Founders & Funders


A community to bridge the gap between science and business

Founders & Funders

Founders & Funders is a community and digital event series that brings notable alumni and funders in conversation with researchers and executive students at the coalface of science and business.

We offer:

  1. Keynote events: The keynotes are science business founders and funders, some Oxford-based, many alumni, but mostly drawn in from the wider ecosystem, such as leading experts and alumni based in Silicon Valley, Boston, and beyond.
  2. A unique community and ecosystem network: An integrated access point for science-entrepreneurship, addressing venture building, funding, mentorship, as well as academia – industry collaboration. The community facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges between entrepreneurial peers that are starting or have started a (science-)venture, notable alumni, and relevant ecosystem stakeholders.

Who can participate

Early career research scientists (Postdocs and DPhils), (Executive) MBAs, ecosystem stakeholders (entrepreneurs, investors, incubators and accelerators), and others interested in innovation and entrepreneurship (Oxford alumni and interested parties both local and across the globe).

How to participate and join the network

To attend please email Each chat has a max of 20-25 people to ensure fair interaction among the attendees.

    The series is hosted by

    June 2 (15.30 - 17.00)


    Sebastian Nijman, PhD, Co-founder and CSO of Scenic Biotech BV

    Sebastian is Co-founder and CSO of Scenic Biotech. The Company was founded in 2017 as a spin-out of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oxford University. Scenic specialises in evolution inspired medicine for rare diseases by focusing on identifying genetic modifiers for drug intervention. Through licensing from partners, and through their own strategy, Scenic has build a strong intellectual property portfolio covering its Cell-Seq platform technology, its therapeutic targets, and its chemistry. In 2020 Scenic entered into a multi-year strategic collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapeutics that target genetic modifiers. The total deal value could exceed US $375M.

    Sebastian received his scientific training at The Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. He held a faculty position in Vienna at the CeMM before being appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford (Nuffield Department of Medicine). There, he held faculty positions as an Associate Member at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and as Director of Functional Genomics at The Target Discovery Institute. Sebastian is a founder and former COO of Haplogen GmbH and a founder and former CEO of Scenic Biotech.

    Past sessions

    This programme is made possible by