Bringing people together and creating innovation – that is exactly what Jérôme Lutz always wanted to do. When the urge got too strong to hold back, he left his job and started up as a networker in the biotech scene.
Technology and setting up innovative companies was something that TUM Alumnus Jérôme Lutz was already enthusiastic about while studying TUM-BWL. Excited about the technical progress that is possible within a network of different disciplines, he discovered UnternehmerTUM GmbH and worked there as a student. Inspired by this entrepreneurial environment, he started his own start-up parallel to studying, that operates the software of the TUM infoscreens.
After completing his studies, he relocated to the start-up capital Berlin, where he worked in several start-ups and breathed in the entrepreneurial air of the city. However, after four years there, he still held on tight to his desire to create technical innovations with other tech enthusiasts. In 2015 he founded the online platform SynBio.Info, entering the biotechnology scene with it – an area for which he had been enthusiastic already during his schooldays.
The collective brain of the tech community
SynBio stands for synthetic biology - a relatively new discipline in biotechnology. For Lutz, synthetic biology is “the most amazing industry there is at the moment.” In this discipline, molecular biologists work together with software experts, mechanical engineers, chemists and designers. For example, this way DNA can be programmed, reconstructed in the laboratory and then inserted into an organism. A world without hunger, disease and energy problems is within reach,” says Lutz, not hiding his enthusiasm.
With the non-profit infrastructure of SynBio.Info, Lutz created a “collective brain”, as he calls it, which aims to stimulate exchange. Originally, it actually started up as a personal notebook, but he soon realized that this could become the ideal platform for exchanging ideas and learning from each other. Since then, SynBio has become a community and a community blog. More than 20 authors document and share the progress and discoveries taking place in the synthetic bio-scene.
Mutual inspiration at meetups and hackathons
His aim of the tech community with the ideas from the synthetic biology community is one that Lutz pursues unabated – also outside of his own platform.
As a passionate networker, he organizes monthly meetups, where enthusiasts and professionals exchange ideas and inspire one another. Typical of his generation, he believes firmly in achieving success through cooperation and in a collective setting. “Sharing instead of being a lone wolf” is the motto of Generation Y and the tech and hacking experts of the present.
This is also one of the reasons why Lutz returned to Munich and to UnternehmerTUM in 2016 where he founded the division [x] together with some like-minded persons. Under the motto „We bring science fiction to your doorstep“, the team organizes hackathons und prototype challenges. The [x] team connect (bio-)hackers, students, entrepreneurs and companies, who pair up as joint teams and create the technology of tomorrow.
His passion for synthetic biology makes him look with optimism to the future: “Who knows, maybe we will soon have reached a point where the idea of a limited life span will be a thing of the past – may it be via biological approaches, by uploading the brain in the cloud or living as a robot one day.”
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