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The ABC of CEOs

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, as a CEO you are the key figure in your company. On his or her shoulders lies the responsibility of developing the enterprise and leading the co-workers forward. Acquiring the right tools and qualities vital for good leadership is of crucial importance to any CEO running a life science company or other type of business. This is something that the life science cluster initiative Biotech Umeå has taken into account by organizing a course for CEOs, focusing on life science and IT companies.

“Over recentt years we have identified that management and leadership, as well as entrepreneurship overall within life science, is a highly prioritized area,” says Pia Keyser, at Biotech Umeå. “Many of the companies that emerge here in Umeå are run by scientists and researchers. Even if they have all the competence within their specific field, not everyone knows how to get their business to grow. This is particularly a problem for CEOs of start-up companies who have expressed a will to strengthen their knowledge within leadership and business management.”

The two-day class covered several different topics relevant for CEOs, such as legislation and responsibility towards the board and owners, as well as towards the employees. Participants came mainly from the IT and the life science sectors, but companies from other fields attended as well. The course, which was held at the end of November last year, was a collaborative initiative arranged by Biotech Umeå, Uminova Innovation and InfoTech Umeå.

“The Umeå region suffers from the lack of big pharma in the area that could help generate spin-offs as well as general business knowledge and entrepreneurship. This course is a way to help our life science CEOs and the Umeå life science region,” says Pia Keyser, who also finds that knowledge in leadership is becoming better among CEOs with a background in science.

“We can see that the younger researchers coming out into the business world have been able to attend some university courses. The universities are investing more in leadership training for academics, and particularly women, to help boost their careers.”