On May 21st, 2012, I attended an event organized by the non-profit organization Women In Bio (WIB), and what a blast! It was a very original set-up (at least for me): A speed networking.
WIB is a non-profit organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences. Women In Bio actively supports entrepreneurship and career growth for women involved in the biosciences.
Have you ever felt awkward at a networking events because you don’t want to bark in the middle of a discussion or just randomly start talking to somebody? Well speed networking definitely enables to avoid that :)
The principle is of course very similar to speed dating: You have a couple of minutes to get to know a person and see how well you hit if off. The organizers had put four long tables, and every four minute when the gong would ring, we all had to move one chair on our right.
This is an efficient way to meet new people and network, I have to say. I don’t think I have talked to so many people, learned about what they do, what their business was about, and talked about my company, in such a little time frame. In addition, all the women that attend the WIB events are so passionate! Talking to these driven, great individuals is definitely inspiring.
This was one of the most fun industry events I attended. Kudos to the WIB group and the organizers of this event.
Visit their website for more events: http://www.womeninbio.org/
Author: Sophie McCallum, Marketing & HR Manager at Clinovo, email@example.com
I recently went to a networking event at the San Jose BioCenter to learn more about the facility as well as meet people who work there. The BioCenter is a unique facility that allows life science, nanotech, and cleantech companies to plug in to their lab and office space for innovation. By doing so, start-up companies can bypass the costs and time required to set up for research and dig directly in to discovery. I had a good time at the event, meeting people and learning about the incubator in a relaxed, enjoyable environment.
An appealing concept
The BioCenter was founded in 2004 in collaboration with the city of San Jose and the San Jose University Research Center. The facility is 40,000 sq ft and houses about 20 companies and will soon be expanding to almost double its current size. While touring the facility, I saw people from multiple companies going in and out of labs and office spaces, all with the common goal of elevating life through better pharmaceutical, better diagnostics, or bettering the environment.
I met with 2 people from one of the companies in the incubator who are developing a bacterial detection platform for molecular diagnostics. The company in entirety is 7 people, a common theme of the BioCenter. It is an electric environment to see these small companies sharing this large facility. The BioCenter has been at 100% occupancy for the last 5 years. During the crisis in 2008-09, they found a shift from less life science to more cleantech companies moving in, an interesting trend that has stuck with me.
A convenient format to nurture promising research
Some interesting things I learned about the BioCenter and its occupants are that the success rate coming from the incubator is not only high, but often very profitable. Companies have emerged from the space, garnering deals worth 50, 80, even 130 million dollars. A benefit to the companies who do not make it out of the facility is that with this plug-and-play format, decisions can be made quicker and at lower costs, allowing funds to be redistributed to more successful ideas.
I believe that such places play a great role in fostering research, it allows researchers, indivually or in small cells, to start a research program without a big investment and it lowers the risk. At the end of the day, more innovations can be brought to the market.
The event was a great opportunity to learn about the BioCenter as well as meet the tenants. The atmosphere was relaxed, they had yummy bites and my favorite beer, and overall was an evening well spent.
Check out the BioCenter at http://www.sjbiocenter.com to see for yourself what I experienced first hand.
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