Groeifonds 2021

From this week onwards, starting entrepreneurs in the life sciences & health sector can once again register for a new edition of the Venture Challenge. Teams that pass the selection round will receive professional guidance for the development of their business case.

The upcoming spring round of the Venture Challenge will start mid-April with a first boot camp and is being organised on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) by NWO and top sector Life sciences & Health (Health~Holland). After an intensive trajectory of about two months, the participants will pitch their plans to a jury of investors and other experts on 18 June. The deadline for registering for this round is 12 January 2021. After that, based on the advice from the advisory committee, the board of NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences will determine which teams will be admitted (see the brochure for the exact procedure).

Bringing the invention to the market

The Venture Challenge was set up by Health~Holland with the aim of providing starting entrepreneurs in the life sciences with professional support during the development of their business case. That helps with applying for funding and, ultimately, the marketing of the invention. Participation is open for teams of three to five people who have established a new start-up in the area of life sciences & health or will do that shortly. The product or service is based on a new technological invention or a new application of existing technology, which has emerged from scientific research. The programme consists of two, three-day long boot camps and regular coaching sessions. During these sessions, the participants work on setting up or refining their business case under the guidance of experienced coaches from the consultancy GameChanger Challenge.

PacingCure and SLAM Ortho winners 2020

The winners of both rounds from 2020 were announced during the online Dutch Life Science Conference last Friday. The spring round was won by PacingCure, a biotech start-up from Amsterdam that employs an innovative and precise approach to develop gene therapies for prevalent cardiac arrhythmias. Start-up SLAM Ortho from Delft, developer of precise measurement equipment to optimise drilling in bones, won the recently completed autumn edition of the Venture Challenge. Both winning teams received a cheque worth 25,000 euros that they can use to invest in the further expansion of their business.

Deadline for registration: 12 January

Candidates who submit the fully completed registration form by 12 January have a chance of securing one of the at most six available places in the upcoming spring round. All information about the Venture Challenge at NWO, including the registration form, can be found on the programme page on the Venture Challenge website.

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