EBD Group: Carola Schropp




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Video title: EBD Group: Carola Schropp
Released on: August 21, 2008. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this interview, filmed at Bio-Europe Madrid, Fintan Walton talks to Carola Schropp, President and founder of the EBD Group. EBD has organised the partnering conference Bio-Europe since 1993 to enable networking between Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies and in September 2008 will launch BioPharm America. Carola Schropp discusses changes in this fast-growing industry, the ideas behind Bio-Europe and the part that such conferences play in deal making processes.
EBD Group enters into conference making
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaVentures Business Review with the special interview with Carola Schropp, who is the President and Founder of the EBD Group. Welcome to the show.
Carola Schropp:
Thanks for having me.
Fintan Walton:
Carola Schropp, your organization has built a good reputation for partnering conferences. How did EBD Group get into conference making?
Carola Schropp:
Well actually it was we found that we, I use to go to a lot of conferences in the United States and founded really easy to network with people, you just go get up and talk to somebody and I found the Europeans are little more stiff, they use to hang out in groups and it was hard to break in and so it's really a personal experience. And I decided we needed a more formal way of getting people together. So if you put them at a table then they talk to each other but they won't go up or get up and talk to somebody.
BIO-Europe’s Conference and its significance
Fintan Walton:
So it was quite a novel concept and the first conference that you ran if I understand was back in Heidelberg in 1996?
Carola Schropp:
That's correct.
Fintan Walton:
In association with, BIO, the BIO industry organization in the United States.
Carola Schropp:
That's correct, yeah.
Fintan Walton:
How do that come about?
Carola Schropp:
Well it came about from a need from the American companies, they needed to be they need to meet the European pharmaceutical industry and at the time if you remember there were many more European pharmaceutical companies that were all merged.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
And so our job was to provide a forum where the American biotechs it is only 25 at that time could meet with the European pharmaceutical industry.
Fintan Walton:
Right. So that was the original idea of BIO-Europe?
Carola Schropp:
Exactly.
Fintan Walton:
Back in Heidelberg in 1996. Now since that time you've run numerous BIO-Europe's in different locations primarily in Germany itself?
Carola Schropp:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
How has that changed, how the things evolved for you?
Carola Schropp:
Well, I mean you just look at the numbers, we had 176 people in Heidelberg and we had 2200 people in Hambrook. And of course you could argue that the industry grew and of course it did. But I mean if you look at our competitors they stayed around the same level the our nearest competitor has 1200 attendees. So even this meeting which is only in its second year has 1400 attendees.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
So it has grown in a sense of the -- you know participation of people, but it's also grown in the need, the need for partnering.
Fintan Walton:
Okay.
Carola Schropp:
So pharmaceutical companies in 1996 used to tell us, I mean why do we need the biotech's for, we have our own pipeline and research and they have come to understand that the more innovative drugs, drug candidates and our products in general come from the biotech industry.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
Because it's the whole environment of the company.
BIO-Europe Spring: The reaction to the Business development
Fintan Walton:
We are talking obviously about BIO-Europe here in Madrid, it's the second spring conference that you've held. The first one was in Milan. It was a pretty bold step to start doing spring conferences too, why do you do that?
Carola Schropp:
Yes it was, because I mean lot of people are talking about the fact that the market is saturated, there are too many partnering [ph] conferences. But we you know it's a reaction, BIO-Europe Spring is the reaction to the business development community. They are saying you know we need to have another meeting in this spring, this partnering you know it's not like you meet once and then you know you've got a deal on that table.
Fintan Walton:
Yes.
Carola Schropp:
This is partnering, is a very human experience.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
It's all about human, human's meeting face-to-face and then coming together and then the pharma companies whom we call the buyers you know saying well we need you to get to the next level and so as a biotech company we wanna keep the deal hot and you wanna keep meeting with the people.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Carola Schropp:
And you know the pharmaceutical industry and they have attended BIO-Europe with 20 or more people, and we've had 5 pharma companies. So it really shows you that the pharmaceutical industry is really in need of a biotech producers.
Conferences playing a role in deal making processes
Fintan Walton:
Carola Schropp, one of the key things about these conferences that the fact people can meet up and so forth. So what is it actually going on then when people attend the conferences like yours?
Carola Schropp:
Well, we believe it's a very active process, you know people have meetings they are bound to attend the meeting and actually by now the compliance is very, very high.
Fintan Walton:
Yes.
Carola Schropp:
People know the business dev community, they know the process. They sit down, they have the 25 minutes and you know this is the official officially scheduled meetings over them. But if you look around all these peoples sitting everywhere, it's also important to meet people over and over again.
Fintan Walton:
Definitely.
Carola Schropp:
To do deals.
Fintan Walton:
Deal making is a process and this is one step in the process?
Carola Schropp:
Exactly.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Carola Schropp:
I mean, after this you know you have these companies do due diligences all of that, we have nothing to do with it. We are just in the first phase but also sometimes in the later phases, because what we think we capture is the human element.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
Of deal making, getting together you know even in the evenings having fun together.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
That's the part of the deal.
Launch of BioPharm America Conference
Fintan Walton:
Very important. And you've also started to do conferences in North America now?
Carola Schropp:
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
Could you tell us about those conferences?
Carola Schropp:
Yes. The in, our European conferences have grown to become the largest standalone conferences. And a lot of the BD communities in the United States are saying to us, well why are you not doing anything in the United States which is largest market.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
For biotech. And we do there is BIO, BIO has a business dev meeting but it's part of a larger meeting.
Fintan Walton:
Yes.
Carola Schropp:
With 20,000 peoples.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Carola Schropp:
So it is the business dev community saying to us we want something like that where it's just us.
Fintan Walton:
Sure. And so you've now launched BioPharm America, is that right?
Carola Schropp:
Exactly, yeah.
Fintan Walton:
And where is that going to take place?
Carola Schropp:
It's going to be in Atlanta, Georgia September 7th to 9th of this year.
Fintan Walton:
Of 2008. Carola Schropp, hope to see you at Atlanta and at the first conference of BioPharm America. Well thank you.
Carola Schropp:
So do I. Thank you very much.
Carola Schropp
President and founder
Ms Carola Schropp founded the EBD Group in January of 1993. In the past 10 years, Ms. Carola Schropp has built EBD Group into one of the leading business development organizations using conferences as a venue to facilitate partnerships. For more than 20 years, Carola Schropp has been a strategic planning and business development consultant to technology firms. In 1995, she started the BIO-Europe Conference together with BIO,Biotechnology Industry Association to provide a forum for the Biotechnology and the Pharma industry to get together. Before EBD, Carola Schropp worked for other consulting companies including as Managing Director of ExperConsult, Inc., and Marketing Director at European Marketing and Sales (EMS) LTD. a consulting company headquartered in London. From 1985 to 1989 she held consultant and senior consultant positions at International Data Corporation in Framingham, MA. Ms Carola Schropp has written a number of articles published in industry publications, such as Nature Biotechnology, BioEntrepreneur, Genetic Engineering News, BioPharm, GIT, and BioCommerce Data Ltd.
EBD Group
EBD Group The leading firm for partnering in the life sciences, EBD Group organizes and mark conferences for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Building on this expertise, and with an unrivaled access to major players in these markets, EBD Group provides partnering services to other event organizers, and hands-on business development consultancy to support strategic partnering worldwide. EBD Groupoperates from offices in North America and Europe. Since the firm's inception in 1993, EBD Group's people have been partnering experts, driving together biotech innovation with the muscle of big pharma, where partnerships, as much as products, are generating spectacular growth.