Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Startups That will Really Change Your Life... But Nobody Talks About

Lifescience Startups: the Brother that gets Too Little Media Coverage.
By: Paul Chen

In the year of our Lord, 2013 on 29th of October, Hurricane Sandy made land fall in my home area of New Jersey, USA. It caused $30 billion of damage as well as an amazing amount of damage to the Jersey Shore. It caused week long power outages in the tri-state area. I had just come back to Krakow from a visit to that exact area just a week earlier. Due to certain personal circumstances, seeing the damages that this storm had done to a place that for over two decades I had called home made me especially melancholic. It took days to be able to get a call through to my family, still living there, to make sure that they were okay.
Many environmental scientist will tell you that this storm would have been less severe if we weren't on the verge of a major climatic crisis. The conservatives will try to deny that such weather abnormalities are just a few hiccups and that things will be okay soon. These people have financial and political stakes in the status-quo. However, a majority of scientists and national leaders will agree that something significant is indeed happening. We need to change some of our habits to adapt to the ever changing weather and climates of this little blue dot over 7 billion people call home.
" there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving", Charles Darwin
In my previous posts, I have been covering tech startups. I do believe that these startups will do wonders for the local as well as the Polish national economy. And I also believe as with many local business leaders that we are at the threshold of something significant. However, what good are software services and mobile app's when you are literally having trouble keeping your head above water. Fortunately, here in Krakow there is a collective that is working on these as well as other pressing biotech problems.
KlasterLifescience Krakow is an effort whose mission is to "promote collaboration between science and business entities in order to deliver innovation and help regional development in turn, providing jobs, products, and services".

It is made up of a network of local biotech businesses, educational institutes (mainly Jagiellonian University), scientific research institutes, healthcare facilities and governmental organizations. One of the members is the Jagiellonian Center of Innovation.  JCI is a company which provides operational space and incubation services to scientific startups.
Part of it's function is to organize activities that promote awareness of its members as well as promote internal collaboration among its members. It also organizes conferences and events to promote collaboration between its members and external entities. One of the key events is the Lifescience Open Space which is organized annually in the autumn: dedicated to innovations in biotechnology, medicine, pharmacy, nutrition and other sectors of life sciences.
Another part of its activities is to provide mentoring to startups. It organizes educational conferences as well as put together educational material in development of a curriculum on entrepreneurship. Like Hive 53, it also organizes Lifescience meetings which can be found on the Facebook page.
Please watch this space as I post more information on Klaster Lifescience Krakow as well as other biotech startup material. If you have any questions or constructive comments, please write below. Please, no trolling. Thank you for reading!

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