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Mind-blowing insights on the digital biology revolution

Elsa Solaris

travels from UK

Scientist turned VC investor, entrepreneur and science fiction writer on a mission to accelerate disruptive innovation for a brighter, sustainable future.

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About Elsa

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Elsa has lived all over the world from Hong Kong to Vienna and Zurich and is now based in London. Her expertise in the buzzing world of startups as well as her unique insights on emerging science and technology make her an exciting and mind-blowing futurist.

Why The Biofuturist

As an award-winning researcher, venture capital investor and bestselling science fiction author, she draws from an unparalleled blend of experience. Her talent as a keynote speaker is to filter out the noise, break down complex science & technology into captivating stories and put it in the global business context that matters the most for leaders.

  • Silicon Valley Insights: Ran a renowned startup accelerator as director at a US venture capital firm, the world’s most active early-stage investor. Helped build and launch two dozen of pioneering biotech startups to transform the food, tech and healthcare industries. Built a fast-growing business and now manages her own investment portfolio.
  • Media: Known from international media incl. BBC, TED, New Statesman, deVolkskrant, Arab News, Red Bull Media, Silicon Republic, RT, Cyprus Mail, ICON, and more. Trusted by industry leaders across tech, healthcare, finance, food & beverages and oil & gas.
  • Leading Expert: Biotech expert recognized by Silicon Republic, specialist digital biology consultant to an iconic tech company, expert advisory committee member at WHO on human genome editing. Consulted for leading companies in the Pharmaceutical, Oil&Gas, TelCo and Beverages industries. Authored popular articles on Singularity Hub and O’Reilly Media with over 50’000 views and her predictions have turned out to be spot-on (i.e. the future of food in an interview with AgFunder).
  • Award-Winning Innovator & Prolific Researcher: She earned a PhD from Imperial College London in Synthetic Biology for pioneering medical DNA-based ‘nanobots’, won a merit-based full PhD research scholarship and multiple awards, i.e. from M.I.T., Swiss Academies of Arts & Sciences. Workshop at NASA Ames Research Centre, became a real-life cyborg live on stage.
  • Best-Selling Author & Futurist Storyteller: Appeared as AI expert in BBCs award-winning flagship show Forest 404 (starring Dr. Who’s Pearl Mackie). Published a best-selling science fiction novelette on Amazon and short stories at a prime speculative literature event in London, critically acclaimed poetry in international magazines. Longlisted at Young Storyteller Award in Austria, Honorable Mention Writers of the Future, Hollywood, L.A.
  • Experienced headliner: Co-headlined events with innovative musician Imogen Heap, Siri inventor Adam Cheyer, Harvard Professor George Church, advanced robot ‘Bina 48’ & Bruce Duncan, Author & Professor Dr. Lewis Dartnell, and high-profile author Caroline Criado-Perez. Spoke at over 30 events and festivals around the world, experienced with audiences over 1000 guests.

Dr. Elsa Solaris (formerly Sotiriadis) is a former venture capital investor at a renowned US-American firm, who helped fund, build and launch over two dozen pioneering startups to transform the food, tech and healthcare industries. As program director, she ran the accelerator that brought forward multi-billion dollar companies like Perfect Day.

She now manages her own investment portfolio, including digital assets, and consults on innovation and emerging technologies with leading corporations and international organizations.

She’s a a biotech leader recognized by Silicon Republic and an expert advisory committee member to the WHO on human genome editing. For her PhD at Imperial College London, she won a full merit-based scholarship to develop DNA-based ‘nanobots’ in London and Hong Kong that fight cancer cells.

As a gifted futurist storyteller, she has appeared on BBC’s flagship thriller show Forest 4040, won an honorable mention from Writers of the Future in Hollywood and was longlisted for the Young Storyteller Award 2022 (20 out of 1120) by a literary jury. She has published speculative fiction, critically acclaimed poetry and wrote popular articles for Singularity Hub and O’Reilly. She regularly publishes articles, interviews, requested statements or speculative stories.

Elsa has conducted a mix of academic, laboratory and business intelligence research on emerging technologies like synthetic biology, 3D printing, AI, big data, robotics, climate tech and novel materials and she is uniquely positioned to assess how they are poised to shape industries. She is multilingual, has lived in ten countries, and worked in over twenty on four continents. This adds a global perspective to her work.

She honed her craft as an engaging and dynamic speaker with audiences around the world at over 30 events and co-headlined with Imogen Heap, Adam Cheyer, Tim Draper, and Prof. George Church.

