GAP Biosciences Business Basic Workshop, Pretoria, 30-31 May 2013

ACGT Support Scientist, Jessika Samuels recently attended the two day workshop and reports the highlights of the event.

The GAP Biosciences workshop agenda promised to be an intensive two day programme covering all aspects of how to translate laboratory innovations into market ready products, including all the steps and considerations in between. Looking through the agenda I remember thinking, that the information to be covered was extensive for a two day workshop. I wondered how I would manage through all the jargon and business terms that I was only vaguely familiar with.

To my surprise, the lectures were easy to follow and understand. The presenters were exceptional and relayed the subject matter in an effortless and simple manner. The presenters, Emory University Alumni and local experts alike were friendly, approachable and ever willing to answer questions of the audience both during lectures and breakout sessions.

Lectures I found especially useful were those concerning biotech business models and writing successful business plans. I especially liked the approach of using case studies in which there were scenarios where everything went close to perfect and others where things went horribly wrong, to teach the audience the do’s and don’ts. The banter amongst the presenters themselves and the audience created an atmosphere that was conducive to learning and open discussions. The local success stories were heart-warming and enlightening on the realities of managing a business and taking a product to market in SA.

Overall, I found all the lectures highly informative and well presented. The workshop provided a comprehensive overview of the sometimes long and arduous journey from laboratory breakthrough to commercialisation, intellectual property protection, business models and plans, patent strategies, funding and local success stories all packed into two days.

If you are interested in developing bio-products, have a product that requires further development, or are an up and coming researcher with entrepreneurial ambitions, I recommend you attend this workshop.

For more information on the GAP Biosciences competition and the 2014 workshop go to  GAP Biosciences website.