Andreas has been through the whole life cycle of biotech startups, and is now coming out of the other side. Here’s our conversation on venture, purpose and the industry-academia divide.
Who knew a jingle played from a van would be the best way to let people know a GMO mosquito would be released in their area so that they’d go “cool, okay”?
Yes, Oxitec did that.
But how, exactly?
An accelerator is about finding if your idea has wings, and if it can take off. So if it crashes and burns right away that’s good – you won’t be working 2 or 3 years on something that’s never going to work
“You can program computers with code and bacteria with genes.” Bill reminded us that day. “You can also program humans with words.”
It’s startling that there isn’t a biotech network for my region, started by Latin Americans and focused on Latin American issues. It seemed ridiculous enough to make us do something about it.
Let’s face it: us scientists are absolutely terrible at talking. By “talking” here I also mean writing, and communicating in general.
This is vertiginously fast, and a lot is expected of us. But at the same time, you can see yourself moving forward and suddenly there’s a road laid in front of you and for a brief, beautiful moment, you know what to do.
“Your business works in language first,” he says, and my inner linguist sobs in a corner of my mind. “Even the impact you have happens in language first.”
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Every story the speakers told happened in Europe or the US, in the biotechnology clusters located there. China and India were mentioned for “exotic” effect; the rest of the world made no appearances.