3rd Gemma Frisius Investment Forum

High-Tech Small Firms: Meeting the Challenges of Growth
The Importance of Strategic Partnerships

High-tech small firms, need to develop a strong, promising, high-potential, innovative technology and bring it to the market in the least amount of time. For an early-stage, high-tech company it is virtually impossible to reach this goal on its own.

Strategic partnerships enable companies to gain competitive advantage through access to a partner's resources, including markets, technologies, capital and people. Many fast-growing high-tech small firms use partnerships to benefit from more-established channels of distribution, marketing, or brand reputation of bigger, better-known players or to gain the expertise and knowledge that the larger, established companies can offer.

Nevertheless, strategic partnerships can also carry a number of potential drawbacks. Hence, before entering into a partnership, enough thought should be placed with respect to the structure of the relationship. In addition, partnerships are ongoing relationships and must be managed properly if they are to be effective.

As companies experiencing an accelerated growth also face specific challenges with respect to the company's financials, the topic of financing growth of high-tech small firms will also be discussed.

During this seminar experienced speakers will discuss the nature of strategic partnering, the advantages and drawbacks, and address issues like:
- how to look for strategic partners?
- what are the necessary conditions for creating a successful partnership?
- how should a partnership be structured?
- what are the expectations of a big industrial player when getting into a partnership with a high-tech small firm?
- how to maintain strategic partnerships?

Who should attend
- High-tech entrepreneurs & CEO's from high-tech firms
- Investors, venture capitalists & other financial partners
- Consultants offering services to high-tech companies
- Technology transfer officers
- Entrepreneurial researchers
- Business development people from large and medium-sized high-tech companies

08h45 Registration
09h30 Growing high-tech companies: the challenges they face - Koenraad Debackere (Chairman, Gemma Frisius Fund and Managing Director, K.U.Leuven R&D)
10h00 Financing growth: an entrepreneur's perspective - Gil Beyen (CEO, TiGenix)
10h30 Coffee
11h00 Strategic partnering in the CAD/CAM market: an entrepreneur's perspective - Bart Van Coppenolle (CEO, Metris)
11h30 The Gemma Frisius Fund: experiences in supporting the growth of high-tech small firms - Raf Moons (Senior Investment Manager, Fortis Private Equity)
12h00 Sandwich lunch
13h30 Strategic partnerships at Philips Research - Loek Nijman (Senior Vice President, Philips Research, Eindhoven)
14h00 Strategic partnering in the pharmaceutical industry: the perspective of Innogenetics - Michel Baijot (VP Business Development, Innogenetics)
14h30 Panel discussion - Meeting the challenges of growth: financial aspects, R&D and market development
Moderator: Guy Haemers (former Executive Vice President, Bekaert)
Panel: Gil Beyen (TiGenix) - Dirk Callaerts (Eyetronics) - Stefan Gogaert (AnSem) - Bart Van Coppenolle (Metris) - Loek Nijman (Philips Research) - Michel Baijot (Innogenetics) - Koenraad Debackere (GFF)
15h30 Coffee
15h50 Keynote presentation - International developments in financing high-tech growth firms - André Aubert (Principal, Index Ventures)
16h40 Closing remarks
17h00 Drink

Practical details
Date: November 23, 2004 (9h30-17h00)
Location: Brabanthal, Leuven
Route description: www.brabanthal.be

Seminar organizers
Leuven.Inc (Leuven Innovation Networking Circle) wants to build a relation network and a communication platform between the enterprising knowledge creators, the technology entrepreneurs and the supporting socio-economic agents. For more info on events and membership, please visit www.leuveninc.com

Gemma Frisius Fund K.U.Leuven (GFF) is a seed capital fund established in 1997 as a joint venture between K.U.Leuven, the KBC Group and the Fortis Group. The objective of the fund is to stimulate the creation and growth of university related spin-off companies at K.U.Leuven by:
1. Providing seed capital in the very early phases of research-based spin-off companies.
2. Combining the research & technology transfer expertise of the university with the financial and investment expertise of the financial partners.
More detailed information on www.kuleuven.ac.be/lrd

More information
Nicole De Smyter - Leuven.Inc
Tel.: +32 (0)16 40 11 90 - Fax +32 (0)16 40 81 47
E-mail: info@leuveninc.com

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