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Career Service

Career Day Entrepreneurship & (Bio)Tech Speakers

How to build a startup, entrepreneurship, skills

Christian Tidona

Managing Director BioMed X Innovation Center

Christian is a biotech entrepreneur, business angel, and managing director at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied molecular biology and received his doctoral degree from the University of Heidelberg. Throughout his entire professional life his focus has always been to foster innovation at the interface between academia and industry. Christian is co-founder of the Health Axis Europe alliance between the European health innovation clusters in Leuven, Maastricht, Copenhagen, and Heidelberg. He is chairman of the Weizmann Young European Network (WYEN) and member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Marketing your business

Thomas Prexl

Head of the Startup Support Bureau at the Heidelberg Technology Park

Managing Director, Heidelberg Startup Partners e.V.

Thomas graduated from the University of Mannheim Business School and has a PhD from the University of Basel. At the Startup Support Bureau he has been actively promoting a support structure for scientific and technological startups and spin-offs in Heidelberg. Heidelberg Startup Partners is a joint startup support initiative, including Heidelberg’s leading research and educational institutions. He has been one of the masterminds of regional events like the Sensors & {data] | Hackathon, the {Life Science} meets IT Hackathon or the Startup Weekend Rhein-Neckar.

Accelerator and Medtech School Tübingen

Bodo Brückner

Coordinator Life Science Accelerator Baden-Württemberg

Dr. Bodo Brückner is a Molecular Biologist by training. He worked for many years at highly renowned institutions (ZMBH, DKFZ, Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina "López - Neyra" CSIC in different research areas (inter alia, epigenetics, Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer biology). After positions as innovation and entrepreneurship manager at BioRN and EIT Health, Bodo Brückner has been working as a coordinator of the Lifescience Accelerator Baden-Wuerttemberg at the City of Mannheim since September 2017. Bodo Brückner is also an expert for Science4Life. To foster life science entrepreneurship and the creation of startups, he teaches master, PhD students and postdocs in the Biotech Entrepreneurship Training Program at Heidelberg University.

Business models

Sonja Wilkens

Startup Support Manager of the City of Mannheim

MAFINEX Gründerverbund Entrepreneur Rhein-Neckar e.V.

With 20 years of experience in supporting start-ups as a development manager at an investment bank, as a research assistant at the University of Mannheim or as a start-up consultant at the City of Mannheim Sonja has built up a huge network for any question a startup might face. Besides she is an expert for all financing issues and the development of a business model.

Skills for entrepreneurship

Christoph Lindemann

Junior Marketing Manager, academics GmbH Hamburg

I used to follow the typical path of a science career with studies in biology at the Leibniz University Hannover followed by a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Afterwards I spent two years in a postdoc position at the University of Otago in New Zealand before I moved back to Germany in 2015. After another postdoc position at the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf I decided to leave University. In April 2017 I started my current position as a marketing manager at academics. At academics I am responsible for paid online marketing, data analysis and career services.

How to pitch your idea and engage your audience

Colin Bennett

Trainer- owner of Flames a mile high

For the last 25 years, Colin Bennett has been a teacher, trainer and coach for individuals, start-ups and blue-chip companies in many fields, from advertising to academia, from finance to pharmaceuticals. He has degrees in Economics and Business Administration, and the training qualification Cambridge University / RSA DTEFLA. In 1992 he began working for schools and educational trusts, where he trained groups and individuals, directed courses, developed learning materials, and carried out action research into memory and learning. He became self-employed in 2000.

Financing and venture capital

Dirk Nachtigal

Venture Capital Consulting

Dirk is an Economist with degrees from the Universities of Göttingen and Hamburg 1982-1987, after which he joined BASF in various functions including Wintershall AG and Schwarzheide GmbH. From 2001 to 2016 he was Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital GmbH (building up and leading BASF corporate venture activities) and since 2017 he is consultant in Venture Capital Business.

Overview innovation ecosystem in Heidelberg and where to find like-minded people



Eva-Maria Markutzik

Innovation Manager, German EIT Health GmbH

Eva-Maria is a marketing and communication specialist, connecting this with entrepreneurship and innovation in biotech, medtech and digital health. She studied Media and Communication Sciences at the universities of Erfurt, Augsburg and Barcelona. Since 2016, Eva is member of the German coordination center for EIT Health, one of the biggest healthcare initiatives worldwide bringing together 140 partners from 17 countries to innovate in healthcare. Above that, she has co-created the Biotech Entrepreneurship activities at Heidelberg University (


Patrick Pfeffer

CEO Aescuvest

Patrick is founder and CEO of aescuvest GmbH, responsible for business development and strategic corporate management. He graduated with a degree in bioinformatics and a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry. He also holds a diploma in business administration. Before founding aescuvest in 2014, he made a marketing career as specialist in digital marketing for pharma and health media companies. As general manager of WebMD Global he drove the expansion of Medscape, a global platform for physicians and healthcare professionals, into the French and German markets. As an advisor for systemic marketing and partnering strategies, he worked for multi-national projects in the health sector.

Making translational science happen

Ruth M. Herzog

Head of the Office of Technology Transfer Office at DKFZ 

As head of DKFZ’s Office of Technology Transfer Ruth M. Herzog enjoys rich experience and extensive knowledge in the business of technology transfer. Her expertise includes intellectual property management, business development and deal making in the life sciences, especially in the cancer field i.e. licensing, spin-off creation, and collaboration with industry including strategic alliances. Ruth Herzog earned an M.A. in economics and management from Technical University of Kaiserslautern and is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) and a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP). Prior to joining the DKFZ in 1997 to reorganize its technology transfer operations she built her
business career in sales and marketing in oncology at Hoffmann-La Roche. Ruth Herzog received her Ph.D. in molecular tumor biology in 1991 from the University of the Saar and a diploma in biology in 1986 from the University of Bonn.

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