SPARK Entrepreneurial Forum 2019: Female Entrepreneurship

Hoda Tawfik, MagForce AG

Johanna Holldack, Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is the concept of taking your resources and using them to find a solution for a problem that won’t be solved otherwise. We are living in a time when there are plenty of pressing problems that are still untackled despite our wealth of the most important resource: knowledge. Usually, the problem that in the focus of the entrepreneur is worth solving, because it is affecting somebody, and something is driving the entrepreneur to take it into their own hands to go find a solution and make that solution work. In the end, entrepreneurship is about making something happen that wouldn’t have happened without that entrepreneur and their team, who put skin in the game in order to develop that solution. Entrepreneurs are willing to invest a lot to convince others and unite them in their teams. They have their mind set on that purpose and they follow it through to make an impact and shape the space.

Entrepreneurs act in various fields, such as social entrepreneurship, life science entrepreneurship etc. Everybody can become an entrepreneur but not everybody is. Particularly women are underrepresented in startups, in CEO positions of biotech companies. In this session we will be addressing the topic of female entrepreneurship with examples of female entrepreneurs who will share their experiences and the paths they took to become leaders in their fields. This evening, Prof. Hoda Tawfik from MagForce will present her story and insights from many years in the biotech area, moving from an expert in academia into a leadership position in biotech. Our second speaker, Dr. Johanna Holldack, has moved beyond established pharma and is currently launching her own biotech startup. She will tell us about her experiences negotiating with the university over IP and pitching to investors to win them over for her idea.