Innovator Café: a new format of the SPARK Europe Webinar Series

In addition to the regular educational lectures, talks and panel sessions, the SPARK Europe webinar series now features a format dedicated to the Dos and Don’ts of Entrepreneurship. The so-called “Innovator Café” brings together experienced entrepreneurs and young CEOs to share their success stories and failures. The first meeting took place on 3 March 2021 with the Charité Professor Craig Garner, founder of three Biotech companies and initiator of the SPARK program in Berlin. Overall, 80 participants from seven countries followed the live webinar.

“Companies don’t get murdered, companies commit suicide“ – this was one of many insights Charité professor Craig Garner gave the international audience during the kick-off meeting of the Innovator Café. The neurobiology professor let in on his experiences of what influences the success of a company and shared his own entrepreneurial story that began with receiving SPARK mentorship at the University of Stanford as one of the first sponsored teams and led to the foundation of three Biotech companies.

He further elaborated on how being an entrepreneur changed his approach as a scientist. Today, he puts much more emphasis on considering social needs when conducting research and aims to generate applicable result – a goal that has become more and more relevant among scientists worldwide during the COVID pandemic.

The new webinar format explicitly invited the active involvement of the audience. The participants used their chance to directly address Craig during the meeting and were curious to learn about his approach to attract funding or assemble a well-working team. In the future, the Innovator Café will be hosted alternating by SPARK Europe sites from Israel, Poland, Finland, Norway and Germany on Wednesdays from 16.00 to 17.00 CET. The events will be announced on our website.

SPARK-BIH is a member of the SPARK Global network