Startup Jury 2018

Jeroen Bakker PhD

Merck Ventures

Jeroen joined Merck Ventures in 2015 and is now an Associate in the Healthcare team. Previously, Jeroen worked in consultancy where he was instrumental in acquiring over €12m in non-dilutive funding for biotech and translational academic research. Prior to this, Jeroen worked in target discovery at Syntaxin Ltd (Oxford, UK). Jeroen published several articles on immuno-metabolism in high-ranking journals such as Journal of Experimental Medicine while obtaining his PhD in immunology from the University of Amsterdam. Jeroen has a MSc from Leiden University with a specialization in entrepeneurship. He is based in Amsterdam.

About Merck Ventures -
Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Our mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck’s core business areas. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. We take an active role in our portfolio companies and team up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. We have a significant focus on early stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage Merck’s science and technology base. For more information, please visit 

Annegret de Baey-Diepolder MD

Seventure Partners

Annegret is a Venture Partner of the Life Sciences Department of Seventure responsible for investment opportunities in the DACH region. Formerly she was co-founder and CEO of RNA-based immunotherapeutics company Rigontec GmbH, now Merck & Co., Inc. As a life-science industry consultant and former partner at private equity and venture capital companies TVM Capital and Gimv NV, she brings more than 15 years of experience in the life-science and venture capital sector. Prior to joining the VC industry, she led a research group developing therapeutic vaccines at Micromet AG, now Amgen.

Annegret trained as a dermatologist and allergologist at the department for Dermatology and Allergology of the academic Hospital LMU in Munich. She studied medicine at Georg-August University of Göttingen and the Technical University of Munich. Annegret holds a MD in human genetics from Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. She received her postdoctoral training as a fellow of the German Research Foundation at the Basel Institute for Immunology (basic research institute of Hoffmann-La Roche). 

About Seventure Partners - With over €660m in assets under management as of the end of 2016, Seventure Partners is a leading venture capital firm in Europe. Since 1997, Seventure Partners has invested in innovative businesses with high growth potential in two fields: Digital technologies in France and Germany, and life-sciences across Europe, Israel, Asia and North America. In life-sciences, the four areas of focus include biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, connected/digital health and medtech, industrial biotechnology, and last but not least: the microbiome, nutrition, foodtech and personalized medicine. Investments can range between €500k and €10m per round, or up to €20m per company, from early to late stage. Recently, Seventure Partners successfully launched Health for Life Capital™ which has attracted strategic investments from prestigious organizations including Danone, Tereos, Tornier, Lesaffre, Bel and Novartis, as well as entrepreneurs and financial institutions. For more information, please visit 


Mathias Falcenberg PhD

Forbion Capital Partners

Mathias joined Forbion in 2016. Before, he was project leader for metabolic disease therapy at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB), managing international and multi-disciplinary drug discovery collaborations as well as supervising a research team to investigate GRK5 signaling in diabetes and cancer. Based on his scientific findings, which led to four patents, he gained a seed financing by GlaxoSmithKline and managed the scientific implementation of this joint venture on behalf of the MPIB. Supported by Prof. Dr. Axel Ullrich, the generated data provided the basis of spin-out activities within the field of type 2 diabetes, which Mathias accompanied as co-founder and CSO.

About Forbion - Forbion is a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm with offices in The Netherlands and Germany. We work closely together with entrepreneurs to support their technologies and products designed to transform people’s lives. For this purpose, we are backing innovative ideas not only with venture capital but also with our broad network as well as in-house expertise in drug development and company building. Forbion manages well over EUR 800 million across nine funds, currently invests out of its €183m FCFIII fund and is actively looking for innovative opportunities in the arena of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics. For more information, please visit 


Karin Kleinhans PhD

Life Sciences Partners (LSP)

Karin joined LSP in 2015 as an associate. Karin provides in-depth analytical support to the LSP investment team at all stages of the investment process. She is involved in a number of LSP corporate projects as well.

Prior to joining LSP, Karin was an associate in an international patent law firm where she was involved in all aspects of the patent life cycle for international clients from the biotech industry. Previously, she gained experience in clinical trials and regulatory affairs within pharmaceutical drug development. Before, Karin was a researcher at the Max-Planck Department for Stem Cell Aging and the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Ulm. Her research focused on the basic mechanisms of cellular and organismal aging, in particular the impact of DNA damage and repair on stem cell aging and regeneration. Karin participated as a speaker in scientific meetings and lead scientific collaborations with world leading experts in the stem cell and aging field. Karin received her PhD from the International Graduate School in Molecular Medicine in Ulm funded by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and States Governments. She was awarded her Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Molecular Medicine where she combined medical studies with scientific research training. Karin is based in Munich.

About LSP - LSP is a leading independent European investment firm, providing financing for private and public life-science companies. Since the late 1980s, LSP’s management has invested in a large number of highly innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the global life-science industry. With over USD 1 billion of investment capital raised to date and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of Europe’s largest and most experienced specialist life-science investors. For more information, please visit 


Marianne Mertens PhD

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF)

Marianne joined HTGF in 2015 as Investment Manager in the Life Science Team and is currently responsible for seven portfolio companies as well as the sourcing and completion of new early-stage investments. She is serving on the Board of Directors at preOmics and Coramaze technologies. Before, she worked at a strategy consulting firm in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry. Prior to that, the Investment Manager obtained her doctorate in the field of Molecular Imaging at the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University Hospital Aachen. The thesis resulted in several publications in prestigious journals and was recognized by the German Society of Biomedical Engineering with the VDE Prize of the "Stiftung Familie Klee". Marianne obtained a Master’s degree with distinction in Biotechnology from the RWTH Aachen University.

About HTGF - HTGF (Bonn/Berlin) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With EUR 886 million in total investment volume across three funds (EUR 272 million in HTGF I, EUR 304 million in HTGF II, and a targeted volume of EUR 310 million for HTGF III) and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge close to 500 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemicals and life sciences. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as a number of well-known companies spanning all industries and segments. For more information, please visit:


8 - 9 May 2019, Munich

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