What is Science4Life?
Science4Life is a German initiative to support founders of start-up companies in the field of Life Sciences, Chemistry and Energy.
This initiative is supported by the Government of the State of Hesse and by the global healthcare leader Sanofi. For eighteen years the mission of the Science4Life team has been to bring new ideas to entrepreneurial success.
Science4Life is focused on the annual business plan competition specialized in Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Energy – the Science4Life Venture Cup. Starting this year for the first time, participants of the Venture Cup with a business idea in the field of energy can be awarded a special prize in addition, the Science4Life Energy Cup.
More than 280 expert advisers from over 180 institutions are supporting the initiative by acting as coaches. The spectrum of partners covers all areas that are essential for new innovative entrepreneurs on their way to establish a new company. It covers experts such as lawyers, consultants and managing directors of biotech companies, as well as renowned researchers from academia and from the industry. The exchange of information with these experienced professionals helps to highlight potential problems at an early stage and to find solutions. Both partners benefit from these early contacts. The participants get easy access to economic, scientific and legal information. The coaches meet people who are on the cutting edge of science and get a feeling for the newest trends in the field.
The business plan competition
- encourages individuals with ideas in the field of Life Sciences, Chemistry or Energy.
- supports the participants in the development of an idea into a business plan.
- gives all participants a platform to help them commence their professional independence, free of charge.
The dates for the 21th round of competition
|10/12/2018||Deadline for submission of ideas|
|11/23/2018||One-Day-Workshop for best ideas in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)|
|01/18/2019||Deadline for submission of business concepts|
|03/18/2019||Two-Day-Workshop for best business concepts in Berlin|
|03/19/2019||Concept award ceremony in Berlin|
|04/12/2019||Deadline for submission of business plans|
|06/13/2019||Three-Day-Workshop in Rüdesheim|
|06/17/2019||Final award ceremony in Frankfurt am Main|
The Nationwide Business Plan Competition Science4Life Venture Cup
The idea is as easy as it is successful: The initiative Science4Life gets young entrepreneurs together with experts in the fields of Life Sciences, Chemistry and Energy.
Its aim is to first review written ideas, business concepts and then to finish a complete business plan. Experts from many sectors essential for the establishment of a new company — lawyers, bankers, researchers, marketing experts — act as coaches and evaluators.
Established in 1998, the Science4Life Venture Cup is awarded annually and has been an important tool for helping young entrepreneurs get started. Starting this year for the first time, participants of the Venture Cup with a business idea in the field of energy can be awarded a special prize in addition, the Science4Life Energy Cup.
The most important information in oversight:
- The federal competition addresses students, postgraduates and scientific assistants, as well as employees and young entrepreneurs in the branches of Life Science and Chemistry
- The competition is separated into three phases: idea phase (Phase I), conceptual phase (Phase II), and business plan phase (Phase III)
- The competition is sponsored by the provincial government of Hesse and Sanofi
- The competition is supported voluntarily by more than 180 companies
- Participation and consultation is free of charge
Phase 1: Your idea
The first level of the competition, the idea phase, is to generate a brief, concise description of your idea and of potential customers. Your ideas are evaluated by scientists and economists. You will receive written feedback by mail.
Closing date phase I: 10/20/2017
Science4Life Venture Cup awards:
30 x participation in one-day-workshop with experts from the Science4Life network
5 x € 500
Science4Life Energy Cup Awards:
3x € 500
Phase 2: Your business concept
The second level of the competition, the conceptual phase, is to generate a brief, concise description of your future business. Your business idea is evaluated, along with your company’s representation and a forecasting market evaluation. A convincing executive summary is the key part. You will receive written feedback by mail.
Closing date phase II: 01/12/2018
Science4Life Venture Cup Awards:
20 x two-day workshop with individual coaching by experts of the Science4Life network
10 x € 1,000
Science4Life Energy Cup awards:
2 x € 1,000
Phase 3: Your business plan
In the third phase of the competition you establish your complete business plan with the help of seminars and workshops given by experts of the Science4Life network. After finishing your business plan, it will be evaluated by our panel of experts. You will then receive written feedback by mail. Ten winners are selected in the Science4Life Venture Cup and one winner of the Science4Life Energy Cup.
Closing date phase III: 04/13/2018
Science4Life Venture Cup awards:
1st – 5th place participation four-day-workshop (founders’ workshop)
1st place € 25,000
2nd place € 10,000
3rd place € 5,000
4th and 5th places € 3,000
6th –10th place € 2,000 each
Science4Life Energy Cup award:
1st – Individual workshop
1st place € 10,000
What is Science4Life?
Science4Life is a society that supports founders and young entrepreneurs in the field of Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Energy. It is supported by the Government of the State of Hesse in Germany, by the global healthcare leader Sanofi and by more than 180 companies and institutions. Science4Life was established in 1998. Since then the Science4Life Venture Cup, the business plan contest, has been conducted annually. The 20th round started on September 1st, awarding the winners with a total sum of 82.000€.
What is the Science4Life Energy Cup?
This a special prize within the business plan competition awarding the best business ideas in the field of energy with prize money of 13.500€. The Science4Life Energy Cup intends to support founders with innovative ideas from different energy sectors like renewable energy, energy storage, power efficiency, digitalization, systems and network technologies, e-mobility, and many more.
My company has not been founded yet, can I participate in Science4Life Venture Cup, the business plan competition?
Anyone having an idea in the field of Life Sciences or Chemistry can participate. Young companies entering the Science4Life Venture Cup contest must not be older than one year. The foundation of the company should therefore not have been earlier than 1 September 2016.
How much does the participation cost?
Participation is free of charge.
Are there regional limitations to the competition?
Participation is not restricted to Germany. Participants have come from West and East European countries and also from the USA. In 2003, the winning team came from Austria.
How do I apply for the competition?
Registration is possible under www.science4life.de. Participation is strictly confidential.
How many levels are there in the business plan competition?
There are three levels: Idea phase (Phase I), conceptual phase (Phase II), business plan phase (Phase III).
Can I apply for the competition after the idea or conceptual phase?
It is possible to skip the first and or second level.
Why does participation pay off for me?
Every participant receives the participation manual and is invited to attend seminars and to apply with a business idea with the chance to attend the workshops. Coaches from industry and science will assist throughout the competition. After each level every participant will receive feedback written by an experienced team of consultants. Participants will have opportunities to meet many former participants and successful founders, who are happy to pass on their personal experience, from one entrepreneur to another.