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Career Story: Assistant Director and Programme Manager, IndieBio EU

Steven O Connell

Job title
Assistant Director and Programme Manager
Company
IndieBio EU
Industry
Biotechnology
Experience
2.5 Years
Education
  1. Degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  2. Masters in Biotechnology and Business
Favourite subjects in school
Chemistry and Biology
The best thing about my job
Seeing companies evolve rapidly within three months to go from an idea on paper to an investable company is a great rush.

An interest in the business aspect of biotechnology is a plus as it helps you to understand how intricately linked both are to make commercial products a reality.

The ability to network is crucial to explore potential future opportunities and partnerships to improve the Irish and global ecosystem for start-ups.

My main tasks

As the Assistant Director I help to provide scientific and technical due diligence on potential candidates for our accelerator and create new partnerships with different organisations to increase outreach. 

As the Programme Manager I help to structure the IndieBio EU Accelerator Programme in a mini-MBA style format where we give scientists comprehensive business training such as business planning, strategy, sales, marketing and social media.

What I like

Seeing companies evolve rapidly within three months to go from an idea on paper to an investable company is a great rush. 

Challenges

The role requires a lot of intensive emails, scheduling to coordinate our operations with our back office team at SOSV and our relationships with investors, mentors, clients and partners.

Work/life balance 

I have a lot of autonomy (freedom) in my job so it is a great platform to expand my own knowledge base, promote entrepreneurship among science students and also to travel and make new connections to help improve the Irish & Global Ecosystem for Biotech start-ups.

I never need to take my work home with me or to work overtime or weekends.

I am active weekly, I do powerlifting regularly as well as swimming, rock climbing and cycling.

What influenced me 

The movement of biotechnology from billion dollar companies to lean biohacker spaces means it has never been easier to form your own unique career by using biology as a technology for diverse areas. Also at a later stage having the opportunity to tackle legislation and improve the regulatory landscape so research can enter the market faster would be another interest I want to pursue.

Most useful aspects of my education 

The technical understanding from my undergraduate in addition to the business training from my masters have given me a unique insight into how operations are to be carried out when supporting the commercialisation of early stage scientific research.

Useful work experience

Having a broader interest in areas like sales, marketing, social media and blogging are also great skills to have to create your own unique voice and help promote positive change.