Dr. Yuqiang Wang from Guangzhou Jinan University College of Pharmacy was declared the winner of the SEED Life Sciences Business Plan Competition. Dr. Josen Ma, from Pharminova Bio-tech Co. Ltd. and Dr. Bai Xu from Suzhou Natong Bionanotechnology Co. Ltd. were named as the runners-up.
The SEED competition was organized by Roche, OrbiMed, and McKinsey. Out of 77 submissions, fourteen finalists were selected to present their business plans in front of six judges and about 200 registered participants, including scientists, investors and life science specialists at the event hosted by the ChinaBio® Accelerator in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai.
Dr. Wang Yuqiang was selected for the top award based on the overall assessment of the business plans and the live presentations. The key evaluation criteria included business model, market, product/technology, competition, IP, team, and financial. He will receive total prize money of RMB 300,000 ($44,000) sponsored by Roche, and take part in the SEED Winners Tour. The Winners Tour, sponsored by BioCentury, is an all-expenses-paid trip to the US to meet with investors and entrepreneurs. The two runners-up will also take part in the SEED Winner’s Tour.
“The ideas presented by the winning teams demonstrate the richness of innovation already in China,” said Dr. Dan Zabrowski, Global Head of Partnering for Roche. “This business plan competition aims to support in commercializing innovative life science R&D programs in China.”
“The SEED competition will be a platform to cultivate and nurture entrepreneurship in China’s healthcare industry,” said Dr. Nancy Chang, Chairman and senior managing director of OrbiMed Asia. “The opportunities are here in China. We believe SEED will foster new companies with creativity, innovation and achievement in business and science so that more healthcare companies will successfully emerge from China.”
"Entrepreneurs participating in the SEED competition are at the leading edge of the life science industry in China,” said Dr. Rajesh Parekh, Partner and Head of the Healthcare Practice in Asia for global management consultants McKinsey & Company. "The diversity and quality of ideas in the final competition illustrates the breadth of innovation underway in China\'s rapidly emerging life science sector."
All finalists had been provided with one-to-one training sessions from the organizers and external specialists based on their actual situation to help them prepare their business plan. Topics presented spanned various areas such as new drugs, new discovery technologies, delivery devices and diagnostics.
The judging panel comprised senior figures from the international biotech industry: Tom Carey, BioCentury’s VP Commercial Operations; Michael J. Wise, JD, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP; Yuwen Liu, MBA, GM of BioBay; Nancy T. Chang, PhD, Chairman & Senior Managing Director, OrbiMed; Rajesh Parekh, PhD, Head of Asia Healthcare Practice, McKinsey; and Carole Nuechterlein, Head of the Roche Venture Fund.
During the day, senior executives from the organizers shared their insights and personal stories with the competition entrants. Dr. Nancy Chang from OrbiMed told her story of transforming herself from a scientist to a highly successful biotech entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Dr. Joe McCracken, Regional Head for Roche Partnering Asia described how Roche has supported the success of innovative biotech startups. Dr. Rajesh Parekh of McKinsey examined the implications to China as it builds an innovation-based life science industry.
About the SEED Competition
The SEED Competition the first life sciences business plan competition in Greater China, was launched by the organizers, Roche, OrbiMed, and McKinsey, in November, 2009. SEED stands for “Scientists to Entrepreneurs, Education and Development.” The competition is designed to help entrepreneurs and academicians create companies in the life sciences and healthcare field, enhance technology transfer and commercialization capabilities across the scientific community, and create a platform for commercialization of life sciences and healthcare innovations in China.