Mentor interview with Jutta Roth

We launched our Global Mentorship Programme on the 3rd of August; the Mentorship Programme is a virtual acceleration that helps early-stage oncology startups to achieve their goals and become accessible to patients as soon as possible. The mentors are at the core of the programme and without them, we couldn’t have put together such a compelling set of activities, workshops, and events.

This week on the blog you can meet Jutta, the mentor of the Mentorship Programme’s fundraising workshop. Jutta has an impressive career path from academia to business. She is now an advisor at Kingsley Capital Partners.

“I find mentoring very rewarding – working with enthusiastic teams that are driven always inspires me as well.” says Jutta

Tell us about your current role

As Advisor at Kingsley Capital Partners (KCPs) I work with Neil Mahapatra, who is one of the founders, on identifying companies that fit KCPs investment criteria. I also work with spin-outs from the University of Oxford and advise them on business strategy, and fundraising. I am also the co-founder of an antibiotics company in Austria.

When and why did you start to work with startups?

I originally started out in academia where I gradually transitioned from medical research to commercial applications. What really drew me towards medical startups is the power they have in turning innovative ideas into successful products that can change the life of millions of people.

Most mentors work on a pro bono basis in the startup sphere, so it’s mainly the startups that are benefiting from the programme. How is it from a mentor’s point of view? Is mentoring a rewarding experience?

I believe most of us have received help from a mentor at some point in our professional lives and in my opinion, we could see many more successful companies if we all shared our experience a bit more. On a more personal level, I find mentoring very rewarding – working with enthusiastic teams that are driven always inspires me as well.

What’s your motivation in mentoring oncology startups?

The devastation cancer causes for patients and their loved ones is beyond words and I have witnessed it in my own family and amongst my friends. Therefore supporting startups in this space is extremely important to me.

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

I think “failure” might be too narrow a description for when a company does not work out. Firstly, founding and running a startup in itself usually means that the team learns a lot and gains invaluable experience. Should the company not work out, the most important question for me is “why did it not work out?” As long as the reason(s) can be identified and the whole team takes the learnings forward to their next company, I would not talk about failure at all.

cLAB Ventures - November 2, 2020