For how many years did you work with the incubator team?
“It’s about 15 years altogether. I was involved in the very first incubator project and have been part of other projects since then, and been the project owner for other projects.”
What happened to your idea in the end?
“The first project became a company, Innate Pharmaceuticals/Creative Antibiotics, which operated in Umeå and had employees for more than ten years. The company went bankrupt and the intellectual property and research material were acquired by the newly formed company, Innovative Antibiotics, where I’m the main owner. Today the company is dormant however. Another project is the company Eirium AB where I’m the main owner and have received further funding from Novo and others. We didn’t succeed in getting sustainable data in the animal testing, so the project is now being run academically and the company is dormant.”
What did you most appreciate about the incubator environment?
“During the first project we used the incubator’s premises which were located in the university at the time. In later projects, the laboratory needs of our work have meant that we rent space at the university instead. During recent years in particular, I believe that we have received increasingly professional support from both external consultants and internal business coaches.”
What learnings have you taken with you from your journey in the incubator?
“It’s difficult to be a successful hybrid entrepreneur as the capital needs are substantial in pharmaceutical development. Endurance is key given the long lead times. Additionally, you have to have a clear idea of the type of product that is to be developed and the market for which it is intended. This makes financing activities easier.”
What would you say to others wanting to utilise a research idea?
“Think seriously about whether this is something you want to invest in. Successful commercialisation requires a lot of sacrifices.”
Photo: Mattias Pettersson for Umeå university.