Startup Jury

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 PhD

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

At Forbion, Mathias supports the team with deal sourcing, due diligence and closing of investment opportunities. 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. During his time at the MPIB he also managed the scientific implementation of a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline and was involved in startup activities within the field of type 2 diabetes. Mathias is based in Munich.

About Forbion - Forbion works closely with entrepreneurs to support their technologies and products designed to transform people’s lives. 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 currently invests out of its $200m+ 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 


23 - 24 April 2018, Munich

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Esther Lange
Ascenion GmbH
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