The team needs to be “on fire!” – A talk with IZB

The IZB has been in Martinsried since 1995. The Innovation and Start-Up Center for Biotechnology (Innovationszentrum für Biotechnologie – IZB) has produced quite a few successful companies since then, such as Morphosys, Amsilk GmbH, Exosome and a plethora of other big names in the scene. It comes as no surprise, then, that they are continuously 100% booked. We dug a bit deeper to find out about the IZB’s secret to success.

Please tell us about yourselves!

The Fördergesellschaft IZB mbH, founded in 1995, is the operating company for the Innovation and Startup Center for Biotechnology in Planegg-Martinsried and Freising-Weihenstephan. It has become one of the world’s top ten biotechnology centers, with more than 60 biotech companies and over 650 employees working in the 280,000 square-foot center.

The Planegg-Martinsried location accommodates startups with a focus on medical biotechnology in its 247,500 square-foot facility. Since 2002, the IZB in Freising-Weihenstephan has been able to provide the ideal conditions for startups in the field of life sciences in over 32,000 square feet of space. The IZB GmbH team includes 15 employees, and the IZB Residence CAMPUS AT HOME comprises a group of 10.

A competent and flexible point of contact for more than 20 years

The following services help startups quickly advance at the IZB:

– On-site real estate management
– Location marketing plus press and public relations for the IZB and startups
– Faculty Club G2B for campus-based networking
– IZB CAMPUS AT HOME residence for guests of Campus Martinsried
– SEVEN AND MORE restaurant and the Freshmaker café/restaurant
– Elhardt School of Chemistry
– IZB conference location for startups and external clients
– Biotech Press Lounge (3 times a year) and IZBrunch (monthly) as regular networking events

What do you focus on when working with startups?

An important criterion for being accepted as a startup at the IZB is for their work to be relevant in the field of biotechnology. In addition, the concept and business plan also need to be substantial. The personality and conviction of the entrepreneur are also of utmost importance. Because the IZB has been 100% booked for years, it is important to contact us ahead of time to avoid having to wait too long for a new office space.


To be successful, a startup needs to …

… have a well formulated business plan and intelligently defined company goals, which they enthusiastically implement with the right cooperation partners …. and the startup team needs to be “on fire” for their idea.

Why would a good startup even need a startup center and/or you to back them?

With 20 years of experience, we are a competent and flexible point of contact for all matters that have to do with founding a biotech company. We are also able to find solutions for every startup need, from looking for investors to finding the right cooperation partners. With the new Faculty Club G2B (Gateway to Biotech), top researchers from Campus Martinsried are able to network in a relaxed environment. The IZB also offers networking events, such as the monthly IZBrunch and the Biotech Press Lounge, which is held three times a year, as a platform for getting to know one another and creating new joint projects.

What is the biggest mistake a startup can make?

Starting a business without establishing the proper company structure. If a GmbH is not formed, the entrepreneur is personally liable. Another mistake is thinking that financing will take just a few weeks – it takes a year!

The trend of the year is…

Having a beer at the FacultyClub G2B while looking out over the entire Bavarian alpine panorama.

What makes the Munich startup scene/the IZB so special?

A key component in the IZB’s success is its proximity to top-level research facilities at Ludwig Maximilian University and the renowned biotechnology research facilities of Campus Martinsried, including the Max Planck Institutes for neurobiology and biochemistry, the Helmholtz Zentrum, the Gene Center and the Klinikum Großhadern.

All institutes can be found here.

Last but not least: Whom should startups contact if they would like to get in touch with you?

Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, CEO of the IZB
Email: office@izb-online.de
Telephone: +49 (0)89/5527948-0