Lund’s life science-incubator – SmiLe – has helped startup companies with business development for ten years. Of a total of 60 companies, 12 are now listed on the stock exchange and currently have a market value of MEUR 390 (November 2017). In all, 92 percent of the 60 companies are still active and have attracted MEUR 175 in venture capital over the past four years. Thirty three companies have graduated. The companies currently employ over 250 people.
The tenth anniversary is being celebrated with a party and show, with plenty of glitter and exciting discussions about the future, investments and pitfalls. Investors, entrepreneurs and others will be on stage on December 6, including Anders G. Lönnberg, the Government’s national coordinator for life science issues, Ulrika Geeraedt, Director of Development for Region Skåne, Professor Carl Borrebaeck, builder of multiple companies, and Evy Lundgren Åkerlund, CEO of Xintela, and previously CEO of Lund Life Science Incubator, the predecessor to SmiLe.
The incubator was started ten years ago as a department at the Ideon research village and was closely associated with Lund University. The incubator soon evolved into a separate organization that, in addition to promoting business development, also provided laboratories and office space to the entrepreneurs under the name Lund Life Science Incubator. Five years ago the incubator moved to Medicon Village, where iin addition to business support, it offers well-equipped laboratories and a huge community, as well as short, intensive business coaching sessions in the Health2B accelerator for early startup companies. Core funding currently comes from Lund University, Lund Municipality, Region Skåne and Medicon Village in Lund.
“Smile is a non-profit organization and its operation is possible thanks to our financial backers. We are the hub that unites academia, industry, capital and innovation. The goal is to facilitate development for the entrepreneurs, from innovation to successful international companies. The statistics for our companies after ten years are fabulous, where 92 percent are viable and of these, 20 percent are listed on the stock exchange,” says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe.
After ten years SmiLe Incubator is now entering a new phase with the aim of increasing the throughput of companies. Beginning in 2018, eight to ten new companies will be admitted to the incubator every year. One top priority for the incubator management is to build the infrastructure so that SmiLe companies will have a venue in which they can naturally meet both industrial and financial stakeholders. The incubator maintains regular contact with international participants on the lookout for the next successful venture.
“Access to venture capital is absolutely crucial for developing life science companies. We support the companies in their efforts to raise capital by hosting events and providing expertise, a network of contacts, and business development skills. Highlighting the scalable business model is an important part of a company’s development, not just science,” says Thomas Unt, business developer at Smile.
SmiLe Incubator’s statistics after 10 years:
The incubator has hosted a total of 60 companies between 2007 and 2017, where they have been provided with coaching, laboratory space, training and support from experts, as well as access to the surrounding community of businesses, with the result that the companies also do business with one another – as 60 percent did in 2016.
These 60 companies have attracted MEUR 175 in venture capital over the past four years.
Of these 60 companies, 92% are still in full operation and are undergoing further development. They currently employ over 250 people.
Of these 60 companies, 33 have graduated from the incubator and are operating without SmiLe’s support.
Of these 60 companies, 12 floated IPOs and successfully listed on the stock market or other trading venues and attracted capital. Examples of such companies include Immunovia, which has a method for early detection of pancreatic cancer using a blood test, and Clinical Laserthermia Systems, which heats and destroys cancer tumors using a laser and fiber optic technology.
The combined market value of the 12 companies is MEUR 390 (November 2017).
Of the 60 companies, 22 are still in SmiLe Incubator, and nine new companies were accepted in 2017.
Prominent speakers who will take the stage to discuss life science at the party on December 6:
Anders G Lönnberg – the Government’s national coordinator of life science issues
Carl Borrebaeck – professor and builder of multiple companies
Carl-Johan Dalsgaard – partner in HealthCap, which invests internationally in life science companies
Christer Fåhraeus – serial entrepreneur and investor
Evy Lundgren Åkerlund – CEO of Xintela, previously CEO of Lund Life Science Incubator, predecessor to SmiLe
Karin Wingstrand – previously global manager at Astra Zeneca, currently professional board member in the life sciences
Maximilian Ottosson – CEO of the SmiLe company Cellevate
Sarah Fredriksson – entrepreneur and CEO of P.U.L.S. Invest, a financier of life science companies
Ulrika Geeraedts – Director of Development for Region Skåne
Current companies in SmiLe Incubator:
Akuru Pharma, Apoglyx, Bionamic, Cellevate, ControlSep, Edvince, Emmace consulting, Gedea Biotech, Gutfeeling Labs, Iconovo, Immune Biotech, Instant Advice, In2cure, Longboat Explorers, Medow, MedVasc, Norinvent, OncoSignature, Saga Diagnostics, Speximo, Sölve Research and Consultancy, och Truly Labs.
Following companies have graduated from SmiLe (November 2017):
A1M Pharma, AcouSort, Adroit science, BiBB, Bioactive Polymers, Bioextrax, Bjarga, Cancer Care Company, Cantargia, CapSenze Biosystems, Clinical Laserthermia Systems, Genepod Therapeutics, Idogen, ImaGene-iT, Imaging Resource, Immunovia, Medetect, Med Tech Invest Europé, Microbionical, Nattaro Labs, Nexam Chemical, N-Tigen Insights, Pepticon, Pharma Lundensis, Phase Holographic Imaging, Red Glead Discovery, Redoxis, SARomics, Sera Proteomics, Spago, Truly Translational, Ultrazonix DNT och Xintela.
SmiLe is a business incubator within life science based in Medicon Village in Lund. SmiLe helps entrepreneurs and startup companies to develop and commercialize new ideas. Our main task is to help the management teams of these companies to navigate the complexities of business development, financing, recruitment and risk management. There are currently around 20 companies in SmiLe, which together with alumni have attracted more than 175 MEUR in venture capital to date since2014. Approximately 100 people, representing 20 nationalities, and almost 50 percent of whom are women, work at SmiLe incubator. SmiLe is also a community consisting of experts, business advisors, incubator companies as well as alumni companies, which when combined provide a unique opportunity for Life Science Industry startups to benefit from their extensive collective experience. The opportunity also includes an acccelerator for early startups, Health2B, and an infrastructure that is unique of its kind in Sweden, with well-equipped laboratories and advanced instrumentation. SmiLe has its major financing from Lunds university, Lund Municipality, Region Skåne och Medicon Village.