Venture capital, Beverina (Panakès Partners): innovation and startups fundamental

Alessio Beverina, founder of Panakès Partners, a venture capital company, and Giorgio Racagni, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Milan, discuss the challenges of investing in startups in the Life Sciences, and about the future of life sciences in Italy and tips for entrepreneurs.

Alessio Beverina is the founder of Panakès Partners, a venture capital company that invests in startups in the life science sector and has contributed to the birth and establishment of Italian Tech Alliance, the Italian association of venture capital and VC financed startups.

Our goal is to invest in the medtech and biotech startups in Italy and abroad. Today, Panakès manages two funds totalling 250 million euros, with the largest one being the Purple fund created in 2021 with a size of 175 million euros.”

Panakès,” Beverina adds, “has twenty companies in its portfolio that are addressing and attempting to solve a range of health issues, from oncology to osteoporosis, from cardiovascular to ophthalmology.”

Here are the challenges a venture capital company face

Regarding the challenges faced by a venture capital company, Beverina mentions that “the fundamental challenge is to choose the best ones using our skills, competences, experience and network, out of over 1500 investment opportunities per year,” and then “to grow the projects we have invested in the best possible way, by supporting the companies with team building, clinical and regulatory strategy helps, and additional financial help, till the exit.”

Italy excels in research, as evidenced by “the number of scientific publications and their quality,” but “the number of research projects that becomes products is still limited, and the number of startups created and subsequently funded is even lower.” The reasons are many, says Beverina: there is a lack of capital “needed for proof of concept but also for subsequent stages,” a lack of adequate TTO and advanced research centers, and a lack of management taking the early stage risk”; as well as the need for “long-term strategies from the government; In Italy, unfortunately, innovation and research, not only in the Life Science sector, are not considered assets to invest in.”

I hope,” Beverina concludes, “that the government, in a very serious and forward-thinking manner, considers that innovation, technology and startups, are fundamental for the wellbeing of their citizen and the economy of the Country.”