30 young high-potential life science companies have been shortlisted to compete in the Nordic Stars pitch competition at Nordic Life Science Days (NLSDays) 2023. These up-and-coming companies will vie for prestigious awards and the chance to woo investors on stage at the event in Copenhagen on November 29-30.
The selected Nordic Stars competitors are small- and medium-sized private companies from the Nordic countries, performing research and development within health, medicine, or life science. At NLSDays, they will each give a four-minute pitch to an audience of investors, industry leaders, and conference delegates.
Besides the chance to attract new investors and business partners through the pitching and the conference’s partnering system, the competitors are also vying for two prizes, which will be awarded during the NLSDays closing ceremony.
The Advance Biotech Grant Program – Nordics, which is sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a global program that helps biotech startups understand the challenges in the quest to push the next generation of drugs to market. The prize includes bioprocessing technologies and services to an amount of 45,000 EUR.
The NLSDays Nordic Star 2023 Award is given to the company with the highest investment potential, and consists of a 10,000 EUR cash prize and additional in-kind services.
In 2022, MyoPax won the pitch competition. CEO Verena Schöwel recieved the prize on stage. Photo: Camille Sonally/ SwedenBIO
All Nordic Stars applicants were assessed by an expert panel of judges who shortlisted the 30 companies that will participate at NLSDays. The jury will also be judging the pitches at the event.
The jury consists of Melissa Nackovski, Emerging Biotech Nordics, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Milla Koistinaho, Partner, Innovestor Life Science Fund; Elena Fernandez-Kleinlein, Head of JLABS EMEA, Johnson & Johnson; Stephanie Munk, Senior Associate, SunStone Life Science Ventures; Georgina Askeland, Senior Investment Associate, Hadean Ventures; Carl Kilander, Partner, HealthCap; Stephan Christgau, Founding Partner, Eir Ventures; and Marjo Puumalainen, International Director, SwedenBIO.
The Nordic Stars pitch competition is sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Innovestor, and Bayer.
“The Nordics showed their innovative strength by the sheer number of applicants we received – it was impressive. It is exciting to see the dynamic mix of companies from medtech, diagnostics, medical devices, AI technology platforms, animal health, human therapeutics, food technology and so much more,” Melissa Nackovski from Merck says.
“The Advance Biotech Grant Program recognizes stand-out start up biotech companies and there is no shortage of that here. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing these companies on the big stage at Nordic Life Science Days. Innovation is booming in the Nordics and the future is bright,” she says.
Innovestor’s Milla Koistinaho echoes a similarly positive sentiment regarding the applicants and the difficult selection process:
"Across the Nordics, we're seeing an impressive array of inventions in healthcare, diagnostics, and therapeutics. While almost every Nordic country is represented, narrowing it down to just 30 companies to pitch at NLSDays wasn't easy. Our focus? Novelty, product–market fit, and the overall quality of the pitch,” she says.
“Innovestor Life Science is proud to sponsor this event: we're passionate about investing in Nordic life science excellence. This competition lets us see the crème-de-la-crème of what the Nordics have to offer. We look forward to seeing Nordic science-based power on stage,” she continues.
The 30 selected small- and medium-sized companies that will present at NLSDays are:
About Nordic Life Science Days –– This year, Nordic Life Science Days takes place at Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 29-30. It is the largest Nordic partnering conference dedicated to the life science industry. Since its inception in 2013, the event has nurtured a community of people from the world of life science and created a unique place to do business. NLSDays attracts leading decision makers from biotech, pharma and medtech, as well as finance, research, policy and regulatory authorities. NLSDays is owned and organized by SwedenBIO. www.nlsdays.com –– About SwedenBIO –– SwedenBIO is the national association for the Swedish life science industry, representing the sector both domestically and globally. Sweden has a vibrant, innovative life science industry, strong academia, and world-leading infrastructure for research. SwedenBIO’s roughly 340 members are companies within pharma, biotech, diagnostics and medtech, and comprise the entire range from small start-ups to SMEs and large enterprises. NLSDays is SwedenBIO’s flagship event. www.swedenbio.se