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Panel discussion: The key ingredients of successful spinout teams

A PhD student who sets up a spinout and becomes its CEO is 21% better at returning an investor’s money than a serial founder would be if installed in the same spinout. Even more impressively, a PhD student turned chief executive is 46% better at making a venture capital fund money than a former CEO from a large company would be.

That phenomenal stat comes from Nii Dodoo-Amoo, an investor with Osage University Partners, a US venture capital firm that backs university spinouts. But Dodoo-Amoo isn’t the only one who’s found this to be true: Herman Verrelst, founding partner of healthtech-focused investor Heran Partners agrees that what he’s dubbed the *Pipi Longstocking approach* — “I’ve never done this before so I think I can do it” — is helpful when it comes to spinouts, which are often businesses with a cutting-edge technology that requires a novel business approach.

Verrelst and Dodoo-Amoo are two of the panellists discussing how to build successful startup teams together with Anne Dobrée, director of programming for Founders at the University of Cambridge (a programmatic approach to building startup founding teams), and Rayner Lim, innovation lead for investment readiness at the British national innovation agency Innovate UK.

The discussion is led by Simon Hepworth, director of enterprise at Imperial College London, and was recorded in partnership with international tech transfer collaboration tenU. It is the first part of a mini-series and will continue with a focus on diversity next month.

Follow Thierry Heles on LinkedIn.

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