Company spotlight: OBN
Published on 15 December 2023
Supporting the UK’s most innovative life sciences companies, corporate partners and investors, the Milton Park team caught up with Park-based OBN to learn how it creates opportunities to help startups thrive, network and grow.
OBN is a not-for-profit membership organisation and has been supporting life science companies for around 20 years.
Its mission is to catalyse success in life sciences, with a focus on supporting early-stage companies in need of connections, training and business expertise, helping them to become a viable entity and an attractive investment proposition.
OBN has been based at Milton Park for over a decade and recently moved into an office at the Park’s Bee House.
Stuart Rose, OBN’s CEO, explains the company’s recent move: “The facilities at Bee House have been a real benefit for our staff and have helped to future proof the organisation. There is a ‘buzz’ of other like-minded people around, and we’re constantly bumping into our members.”
A safe haven for early entrepreneurs
Ranging from individuals to more established companies, OBN’s 480+ member strong network comprises 60% research and development SMEs. These members are often entrepreneurs, post-doctorate university graduates or clinicians considering spinning out and becoming startups.
OBN offers a safe and welcoming environment for these budding entrepreneurs; somewhere which provides the elements to succeed commercially, helping them to build on the incredible knowledge surrounding their own specialised technology.
OBN’s three promises
The promises that OBN makes to its members are focused on helping them to grow sustainably and thrive commercially.
- Get investment – through introductions to investors looking to help startups grow and thrive, or pharmaceutical companies looking for partnerships or acquisitions.
- Save time and money – by broadening knowledge and skills through connections, and via OBN’s purchasing consortium. The consortium gives members access to discounts while still benefitting from direct relationships with suppliers. It enabled OBN to save its members £10m across 220 companies last year, with average savings of 45% compared to normal rates.
- Create connections – with 50+ events per year attracting a pool of 4,000 people, OBN connects members with others in the life science ecosystem to help with their growth journeys.
OBN’s most recent cornerstone event was its Awards, with the 15th ceremony last month.
The Awards, of which Milton Park is a gold sponsor, are an excellent opportunity to shine a light on outstanding companies within the life sciences industry. Prize categories range from Biotech and Medtech to Digital Health, recognising achievements from emerging R&D companies to large pharmaceutical and life sciences investors.
What’s next for OBN?
2024 is expected to be a big year for OBN, with plans to launch a new website in addition to delivering an eclectic programme of networking events.
BioSeed, to be held on 22 January, is a fast-paced, one-day pitching event where innovative early-stage life sciences companies will have the chance to showcase to and meet with an extensive audience of active life sciences investors.
Meanwhile, OBN’s biggest event of the year, BioTrinity, will be held from 23-24 April with up to 800+ delegates expected to attend. The two-day partnering, knowledge sharing and investment conference for the life sciences industry is designed to catalyse growth for all who attend.
Additionally, Milton Park will be hosting several OBN events at the Park during 2024. The team looks forward to seeing you there!