In an interview with Eugene Borukhovich, Bayer’s Global Head of Innovation, he dispels the industry’s misunderstanding about corporations and startups working together.
How did you get into the pharmaceutical industry?
I was born as a geek and technologist and had an opportunity to join a Pharmacy Benefit Manager in the United States many years ago, realizing I could apply my tech skills to help heal people. I am a serial intra- and entrepreneur, and about 1.5 years ago joined Bayer. And for the first time, I am now working directly inside the Life Science industry.
Why is the mission and work of Startup Health important to you?
The StartUp Health team has been on an amazing journey. Not only the concept, but more importantly the execution, of creating a global Health Transformer army focused on key moonshots to improve our society. The system is to be admired!
Tell us about Bayer’s Grants4Apps program.
Grants4Apps was born five years ago by visionary Jesus del Valle Rosales, and literally at the time was grants for apps. The team has been run like a startup itself, continuously pivoting and innovating with introductions of programs to connect the world to Bayer and Bayer to the world. The core of the program is 100-day accelerator in Berlin, but we have had amazing uptake of the different models across the world within Bayer. Our stem4health meetups are in over 30 countries and growing every week; our co-working spaces are popping up from Moscow to Milan; and our accelerator program expanded to Shanghai as well.
What is Dealmaker?
We recently introduced Dealmaker for more mature startups. It is very transaction oriented, to solve the industry’s challenges. With over 800 applications, Dealmaker turned into a one-day event where we picked the top 40 startups and, together with our challenge owners, legal, procurement and other key experts, we were able to sign letters of intent for a percentage of those companies THAT DAY! We are replicating this model now in the United States, focused on selfcare as the Grants4Apps Generator—so stay tuned for more news at the StartUp Health Festival. This is the passion and dedication of our #G4A Global family of innovators.