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elsa program

Accelerator Business Plan Entrepreneurship Networking Pitch Training Product Protection Regulatory Affairs

The Entrepreneurial Life Science Accelerator ELSA program helps life science start-ups shape their business ideas to make them viable and propel them to the next level in the shortest possible time. As a continuation of the former AHEAD Life Science Track, the program is conducted by the Life Science Factory in collaboration with our partner Fraunhofer, Helmholtz Munich and H3 Health Hub. Selected life science start-ups receive free support in a condensed period of 3×2 days, focusing on technology, market and customer understanding, as well as strategy and investor outreach.

The accelerator program emphasizes individual coaching sessions with experts on specific topics such as financing models, intellectual property (IP), or pitch training. Through interactions among themselves and with our coaches, start-ups are empowered to advance their projects intensively. The program concludes with a pitch event in front of an expert and investor jury, as well as a wide audience. All components of our program are conducted in English.

application for the ELSA Track 2024

The registration for the 2024 track is open.

Who can participate?
Individuals, teams or start-ups with a technology related to life sciences (drug development, medtech, biotech, food and more.) If you are unsure whether the ELSA program is suitable for you, please feel free to contact us.

How does the application process work?
Fill out the contact form, including a pitch deck or a short presentation (e.g., information about technology, market, team, support needs), and submit it by the end of July 2024, at the latest. The earlier we receive your application, the sooner we can start the personal exchange and provide optimal support for your idea!

Interested in participating in this year’s ELSA Track? Just fill out our contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

apply now

about the elsa program

program structure

ELSA is short for Entrepreneurial Life Science Accelerator. The ELSA program kicks off with the Bootcamp in September. The other check-ins will take place in Göttingen in the period from October to December.

What are the objectives of the ELSA program?

  •  Developing a viable business model and market validation
  •  Creating a target group oriented pitch
  •  Forming an entrepreneurial team
  •  Enhancing business development and acquisition expertise
  •  Establishing a network with relevant partners in the life science industry

What is happening at the ELSA program?

The program consists of keynote speeches and workshop sessions covering topics such as team, market and product, as well as networking events with industry partners, life science entrepreneurs and experts. The core of the program lies in the individual coaching sessions with up to 15 experts on various topics from the life science field.

process and dates

Bootcamp: Intensive kick-off day: September 5, 2024
  •  Stress test for team and project
  •  Needs assessment with lead coaches
  •  Day concludes with a special event including networking
1st Check-in: October 8-9, 2024
2nd Check-in: November 12-13, 2024
3rd Check-in: December 11-12, 2024 (including final pitch event)
  •  2-day topic workshops by experts on validation market / product / team
  •  1-on-1 coachings with life science coaches
  •  Pitch sessions and networking event with potential partners and investors

Registration for this year’s Pitch Bowl will open in October 2024.

 more about the pitch bowl

coaches & experts

Serghei Foto

Serghei Glinca

CEO & Co-Founder, CrystalsFirst

Jan Wende1zu1

Jan Wende

Managing Director, mediq innovation experts


Dr. Grit Zahn

Head of Research, Eternygen GmbH


Dr. Thomas Reichthalhammer

Consultant, MedTech360


Julia Schomburg

Geschäftsführerin, Arkadien Finanz GmbH


Siro Gottardi

Life Sciences & Health Technology Specialist


Trent Huon

Business Designer, Freelance Consultant

Schindler,Simona (4)

Simona Schindler

Biotech Venture Building, Blue Ribbon Partners

2021.12.02 Life Science Factory - Portraitaufnahmen Katrin Wallbrecht 7128_ins

dr. katrin wallbrecht

QM & Regulatory, Life Science Factory

Schuppmann, Daniel_1zu1

Daniel Schuppmann, ll.m.

Lawyer, Associate, Neuwerk

Welge, Jonas_1zu1

Dr. Jonas Welge

Lawyer, Senior Associate, Neuwerk


Dr. Edgar-John Vogt

Venture Manager, Life Science Valley


Sebastian Mähler

Managing Director Business Consulting, white IP


Dr. Anja Zimmermann

Equity Management & Valuation, Ascenion

Berit Hamer Web_1zu1

Dr. Berit Hamer

Global Health & Life Sciences Consulting

arnd_steuernagel-3374 1zu1 1MB

Dr. Arnd Steuernagel

Scientific Opportunity Development

interviews with start-ups and coaches of the program

Experiences of Mnemogen

Mnemogen participated in the Life Science Track 2019 and won the special prize “Life Sciences” at the LIFT-OFF start-up competition last year! Get an insight into the team’s experience in the interview!

Experiences of Advosense

The Advosense team also took part in the Life Science Track 2019! Insights into the team’s experiences during the track and information about the current status of the start-up can be found in the interview!

Experiences of Grit Zahn

Grit is one of our LEAD coaches in the AHEAD Life Science Track and now in the ELSA program! She already participated in the last years and will also support all teams this year. What you can learn from Grit and what is special about the Life Science Track from her point of view, you can find out in this interview!

Experiences of Thomas Reichthalhammer

Thomas already coached our teams 2020 and was a great enrichment for all teams with his expertise! Thomas as also a LEAD coach of the program – he is just like Grit a permanent contact person for the teams! How exactly Thomas supports the teams and why he is part of the AHEAD Life Science Track, you can read in the interview!



Max Zinowsky

Community Coordinator
+49 151 580 787 98

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