, Germany during which time he managed numerous investments and took positions on the boards or took up board observer rights on the vast majority. His experience spans across the investment cycle, from sourcing through investment negotiation, hands-on portfolio management driving towards exit negotiation.

Additionally Mark was a member of the Corporate Finance M&A Life Science sector team at BDO in London where he was a core member of the team and worked with clients especially in the out sourced pharma services and medical devices sectors. The appointment of Mark has enabled PharmaVentures to strengthen our cross-border M&A and fundraising capabilities.

Paul Ashley

Director, Data Science External Innovation

J&J Innovation

Paul Ashley is Director, Data Science External Innovation, and is located at the EMEA Innovation Centre in London, UK. In this role, he is responsible for the development and maintenence of Data Science relevant partnerships and business opportunities with biotech companies, venture capital, academic, and governmental institutions in Europe.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson Innovation he was Head of Licensing and Ventures at Oxford University Innovation and has previously worked in a business development role at AstraZeneca and as the CEO of a spinout company based on technology developed at the UK’s Defence Science Technology Laboratory.

He holds a PhD in behaviour and physiology and a BSc Hons in Zoology.

Barbara Domayne-Hayman

Entrepreneur-in-residence, Francis Crick Institute; CBO, Autifony Therapeutics Ltd

Francis Crick Institute

Barbara has worked on the commercial side of life sciences for thirty years, first in a large organisation (ICI/Zeneca/AstraZeneca), before transitioning to the entrepreneurial world of biotech.

Barbara joined the Francis Crick Institute in January 2018 as Entrepreneur-in-residence, where amongst other things, she helps to run an accelerator called KQ Labs, which is focused on start-ups making use of data/AI applied to health. She is also Chief Business officer of Autifony, where she is responsible for strategic partnering, fundraising and commercial aspects of drug development for CNS disorders. In December 2017 Autifony signed a major collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim. Barbara was also Chair of Puridify, a UCL spin-out with a breakthrough biotherapeutics purification technology, which was acquired by GE in November 2017. She chairs the LifeArc Seed Fund investment committee, and is on the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Fund Investment Committee.

Previously, Barbara was CEO of Stabilitech, and she was Commercial Director at Arrow Therapeutics until the company was acquired by AstraZeneca. Barbara was also Senior Business Development Manager at Celltech.

Barbara has a BA and D Phil in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, and is a Sloan Fellow from London Business School.

Antoine Espinet



Antoine is the founder of MicrofluidX, developing a break-through bioreactor for large-scale cell culture based on the microfluidic technology. He has experience in cell and gene therapy manufacturing and system development. Prior to this, he worked as a engagement manager at McKinsey, in Brussels and Sydney. He graduated in 2012 with PhD in Engineering from Cornell University, USA, as well as from Ecole Centrale Paris in 2009 with a Master in Engineering.

Pam Garside



Pam Garside has her own management consultancy, Newhealth, specialising in organisational strategy and development in health care, and is a Fellow of the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge. She advises new entrants to the UK health market including digital and start up companies and is an angel investor.

Pam founded and co-chairs The Cambridge Health Network, a membership group of senior players in UK health,both private and public sector. She sits on the Investment Committee of Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer company of the University of Cambridge and is a member of Cambridge Angels.She is a board member of Whizz-Kidz charity, ZPB Ltd and a senior adviser to Smith Square Partners. In 2016 Pam was named one of the 100 most influential leaders in Health Tech by Hot Topics.

Pam began her professional life in management in the NHS and subsequently spent many years studying and working internationally based in the USA. She holds a BSc from the University of Durham and a Masters Degree in Hospital and Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. She is an Adjunct Professor at Imperial College Business School.

Perry Guess

Head of Partnerships


Perry is the Head of Partnerships for Ixion’s Innovation Division, a not-for-profit, owned by a major charity, that is uniquely positioned to sharing the risk of grant applications. He has over 25 years’ experience in the innovation space and is passionate about helping organisation achieve their innovation ambitions through identifying and accessing funding and finance. As a former government funder (NERC) and Director of an Innovate UK KTN (ESKTN, based out of the University of Oxford), he has extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of funding landscape and what funders look for. Perry enjoys nothing more than talking to ambitious organisations about their great ideas and helping them make a difference.

Caroline Godfrey

CEO and Founder


Caroline Godfrey is Senior Vice President of Discovery. having She is a co-founder of PepGen and led the company as CEO from spinout, successfully raising seed funding of $4.5M and a Series A of $45M. Caroline has deep experience with PepGen’s enhanced delivery oligonucleotide therapeutics, having worked as a post-doctoral researcher developing this proprietary technology at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Dr Godfrey worked in genetics in a the private and NHS settings, and received her PhD from University College London following research in the field of neuromuscular diseases.

Elizabeth Klein

Investment Consultant

BioScience Managers

Prior to founding her own consultancy, Elizabeth was an award-winning and highly-rated senior research analyst focused on the Life Sciences and IP Commercialisation sectors. Over 15 years at N+1 Singer, Teathers, Bridgewell, R.W. Baird and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson she developed an extensive network of client relationships and worked closely with a number of businesses in these sectors. She was the Starmine Healthcare Stockpicker of the Year in both 2006 and 2013, and was highly rated in the Extel survey over much of her career in investment banking.

In 2015, Elizabeth founded Klein-Edmonds Associates, advising organisations in the biotechnology sector on their engagement and interaction with investors. She has consulted with Bioscience Managers since June 2017. Other clients: The BioIndustry Association, Radnor Capital, and Biotech & Money, and small businesses (Angel to pre-IPO) on corporate and investment strategy. Elizabeth is also a Trustee at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (at Stanmore) Charity.

