On October 12, the Radboudumc Investment Day took place for the third time. Scientists, entrepreneurs and investors from the life sciences & health sector came together in the Radboudumc Experience Center to exchange knowledge, network and talk about new collaborations.
The event was jointly organized by Briskr, Oost NL, Radboudumc and Radboud University. CFO Mark Janssen opened the event as host on behalf of Radboudumc. ‘As Radboudumc, we want to have a significant impact on health and healthcare. We cannot do that alone; we do it together with entrepreneurs and investors. So we hope on this day that many new connections will be made and new ideas will emerge, ultimately leading to valuable improvements for patients and society.’
The enthusiasm for the event was high. More than 170 people attended, some 70% more than at the previous edition. All target groups were also well represented. In addition to presentations from experts in the field, attendees were able to view product demonstrations by nine innovative entrepreneurs this year.
The keynote speaker was Nettie Buitelaar, CEO of Biotech Booster (see photo). She struck a chord with the audience with the observation that the Netherlands scores well in scientific knowledge development and patent applications in the biotech sector, but dangles at the bottom when it comes to translating that knowledge into successful products and companies. The Biotech Booster program hopes to remedy the latter.
In between, many attendees took advantage of the opportunity to have 1-on-1 conversations, which could be scheduled in advance and during the event via a matching tool. One of the attendees, CEO Hans Platteeuw of Galenicap, even had a success story to share already: ‘I met my investor at this event last year. Now I'm here to see if I can help other people further with their idea.’
Lars Boogaard wins poster competition
This year's Investment Day featured a poster competition for the first time. The entries were judged not only on their scientific quality, but also on their potential to eventually grow into a successful product. PhD canidate Lars Boogaard (see photo) won the competition with his concept for an adaptable pessary that can be shaped by users themselves. He received an incentive prize of 2,500 euros for his idea.
Bridging the gap between science and entrepreneurship
At the closing panel discussion, chairman Martijn Kriens, program manager at Briskr and co-initiator of the event, once again emphasized the importance of good contact between all three target groups.
‘Some investors do nothing but read hundreds of business plans sent to them, hoping that one time there is something good among them. And some scientists produce hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in their lifetime, without ever putting their knowledge into practice. My hope is that they will start talking to each other more often and earlier, so that they will understand each other better and together ultimately have much more impact on our society.’
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