Meet the ttopstart team: Consultant Delielena Poli

26 June 2023

At ttopstart we work in an international team of creative innovators. In our series ‘Meet the ttopstart team’ we introduce you to our colleagues. We interviewed Delielena about her passion for science, love for her job and her journey.

Delielena is a consultant part of the Program Leadership and Business Leadership teams. Together with the teams she supports innovators and researchers with entrepreneurial ambition in obtaining funding for their technologies and she helps EU-granted projects in strategizing the exploitation of the results and the sustainability after the funded period.

When did your love for science and innovation start?

‘I’ve always been fascinated by the field of life sciences especially about learning how molecular mechanisms work and translating this knowledge into concrete solutions. I had a first-person experience of the process of innovation development that further sparked my interest in innovations striving for an impact. During the iGEM competition on synthetic biology I develop together with a team the first steps of an innovation that harnessed the power of biotechnology to solve a real-world problem.’

What is something biomedical innovators (people in your industry/niche) have to deal with that you want to fix?

‘Fundamental research is pivotal, and innovators recognize this while wanting to create a more tangible value. My goal is to help them identify the potential impact of their innovations and realise their development by identifying funding opportunities and defining commercial strategies.’

What are your credentials/past experience, for working in your position?

‘I studied at Wageningen University from where I graduated in two MSc degrees in Biotechnology and Plant Biotechnology. I’m specialized in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and molecular biology, with experience in both computational and wet-lab research on bacteria and model plants. My focus on green (plant) and white (industrial) biotechnology enriches the range of expertise within ttopstart. At the same time, the BSc degree in Medical Biotechnology (from the University of Bologna) provided me with a strong background that well aligns with the company’s focus on medical innovations and health. My time in Wageningen also brought me very close to food research and innovations, and made me perfectly aligned with the growing portfolio of ttopstart on food and nutrition. Thanks to my internship at ttopstart, I got to know the company from inside, and got the change to grow in my position. ‘

Which project that you work(ed) on at ttopstart are you very proud of?

‘Hard to pick, I really like the variation in the activities I do and projects I support. Recently, the field of novel therapeutics for solid tumours has been quite dominant among the projects in my pipeline. This recurrency and dive deep in the topic made me passionate about it and I’m enjoying the collaboration with Prof. Gottfried Baier (Medical University Innsbruck) . In parallel, my interest in food technologies and nutrition found fertile ground at ttopstart. The company has always supported projects in this growing field within the Life Sciences that has gained increasing attention at the national and European level. The Horizon Europe budget for the cluster of topics including food will expand in the coming year and this offers good opportunities for the innovators in the field. Recently, I’ve supported Jochem Bossenbroek, CEO (and co-founder of ttopstart!) at Verdify , a Netherlands-based award-winning FoodTech company with a scan for regional, national and European funding opportunities. Our search identified new opportunities for the client (e.g. specific Horizon Europe calls) and set the basis for potential future collaborations. My wish is to keep supporting the innovators riding the wave of technology development in food and nutrition.’

What’s your background?

‘I grew up in Italy, did my bachelor’s studies in Bologna, including one year of Erasmus exchange in Valencia (Spain), moved for my master’s studies to the Netherlands. I got to learn that I thrive in international and multidisciplinary environments: being part of ttopstart is a good reason for missing home sometimes.’

What are the values that drive you?

‘I love to challenge myself: challenges stimulate my curiosity and offer new learning opportunities. While working toward a challenging goal, I discover new things, also about myself.’

Your motto:

‘Live in the moment, here and now.’

 Thanks, Deli!

Do you want to become a ttopstarter as well?

Are you interested in joining our team? Check out our career page! We are always looking for talented and motivated people.

““What I like most about working at ttopstart is its well-structured methodologies. These offer a secure ground-base to all types of activities. ttopstart is international and welcoming, and here I feel that my passion for learning is encouraged and supported, making it a pleasure to be part of the team.


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