Supporting Camena Bioscience across the Liberti partnership

As the number 1 provider of part-time caliber professionals, the Liberti partnership work closely together to support our clients to achieve sustainable business growth. Our Regional Director teams, know each other well, and the success of this cross-Liberti partnership is based around trust and transparency and a relentless commitment in putting clients needs first.

Camena Bioscience is a perfect example that showcases just how well we work with our Liberti partners.

Camena Bioscience are a Cambridge-based synthetic biology company. ‘Syn bio’ is a discipline that’s emerged in recent years; it’s a way of engineering living organisms to achieve greener manufacturing and is lauded as a solution to some of the world’s biggest challenges. It can be applied to lots of industries: food production, sustainable fuel, and development of new medicines. Camena’s pioneering technology is used to accelerate drug discovery in the biopharmaceutical sector – it doesn’t get more cutting edge than that!

Supporting early phases of R&D – Jeremy Hyde (CFO Centre)

This was an exciting Cambridge start-up that had developed a groundbreaking technology which promises to bring exciting new applications to the biopharma sector.
CFO Centre joined Camena Bioscience first at the beginning of 2021. Biotechs have long and costly R&D cycles that are both capital equipment and human resource intensive. Strategic financial planning is critical in these early stages of product commercialisation, providing a runway before a repeatable revenue stream can be realised.

After 6 months and having already successfully worked with People Puzzles, he recommended the founder, Steve, had a chat with People Puzzles.

Scaling the team for growth – Sarah Ironside (People Puzzles)

Jeremy got in touch outlining there was a need to review the recruitment process. As well as establishing a scalable recruitment pipeline, the business clearly needed a people strategy to deliver their ambitious growth plans and Liz joined in May 2021. As the team’s HR Director, Liz focused on recruitment to boost the business capabilities. Having already created the people plan, Liz helped the team develop an ‘employer brand’ designed to attract talented scientists into the company. Internship and graduate recruitment programmes were also set up to ensure the business could attract emerging new talent, and Liz has also helped to implement a diversity and inclusion strategy, including, for example, training on unconscious bias. Ensuring a diverse and engaged workforce has been proven to give businesses a competitive advantage in both performance and talent attraction.

As a result of the new pipeline, Steve feels their recruitment processes are “a lot smoother and we haven’t struggled to fill roles this year and are now able to recruit quickly.” Another huge benefit of the improved talent attraction process is cost saving. While headcount has trebled, the majority of these have been direct hires, with only two incurring agency recruitment fees, representing a significant saving.

As of June 2023, People Puzzles and CFO Centre are still working with Camena Bioscience. More recently the need for commercial marketing support has been the clients focus. People Puzzles introduced The Marketing Centre to Colin Stickland, Regional Director for the East of England. He suggested Elaine might be a good fit as a Cambridge based biotech specialist, and she subsequently joined Camena Bioscience as their Marketing Director.

The path to commercialisation – Colin Stickland (The Marketing Centre)

The Marketing Centre is now supporting Camena with the positioning of their technology. After joining in May, Elaine has already commented on the maturity of the strategy and culture for a company their size. Partnering with the founder to realise his vision, the impact CFO Centre and People Puzzles have had is immediately apparent. The People Strategy particularly is very forward-thinking and corporates with far greater resource struggle to achieve what Camena Bioscience have.

Onboarding was seamless since the fractional model was already well established. Elaine’s first task was a press release announcing Camena has raised $10m in Series A funding, particularly impressive given the tough economic climate. This is the first time Camena have outwardly communicated their compelling story to its customer base, and the PR was picked up internationally as well as locally.

Camena Bioscience CEO, Steve Harvey feels that working with the Liberti model has been critical to the success of the business to date.

“This arrangement has been beneficial to us because typically early stage companies will not have enough work or enough money to support full time Directors in each of these experienced commercial roles, but it’s a critical part of the business that’s needed, so the arrangement of having part time director and the experience that they can bring to the company has been really quite an incredible benefit to us in this early point.”

Steve goes on to say, “So working with the Liberti ‘ecosystem’ of part time Directors as and when we’ve needed it in these early stages of developing the business has been invaluable in setting our foundations for the next phase of growth now we’ve received our funding.”Steve Harvey, CEO, Camena Bioscience

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