Life Science Factory – Sponsor interview

We would like to introduce the Life Science Factory, the official sponsor of our Mentorship Programme, joining the fight against cancer. Becoming a sponsor is so much more than providing financial support, Petra, Svenja, Sten (pictured below), and Magdalena bring their knowledge and expertise into the programme. Life Science Factory was established in the heart of Göttingen to build a life science start-up community, bring together entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors, and to facilitate innovation.


Life Science Factory group photo
Sten Küster, Svenja Hodel, and Petra Runge-Wollmann from Life Science Factory

Introduction: Please give us a brief overview of the Life Science Factory. 

The Life Science Factory, initiated by Sartorius, aims to promote scientific progress in life sciences and to strengthen research and development of innovative technologies with a clear focus on applications. This is why we provide open-space offices, a prototyping dry lab, and a wide offer of events revolving around life science entrepreneurship for scientists and research teams who aim to take their initial steps outside of academic institutions. At the end of 2021, an expanded concept with state-of-the-art laboratory space will be available in the Sartorius Quartier.

What’s the mission of the Life Science Factory?

We want to establish Göttingen as the “location of choice” for life science start-ups. We aim to mobilize entrepreneurial forces from academic researchers, identify future technologies, and support spin-offs in order to maximize the prospects of entrepreneurial success for young life science start-ups. Therefore the Life Science Factory will allow occupants the opportunity to research, work, and build prototypes. Occupants can share innovative thoughts in collaborative and comfortable environments.

Why do you think supporting life science innovators is important? What’s the most important role of an incubator in the life sciences?

Life science start-ups encounter some challenges that start-ups from other fields may not encounter. Mostly, they face a very high technical risk and long and expensive product development phases. Moreover, strict regulatory guidelines and missing entrepreneurial skills sometimes complicate the process. Therefore, it is important that start-ups are supported at an early stage in order to handle these challenges. As a life science incubator, we are experienced in identifying the needs of an individual life science team, to provide support, mentoring programs, and to help them in making a suitable connection to relevant players. From 2021 we will offer fully equipped and serviced lab space and thereby also make the appropriate infrastructure for start-ups available.  

Coworking offices have been around for a while now, can you tell us about the idea of the coworking lab?

Like coworking offices, sharing a lab with other start-ups promotes contact with other entrepreneurs and innovators that enables important peer exchange and helps to advance your own project. Another benefit is that our labs will be fully equipped and serviced which saves a lot of time and money. Our labs will allow teams to start your experiments within 48 hours and to benefit from the access to shared facilities and high-end equipment. 

What is your motivation in turning towards oncology and supporting start-ups in the oncology sphere?

The Life Science Factory is generally interested in supporting life science start-ups. Furthermore, we aim to feature very promising projects like the cLAB Venture Oncology Mentoring Program, as we are convinced of the well-elaborated set-up and realization of this program. Start-ups that develop new cancer treatments or diagnostic technologies should be supported, to promote innovations in these areas of research. Cancer is still one of the top causes of death in the world. Each breakthrough in the field of oncology is essential and we very much like to contribute to stimulating these innovations. We are very happy to have the possibility to support this project!

What do you think is the biggest challenge for early-stage start-ups at the moment?

During the Corona crisis, start-ups have to deal with completely new challenges. The lack of networking events for making helpful contacts and the diminished access to funding opportunities and investors are the two biggest challenges for early-stage start-ups. We try to help start-ups in these aspects through our digital events to access our network and to offer workshops for topics such as online-pitching.

Part of being an entrepreneur is about learning to fail. How did you learn to embrace failure?

Failure and trial and error is very often a routine during a scientific career. After some years of experience in fundamental research in molecular biology, you know that it is important not to give up too early. You also learn that it is important to carry on in being convinced of your project, however, you always should try to be open for slight changes in your path that sometimes lead you to the final success.

What’s the most important and valuable lesson you’ve learned as an incubator that all start-ups should know?

Persevere and believe in your project! Having helpful contacts at the right time and the appropriate infrastructure on top can help a lot.


Are you interested in our sponsorship opportunities? Get in touch with our CEO, Sara at sara@clab.ventures.

If you want to learn more about the Life Science Factory please contact the community manager, Petra at petra@lifescience-factory.com.

cLAB Ventures - August 5, 2020