From left: Moderator Carolina Hawranek, Olivier Duchamps, Bionordic, second runner up Jennifer Hansson from Akuru Pharma, best pitch winner Annette Säfholm from Gedea Biotech, Sana Aljmovic from Sigrid Therapautics and Jonas Ekstrand, SwedenBio.
From left: Moderator Carolina Hawranek, Olivier Duchamps, Bionordic, second runner up Jennifer Hansson from Akuru Pharma, best pitch winner Annette Säfholm from Gedea Biotech, Sana Aljmovic from Sigrid Therapautics and Jonas Ekstrand, SwedenBio. Photo: Camille Sonally
11.09.2018

Gedea Biotech and Sigrid Therapeutics were selected winners by a live audience on the first day of Nordic Life Science Days, the largest partnering conference for the global life science industry in the Nordics. Acuru Pharma, another company emerging from the Nordic life science ecosystem, took third place. No less then 166 delegates took part in the voting.

Both Anette Säfholm from Gedea Biotech and Sana Alajmovic from Sigrid Therapeutics were surprised but happy when they were called up on stage and presented as the winners of the Best Pitch. The voting resulted in an exact tie between the two, and with Jennifer Hansson as the runner up giving Akuru Pharma a third place.

The team at Gedea Biotech is developing an antibiotic-free and safe treatment of vaginal infections and Sigrid Therapeutics are working on a medical device for treatment of pre-diabetes. Acuru Pharma who also reached the podium is exploiting transporter proteins for diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer and like all 12 companies, they all aim for the global market for their innovations.

Jennie Ekbeck, CEO of Umeå Biotech Incubator from this year’s co-organizers of the live pitch event was impressed with the companies’ efforts:

– Hearing these twelve diverse and brave startups makes me confident that life sciences in the Nordics is on the rise and we’ll keep growing stronger together, she says.

In May 2018, an expert jury selected the 12 startups to pitch live on stage during this challenge. They have prepared their pitches during the summer, and the final vote was made by 166 delegates in the live audience at Waterfront right after the presentations. The organizers thank the event sponsor Pfizer for their support.

All the twelve finalists in the Startup Challenge 2018. Photo: Camille Sonally

About Startup Challenge

The startup challenge is an event showcasing the best and brightest startups currently emerging from the Nordic life science ecosystem. Based on their video contributions, the best 12 have been selected to pitch live in front of a qualified audience of life science industry decision makers and investors.

About Nordic Life Science Days

NLSDays is a SwedenBIO event, produced by Bionordic. Nordic Life Science Days has grown rapidly since its launch in 2012 to become the largest Nordic partnering conference for the global life science industry. This year, almost 1300 delegates from 40 countries are attending the meeting.

About Umeå Biotech Incubator

More info about our incubator process and goals on this page (link).

Sana Alajmovic, Jennifer Hansson and Annette Säfholm snatched the first, first and third best pitch award. Photo: Camille Sonally