2022-09-21 12:05Press release

Unique training program from SmiLe brings together international venture capital experts and Swedish early-stage life science innovation

Luca Venza, Emmanuelle Deponge and Julie RachlineLuca Venza, Emmanuelle Deponge and Julie Rachline

Today, SmiLe Incubator launched Dragon Academy, a unique training program designed to increase the understanding of how the international venture capital industry works. The program is led by international venture capital experts and developed specifically for Swedish Innovation Advisors who work with early-stage life science companies to help them create better prerequisites for attracting international venture capital.

Dragon Academy covers subject areas key for Swedish life science companies in their pursuit to attract international investors and prepare for their own role as emerging players in the international venture capital market.

Luca Venza, Julie Rachline, and Emmanuelle Deponge lead Dragon Academy. Luca Venza is the former Director of Tech Transfer and Acceleration at IESE Business School in Barcelona and co-founder of deep tech venture developer Lotus Partners. He is a serial entrepreneur and business angel who regularly mentors startups for the World Economic Forum, Invest Horizon, and EIT Health. Based in Paris, LallianSe, is the initiator of the concept of life sciences integrator and transforms innovations into economic success through the co-construction and execution of convincing equity stories. Founder and CEO of LallianSe, Julie Rachline is a serial entrepreneur with a 15-years background in life sciences and venture capital. Strategic Partner, Emmanuelle Deponge has worked within life science investment for over 20 years.

Dragon Acadamy is based on a so-called ”train-the-trainer"-concept where the Innovation Advisors can implement their knowledge in their host start-up environments. The programme consists of 11 modules covering the fundamental structures and processes of the VC industry (for example, VC structure, investment process and criteria, terminology, and communication). In parallel with the training, Dragon Academy provides a resource bank containing central documentation that the participants can use in their continued capital acquisition work.

“The Life science industry is very capital intense, and despite the fact that Swedish life science companies are internationally recognized for their high quality, factors like our business culture and lack of understanding of the venture capital market can create uncertainty in international investors. I am very pleased that we have managed to attract renowned, international experts to strengthen the competence of the Swedish innovation system and thereby contribute to attract more international venture capital”, says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator.

The programme has been developed by SmiLe and Invest in Skåne, together with Region Skåne and Tillväxtverket. Participants are coaches and Innovation Advisors throughout the innovation system in Southern Sweden.

SmiLe Incubator has many years of experience helping startups attract venture capital through exposing the companies to a large network of business angels, investors and venture capitalists. In total, SmiLe member companies and alumni have raised 648 MEUR in venture capital since 2014. Of these companies, 20 have launched IPO’s. In 2020 SmiLe launched its own an angel investment company SmiLe Inject Capital, and since its start, 16 MSEK has been invested in promising life science start-ups.

For more information

Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of  SmiLe Incubator, phone: 073 4000433, email: ebba@smileincubator.life


About SmiLe Incubator

SmiLe Incubator is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden. SmiLe helps entrepreneurs commercialize their ideas. There are currently 30 companies in SmiLe which, together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 664 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers excellent business coaching, a broad international network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as well-equipped laboratories which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe´s sponsors are Agilent, Sparbanken Skåne, Awa, Høiberg, Prevas, Setterwalls, Zacco, Magle Chemoswed, NanoTemper Technologies, Phase Holographic Imaging and ChemoMetec. SmiLe’s 20 listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of more than EUR 824 million (Q4 2021). www.smileincubator.life