A new UCL spin-out company – Autolus – is being launched today to develop and commercialise a new generation of engineered T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours, with the backing of £30m in investment from healthcare investment company Syncona.
21 November 2012
Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture Series: Immaculada Martinez
Immaculada Martinez is “a good friend at UCL”, where she works as a mentor and is known for taking students’ ideas to the market and investing in their start ups.
Her mid-November talk at UCL represented a transition in the series of Entrepreneurship lectures: with Immaculada we get a glimpse of the big players in the entrepreneurial London scene.
“The intangible World” is where Immaculada Martinez starts from and, she adds, the ideal starting point for all entrepreneurs. What Immaculada refers to is the world of legal intangibles –trade secrets, copyrights, patents- which need to be planned for and executed in order to be competitive on the market. For instance, a company’s possession of a technological pattern is, to the eyes of potential investors, a great competitive advantage: “if the deal goes bust, at least they get to keep and sell your pattern”.
Furthermore, Immaculada stresses the importance of what she calls “human capitals”: collaboration between people and knowledge of the market. Closely linked to the human capitals, “social capitals” are the second magic ingredient in entrpreneurship: Immaculada means the experience, degree of know-how and social cohesion achieved by a company. By social cohesion, Immaculada means the relations which unify people in a team. If these work well, investors will also value them highly in monetary terms.
A company which for Immaculada exemplifies success is Panoramio. Founded by a group of Spaniards, Panoramio reached its peak with the release of an application which permitted to upload images on the web and share their geographic location. Noteworthy is the fact that such application preceded the release of any I-, andorid-, or smart- phones; its idea was therefore ground breaking. Soon an offer from Google came, Panoramio was bought, and hence the popularity of Google Earth. What Immaculada especially admires in Panoramio is its organised and systematic creativeness.
How to manage creative talent is probably the hardest and most precious lesson to be learnt: the mixing of human resources with technical skills, such as those offered by a software engineer, constructing a strong yet flexible company structure and developing an ability to design. “Success and failure have nothing to do with products. They follow the products’ management”: what ultimately makes an entrepreneur is this never ending process of creating and learning which leads him to incessant invention and innovation.
Besides being an entrepreneur, Immaculada also works as an investor and corporate advisor. She is a partner at Opus Corporate Finance LLP, a firm which provides financial, strategy-related and creative advice to businesses in Europe and the UK, and she has been defined by Fortune and Time as a world leading digital media strategist. Immaculada is an exceptional woman, entrepreneur and speaker: she embodies her ideals and is of inspiration to her listeners.
Written by Carolina Mostert