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Innovation across borders

Many start-ups are founded by two friends that later become business partners. How do you react when your friend, located in another country, has a brilliant idea? In this interview, we meet Philipp Novak, the Austrian based cofounder of Neobiomics.

To begin with – who are you?

Goodness, the question with the highest complexity right at the start. This question pops up almost every morning while brushing my teeth. Groundhog day!

Generic: Leader, follower, listener (my wife will disagree on this one), creative mind husband, father, risk taker, fighter, European Citizen.

Work specific: Entrepreneur in rare diseases setting out to fill blind spots in paediatric medicine, multi-species doctor (vet).

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When did you join Neobiomics? How did you and Stefan Johansson, Co-Founder of Neobiomics, meet each other?

I am the managing director of Orphanix GmbH, a medicines development company focusing on rare diseases in infants. Back in 2015 we needed to do a survey whether our product for preterm infants under development would generate interest in the Neonatal community. A mutual friend, neonatologist Francesco Cardona referred me to Stefan and his 99Nicu network. That is how we become acquainted, befriended and business partners.

Last week, I had an interview with Stefan. He had a question that he wanted to forward to you: “What came first to your mind when I told you that I had a “brilliant idea”?”

I was thinking only future will tell whether this is a brilliant idea, but it was definitely an idea worth exploring. That is what we set out exploring in a very “brilliant manner” with a “brilliant team”!

How would you summarize the Neobiomics journey? In the years of…

2016- 2020: It has been a bumpy ride and a joyful journey all at once.

2021: Only great things can happen with a great team with the right dash of naivety, tenacity & creativity. So, for 2021 further great things are going to happen, that is for sure!

You are one of the team members of Neobiomics that work remote, where do you have your office?

The office is based in an old listed tobacco factory in the heart of Linz, Austria. It is a steel town turned into a media arts city. Noteworthy it was European Capital Culture back in 2009. Check it out, lots of street-arts and green places next to the river Danube.

Copyright, Philipp Novak 2020

How does this affect Neobiomics?

The company is not only based in Scandinavia, but also in other parts of Europe. It makes it easier for us to connect with customers over entire Europe!

What is your best advice for others that work remote?

1. Wear a proper suit instead of a track suit- at least for the upper body part. 😉

2. Remove potentially ambiguous pictures, books and dirty plates, before you go on camera.

How come that you work with start-ups? Are there anything in particular that is interesting?

I like the following blunt analogy; start-ups build, corporates administrate. That is why corporates often buy start-ups once they have a commercially viable product. I like building as it is a much more creative process, despite the long work hours and uncertainty. It is not everyone’s business and it can take a toll from you and your loved ones.

Working with Neobiomics specifically is a fantastic experience as it is a great blend of awesome people, from students to seasoned experts, in combination with an awesome product. What can you expect more?

Thanks for all of your answers! In this article series, where I follow the team of Neobiomics, I let the interviewee forward a question to next interviewee in line. What would you like to ask Kristina Magnusson Borg? 

Kristina, having a career in rather large corporations, what is the most fun part working for a start-up and what worst part?

Is it fine if we share the photos from your smartphone?

Of course!

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Please let us know what you think of this interview. What are you key learning outcomes? Connect with Philipp and the rest of the team at or by visiting