BaseLaunch, a new life sciences accelerator in Basel, has been kicked off. Its mission: to bring the most promising healthcare projects and ventures to Europe’s leading life sciences hub.
More than 250 guests saw the official launch of the new accelerator in Basel. Supported by Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Pfizer, and initiated by BaselArea.swiss, it makes the next generation of breakthrough companies an attractive offer: embed them into the vibrant life science network of one of the world’s most productive life sciences hubs.
“A healthy and well-endorsed start-up scene is necessary to bolster and further expand the elite position of Switzerland’s exceptional life sciences economy,” stated Domenico Scala, President of BaselArea.swiss, the office for promoting innovation and inward investment for the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura. According to Christof Klöpper, CEO of BaselArea.swiss, BaseLaunch is extremely entrepreneur-centric. The healthcare vertical of digitalswitzerland’s Kickstart Accelerator provides non-repayable starting grants, industry access, contacts to established entrepreneurs, experts and consultants providing support in business formation, financing, R&D, IP, and regulatory affairs as well as modern infrastructure.
Novartis Venture Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Pfizer act as BaseLaunch’s healthcare partners in finding and supporting transformational innovations that solve unmet medical needs. “We are pleased to help energise the Basel region’s center of gravity for European healthcare ventures, offering start-ups the support they need to accelerate their ideas,” said Anja König, Managing Director, Novartis Venture Fund. “This programme offers grants and lab space to selected start-ups – with no strings attached – illustrating that what we want to create here is an optimal environment for start-ups that focuses on supporting transformative science and great ideas in Switzerland,” added Richard Mason, Head of the Johnson & Johnson London Innovation Centre. Uwe Schoenbeck, Chief Scientific Officer, External Research and Development Innovation & Senior Vice President, Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer, said: “Through Pfizer’s support of BaseLaunch, we hope to advance the pace at which promising science is translated into potential medicines.”
“BaseLaunch aims to support the best healthcare innovators and offers them fast access to founder-friendly venture grants, insights, industry access and state-of-the-art infrastructure. We want to enable and individually guide them to become fully embedded into the life sciences value chain,” explained Alethia de Léon, Managing Director of BaseLaunch.
The programme consists of two phases, which extend over a total of 15 months. During the first phase, lasting three months, entrepreneurs work closely with the BaseLaunch team as well as a network of entrepreneurs-in-residence, advisors and consultants to further develop their business cases. Financial support through BaseLaunch can be as high as CHF10,000 per project. Up to three start-ups accepted for the second phase will receive the opportunity to secure a one-year grant of up to CHF250,000 to generate data and reach business plan milestones in the labs at the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area.
BaseLaunch (www.baselaunch.ch) accepts applications for the inaugural acceleration programme cycle until June 30, 2017. Additional programme cycles will start in late 2018 and 2019. A Selection Committee of industry experts will handpick the ventures invited for each programme cycle.