26 Apr 2021
DPhil student admitted into Newton Venture Program
Miroslav Gasparek will receive training in investment in venture capital.
DPhil student Miroslav Gasparek has been admitted onto the Newton Venture Program, an investor training program that aims to make investing in early-stage ventures more accessible and “to train the tech investors of the future to back the companies of tomorrow”, says Miroslav.
Miroslav is a second year DPhil student of Engineering Science. He applies methods of control theory in synthetic biology to design and analyze novel biological systems, such as engineered microbial communities
Miroslav tells us more about the training, “Newton Venture Program aims to disrupt the ecosystem by increasing the diversity of VC investors and developing them so they have equal opportunity to thrive. It is the first-of-its-kind investor training program for investors who fuel the global innovation ecosystem: VCs, LPs, angels, accelerators, and tech transfer officers worldwide.”
The program has a vision that by the year 2030 at least 50% of each cohort will be female, and at least 50% will be from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
What motivated Miroslav to apply is the potential for bringing engineering to more people, “I think that there are two things that are required to help people through innovations: First, we need to invent new things, be it a development of a new piece of software or novel drug discovery. Second, we must make sure that our invention reaches the market and can help people. When utilized properly, venture financing can really help with the latter part of the process”
“As researchers, we are often focusing on the first step, but I also wanted to learn more about the second step, which I feel is sometimes neglected. Hence, I applied for the Newton Venture Program”
"At the conceptual level, as researchers we have to think critically, ask tough and meaningful questions and learn to rationally analyze the presented data. And as engineers, we always have to ask: "Does it really work?" "
There is also the side of what Miroslav’s experience in engineering will bring to investors, “I think that training in engineering and research work bring two valuable benefits to aspiring investors. From the practical perspective, my training in engineering and synthetic biology gives me ability to better understand technological concepts behind the innovation that company brings - especially if the company focuses on biotech. At the conceptual level, as researchers we have to think critically, ask tough and meaningful questions and learn to rationally analyze the presented data. And as engineers, we always have to ask: "Does it really work?""
Lastly, Miroslav adds what he is looking forward to from the program, “I am looking forward to learning more about the mechanics of VC investments - and I hope that at some point in the future, I will be able to leverage this knowledge to help support innovative companies, especially from the Central and Eastern European regions.”
Miroslav expresses his gratitude for the scholarship from Phoenix Court Works that allows him to take part in this program.