Elizabeth has a 1st Class BSc in Applied Biology with Genetics from the University of Liverpool, an MBA from Imperial College Business School and an MA (Merit) in Medicine, Science & Society (History of Medicine) from Birkbeck, University of London.

Jolyon Martin

Head of Business Development and Co-Founder


Jolyon is co-founder and Head of Business Development at PetMedix, a Cambridge-based biopharmaceutical company developing antibody-based therapeutics for companion animals. PetMedix is based on Jolyon's PhD work in the laboratory of Prof Allan Bradley FRS, who is CSO and co-founder of both PetMedix and Kymab Ltd. At PetMedix, Jolyon is responsible for external partnerships and licensing, and led the work to secure their recent partnership deal with Boehringer Ingelheim. He also works alongside the CEO and executive team to shape commercial strategy and the company’s future direction.

Balancing his studies at the University of Cambridge with an interest in start-ups and entrepreneurship, Jolyon worked with the founding team of Simprints for a year and also for Horizon Discovery in both Boston, MA and Cambridge, UK. He was part of the first BIA PULSE Cohort, was named Cambridge Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, and was a finalist in Onestart 2014. Jolyon is passionate about diversity and representation, and volunteers with the Beyond Equality Initiative - running workshops on tackling toxic masculinity in university sports teams.

Nathalie Rowell

CEO and Founder

Virdis Group

Nathalie brings over 18 years of experience and credibility in hiring international talent for the life science industry. She continues to advise senior executives in many different cultures on how to shape their careers and their organizations. A solid track record of international success has given Nathalie a deep understanding of the life-sciences and a strong empathy with our clients. Her extensive industry knowledge and specialist insight is valued highly, enabling Virdis clients to benchmark realistically, evaluate carefully, and find exactly the right individuals to lead and develop their organisations.

Nathalie created Virdis in 2007 and, since then, has built both a strong team and a broad network of skilled people around the world. Her understanding of life science organisations and her extensive experience make her a credible and well-recognized recruitment partner.

Nathalie read Law at Paris Assas University and worked as lawyer in the field of intellectual property before becoming an entrepreneur and moving to international executive search.

Noor Shaker

Founder and CEO

Glamorous AI

Noor is a serial biotech entrepreneur with a track record of achievements in AI having held an Assistant Professorship from Aalborg University. Noor has published numerous papers in the field of artificial intelligence and its application to drug discovery and is an inventor on a handful of patents. She is passionate about data and AI and on a mission to cure disease with the power of human and machine learning. She is currently the CEO at GlamorousAI, a biotech company that pushes the boundaries to what is possible with AI to cure debilitating diseases. She is a recognised healthcare leader, MIT innovator under 35 and in BBC 100 women for 2019.

Clare Terlouw

Head of LifeArc Ventures


Clare is an experienced life sciences corporate finance and investment specialist, with significant expertise in growth funding for innovative life sciences companies in the private and public markets. Clare has been on the BIA board since January 2019 and is now seeking re-election. Clare joined LifeArc in July 2020 as Head of LifeArc Ventures, responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for LifeArc’s investments across the life sciences sector, enhancing LifeArc’s commitment to funding the translation of promising life sciences research. LifeArc’s strategic investments in innovation are a key component of its charitable model, supporting both the ability to create impact for the benefit of patients and aims to contribute to its long-term sustainability.
Clare was recently at FTSE250 listed healthcare investment company Syncona Investment Management, where she was Head of Corporate Development. She also has over 15 years’ experience in healthcare investment banking and was Managing Director and Co-Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Numis Securities, specialising in equity capital markets and M&A for London listed companies. Clare is also a Non-Executive Director at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst.
Clare has been an enthusiastic supporter of the life sciences sector and understands the opportunities and challenges that funding growing companies in the sector brings. She is currently a member of the BIA Audit Committee and intends to continue in that role.


Costs & T&Cs

BIA members:     £30 +VAT
Non-members:   £50 +VAT

By registering to this event you accept our Terms & Conditions

Please note: this event is limited to attendees from start-up companies, entrepreneurs in the life sciences, and invited industry experts.
If you are interested in supporting this event please contact Jane Wall at

If you have any questions or problems registering, please contact or to find our more about BIA membership for emerging companies, please click here.

Joining instructions will be sent out to event attendees on 10 May 2021.

Virtual format

The event platform will open on 10 May for networking and attendees will be sent joining instructions on this date. 

We are planning to run this event using an event platform called Swapcard, with sessions hosted on zoom for greater engagement between attendees and speakers.

Please note that:

  • Swapcard can be accessed on a laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet 
  • Swapcard works on all browsers except Internet Explorer
  • It is recommended you attend using a device with a webcam and microphone so that you can video chat with other attendees via the one to one meeting tool 
  • The web app is available on smartphone and computer using the following link:
  • The mobile app is available on iPhone and Android. To download it, use the following link:
  • You will need to download the Zoom application on either your laptop, desktop, mobile, or tablet to particpate in the sessions.
  • Recordings of the sessions will be available on-demand for two weeks after the event.

Virtual networking reception

The evening networking will take place on a separate platform that offers an engaging virtual venue space that will encourage networking around "tables", which mimics as closely as possible the experience at an in-person event.

What are the technical requirements to attend the virtual networking reception?

  • There is no software installation or download required.
  • Please attend using a laptop or desktop computer with audio and video capabilities (webcam and microphone). 
  • You will need to use one of the supported browsers to have the best user experience: Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
  • If you want to check the technical requirements in more detail, you can view their checklist here.

If your company has firewalls or browsing restrictions in place, please test your connection and liaise with your IT team in advance to ensure you are able to fully participate in the event.


Thank you to our Event Supporters

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Johnson & Johnson Innovation


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