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By leveraging our financial support and expertise, we can contribute to the growth and success of startups in Poland and the Baltic countries

22 January 2024

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Nicolas Beuzen, Investment Advisor at i&i Biotech Fund.

Nicolas Beuzen is a molecular biologist and geneticist by training and has 20+ years of leadership experience from small start-up Biotech to large Pharma in France, India and Poland. Through his tenures in R&D, Search & Evaluation, Business Development and Alliance Management, Nicolas has nurtured a large international network of top-level stakeholders in the Life Science industry. Since the beginning of this year, Nicolas has strengthened the team at i&i Biotech Fund, where he joined as an Investment Advisor.

Dear Nicolas, welcome on board and thank you for your time. First, can you please explain to us what exactly will you do for the fund?

As the fund expands its activities eastwards, I will be in charge of scouting Poland and the Baltic countries to identify and evaluate innovative startups with a unique selling proposition and global potential. I will propose and support investment options to the fund partners. We believe that by leveraging our financial support and expertise, we can contribute to the growth and success of startups in this region.
 
What made you decide to accept this job offer?

Over the past two decades, I’ve worn many hats in the pharma and biotech industry. My roles have ranged from project management, R&D and business development & licensing, and I have participated in numerous fundraising rounds. However, I felt a gap in my experience - the investment side. This changed when I started interacting with the team at i&i Bio. I found a group of people as passionate about innovation and making a difference in the Life Sciences sector as I am. Their track record of supporting visionary entrepreneurs left a strong impression on me. Now, I’m excited to be part of the i&i Bio team. I’m eager to use my skills and connections to help expand their portfolio and generate value for everyone involved.

My goal is to contribute to the fund’s mission of advancing the Life Sciences sector and improving human health. I would like to use my skills and experience to identify and assess the potential of promising investment opportunities, build strong relationships with entrepreneurs and co-investors, and provide strategic guidance and support to the portfolio companies.

Nicolas Beuzen
Investment Advisor at i&i Biotech Fund

Is there any goal that you would like to achieve in your work for the fund?

My goal is to contribute to the fund’s mission of advancing the Life Sciences sector and improving human health. I would like to use my skills and experience to identify and assess the potential of promising investment opportunities, build strong relationships with entrepreneurs and co-investors, and provide strategic guidance and support to the portfolio companies. I also hope to learn from the fund’s team and network and share my insights and best practices with them. I believe that our collaborative efforts can lead to meaningful changes for both society and the environment.

You have extensive experience in biotech, having worked in startups and large pharmaceutical companies in Europe and Asia. Which project do you remember most fondly?

There are several. I remember my first in-licensing deal. I went with my CEO and mentor at the startup I was working for at that time to the facilities of the Ministry of Defense in the UK in Porton Down to negotiate the rights of an enzyme to treat paediatric cancers. That was quite an experience, working in a secured facility. I remember, of course, the first compounds I was in charge of and that made it to patients. The excitement of finally seeing the results of years of work helping alleviating diseases. I also fondly remember the pride of being part of the teams that took 2 biotechs to IPO.
 

Off-road riding teaches you that you should not be afraid to fall. It’s part of the ride. It is to be expected, so you should be prepared and minimize both the risk by adapting to the conditions and the consequences with adequate protection and contingencies.

Nicolas Beuzen
Investment Advisor at i&i Biotech Fund

Besides your involvement in the Life Science industry, you’ve also tried your hand at owning a restaurant in Krakow, Poland. What did this experience give you?

The most important lesson I learned from it was to be flexible and adaptable. I realized that running a restaurant in a foreign country required me to adjust to the local market, preferences, and trends. I had to innovate and improve both products and services to meet the expectations of my customers. I also had to be open to feedback and criticism and learn from my mistakes.

You have very interesting hobbies, which include riding trail motorcycles off-road and also Battodo, a form of Japanese swordsmanship. Do these activities bring you something that can also be utilized in the business world?

Off-road riding teaches you that you should not be afraid to fall. It’s part of the ride. It is to be expected, so you should be prepared and minimize both the risk by adapting to the conditions and the consequences with adequate protection and contingencies. Anticipation and looking ahead, not focusing on what’s just right in front of your front wheel, and all the same, being aware of cognitive tunneling and target fixation are skills one must learn riding motorcycles to make it through the journey. And Battodo? Training with an 80cm steel blade requires a certain level of focus and discipline. One needs to be attentive and precise in every movement and cut, improving concentration and self-control.

Dear Nicolas, thank you for your answers.

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