See keynotes with Elsa Solaris
Keynote by Elsa Sotiriadis

The Future is Now: Welcome to the Bio-Revolution!

This keynote was premiered in London, UK at a flagship event of a leading financial firm.

The Biofuturist helps you see past the hype of the most-talked about technologies and zoom in on the developments that are quietly upending what we eat, wear and how we manufacture products. The Biofuturist presents science’s answer to the computer chip revolution: The Bio-revolution. 

The quest to master the operating system of life used to be reserved to well-funded institutions. Now, however, biology has become democratized, decentralized and digitized just like other technologies. The boldest founders are therefore not hacking software but wetware and investment in the space is exploding.

We can grow our clothes in a bioreactor, help save the climate with lab-grown meat and next-gen medical devices let us build new data empires. What’s next?

This entertaining TEDx-style talks dives into the break-throughs that could shape the world to come, i.e. Silicon Valley’s mission to transform food. Uncover how science fiction is turning into science fact in this uplifting digital biology crash course for business leaders. Humorous anecdotes, mind-boggling tech spotlights and examples from industry leaders around the world will take you on an unforgettable journey that helps you expand your mindset and catalyze value creation.

Keynote by Elsa Sotiriadis

Metaverse, AI and Big Data

This keynote was premiered at a private event in Riyadh, SA, to senior governmental, media and industry stakeholders. This talk explores how disruptive technologies like AI, XR, metaverse, blockchain, holograms and big data will transform the future of work. 

Experience a sizzling, mind-teasing journey into the future of business and empower your organization to capitalize on new technologies ahead of everyone else. Will we all be cyborgs soon? We already are! Will AI help us unleash our humanity or will it replace us? Both! How will our future workplace look like? You’ll be wearing your smart contact lens and walk into your office in your living room. Walls become interactive surfaces, you type into thin air with a holographic keyboard, manipulate data streams with haptic interfaces on your hands, control smart devices with metal ink tatoos, and get training on an augmented reality platform inspired by Minority Report. Science fiction is coming to upend your work desk!

    Selection of potential keynotes by Elsa Solaris

    Elsa captures the deep tech breakthroughs that move the needle and translates them it into insightful and actionable keynotes that celebrate pioneering spirit. She delivers business intelligence with a dynamic, uplifting impact.

    • Take an exciting trip for business leaders behind the doors of the world’s boldest research labs and startups where our tomorrow is being built right now, to help you understand and unleash your potential today.
    • Catch a glimpse of the most futuristic breakthroughs in science & technology that will shape your industry. Benefit from The Biofuturist’s proven and proprietary approach trusted by industry leaders.
    • Let inspiring Silicon Valley stories empower innovation, intrapreneurship and collaboration in your organization. Expand your own thinking to seize new opportunities.
    • Experience the engaging keynotes with a blend of cutting-edge research and original insights that have captivated audiences ranging from high-profile senior VPs to CEOs, pioneers and government officials as well as festival audiences.
    • Gain clarity with a highly tailored blend of business case studies, in-depth tech spotlights, and storytelling that unpacks mega trends from AI, big data, personalized medicine, to digital biology, the future of work and more.
    • Harness the key emerging technologies in your industry that bridge the gap between science fiction and science fact. They are accelerating exponentially fast and the future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.
    • Uncover the uncanny parallels of Silicon Valley’s computer chip revolution and bio-manufacturing, and why the greatest innovations of he 21st century are not born from computer chips anymore but from the software of life.
    • Make sense of the blurring lines between humans and machines: incredible next-generation breakthroughs i.e. augmented reality contact lenses, haptic interfaces, implantable computers and a big data tsunami about to hit.
Watch Elsa Sotiriadis in action!

The next big tech revolution could change us forever | Elsa Sotiriadis | TEDxUniversityofNicosia

See keynotes with Elsa Solaris

References

Dr. Elsa Sotiriadis was an absolute enrichment for our Children of Doom Festival debut, and we are very happy and proud to have found such a top-class cast in her for our keynote speech on biotechnology. A vivid, inspiring lecture, which at the same time inspires reflection. The entire Children of Doom team including the visitors are absolute Elsa fans.

Josephine Ruhp

Mobile Seasons GmbH

An absolute enrichment for our festival we are very happy and proud to have found such a top class act

Children of Doom Festival

Superb speaker with the ability to distill the most complex scientific ideas into easy to follow talks [] a highly gifted speaker [] the audience were gripped from start to finish

Enterprise Lab, Imperial College London
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Keynote topics with Elsa Solaris