Tag: biotech campus delft

The Biotech Mentors from DSM for the Biotech Validation Lab

In February 2019, Biotech Campus Delft, its main stakeholder Royal DSM, and YES!Delft started a partnership culminating in a dedicated Biotech Validation Lab starting in May. As all the startup programs from YES!Delft, this one attracted many exceptional mentors that will guide the entrepreneurs in the program.

Specifically for the Biotech Validation Lab, the biotech mentors from DSM went down memory lane and looked back at their own early career experiences. Moreover, they took a moment to reflect on the impact of meeting the person whose mentoring influenced the trajectory of their careers.

Biotech and entrepreneurial mentors

Starting a biotech startup is exciting! You get to shape your idea into a business that solves a real problem in the industry and market. However, operating a startup in this field can represent a challenge due to the capital investments, scale-up hurdles and long development times related to it.

In the Biotech Validation Lab, the mentors have many years of experience in the biotech industry. Some of them have over 20 years of experience at DSM – the largest Dutch multinational in the fields of health, nutrition and materials –  such as Herman Wories, Will van den Tweel or Henk Noorman. Some others have started their own biotech companies, such as Arthur Oudshoorn, Christian Koolloos or Theo Verleun.

A good mentor can impact your whole career: “I started my career as a chemist in the R&D labs of DSM,” Gerard Hardeman (BU Director at DSM) remembers. “And as a student from the “roaring ’70s” anarchy and total freedom were very important to me. With this attitude, I entered in the corporate environment. One of my first bosses was a former refugee who fled with his family from the Balkans because of the war. He showed me how to deal with a different culture and requirements that go against various beliefs. The most important thing he taught me was how to see the other side of the truth. I still value this highly.”

Apply to the Biotech Validation Lab

 

Career mentoring

The mentors in the Biotech Validation Lab are all people who experienced the power of having a mentor early in their careers themselves, “each of them valuable in their own way,” acknowledges Ruth Donners (Venture Development Manager at DSM Innovation Center).

“I started my career as a patent attorney, which is a rather specialized job. My mentor helped me understand that I am a generalist and I can use my skills in a multitude of different jobs. This experience has been an inspiration not only to start innovating products but also to keep innovating myself. Possibilities are endless; just put your mind to it,” says Ruth Donners, looking over 18 years of career in DSM.

Henk Noorman (Corporate Science Fellow Engineering Sciences at DSM): “Early in my career at DSM I had a mentor who played a crucial role in advancing my career. For several years, I doubted whether I should pursue my work in science or try to become an artist instead, as I have several skills and interests. One day we discussed this, and he stated: you will have to investigate these alternatives thoroughly. This simple remark gave me the feeling that my doubts were taken seriously, and I made some explorative steps. However, it became quickly evident that a career in science would be best, and I could still very well perform on stage outside my work. A simple question from a good and respectful mentor can help to make key decisions in life.”

Check all the mentors in the Biotech Validation Lab

 

Mentors are timeless

The role of a mentor in someone’s career has grown in popularity over the last few years. But the term is deeply anchored in its purpose, recalls Herman Wories (VP Global Business Incubator at DSM).  “When I was younger, we didn’t have coaches or mentors like they are called nowadays, but I did have support from senior managers. Those managers with more seniority, with more experience, enable you to look at things from a broader perspective. When you are early in your career, you tend to look at things from your perspective only. Having this kind of support helps you to not miss out on opportunities.”

No matter how to call a mentor, the role and impact that a person can have on your career is crucial. Biotech Campus Delft, together with its main stakeholder Royal DSM, and YES!Delft, one of the leading tech incubators in the world, have joined forces to create the first Biotech Validation Lab.

Theo Verleun, Jan Hunik, Frans Koster, Henk Noorman, Theo Stikkers, Pim van Hee, Ruth Donners, Rob Beudeker, Christian Koolloos, Oscar Goddijn, Gerard Hardeman, Marianne Kentie, Herman Wories, Will van den Tweel, and Arthur Oudshoorn are all mentors in the Biotech Validation Lab. The ten biotech startups that are going to be selected in the validation program will benefit not only from the commercial validation expertise from the leading tech incubator in Europe but also from the professional guidance of the DSM mentors.

Share this article with people involved in promising biotech startups, tell them to apply to the program by the 5th of April!

Apply to the Biotech Validation Lab

We launched Biotech Focus Area

Biotech Campus Delft and YES!Delft partner up to support promising European biotech startups

Delft, February 11, 2019 – Biotech Campus Delft together with its main stakeholder Royal DSM and YES!Delft have partnered up to support biotechnology startups through a special Biotech Validation Lab. As of today, (industrial) biotech startups can apply to join the program to validate their business plan and to define a clear strategy to success. Both Biotech Campus Delft and YES!Delft support promising biotech startups to accelerate innovations and boost the transition towards a sustainable, bio-based economy.

The validation program is open to European startups with innovative technologies and disruptive solutions in (industrial) biotechnology. Technology fields in the scope of the program are genetic and metabolic engineering, fermentation and downstream processing. The scope of application includes food, fuel, bio-based molecules, and bio-materials. The 10 best teams will be selected and invited to join the Validation Lab. Each team will be matched with relevant mentor(s) from biotech-related business and/or technical experts, all leading professionals in their field. During 12 sessions the startups will be trained on opportunity framing, customer validation, team building, pitching and value proposition design. Biotech Campus Delft offers this program free of charge to the selected startups. On the final day of the Validation Lab, the teams pitch their business plan for a jury. There will be an additional prize for the best startup: a voucher providing office space and a lab at Biotech Campus Delft.
Calls for entry start February 11th, and application is easy through the Biotech Validation Lab page. The deadline for completed entries is April 5th. The Biotech Validation Lab takes place from May until July in Delft, the Netherlands. The startups will present their pitches after the 10-week learning journey in the Validation Lan on the final day on July 31st, 2019.

Cindy Gerhardt, Business Director Biotech Campus Delft: “We are very excited about this partnership with YES!Delft. The next level biotechnology offers the opportunity to build our bio-renewable future. However, operating a startup in this field can represent a challenge due to the capital investments, scale up hurdles and long development times related to it. The Biotech Campus Delft, its main stakeholder Royal DSM and YES!Delft understand these challenges and are determined to support the startups in this field to define a clear strategy to success.”

“YES!Delft is very pleased to partner with Biotech Campus Delft”, says Evert Jaap (EJ) Lugt, managing director of YES!Delft. “Bundling our strengths, their industrial expertise with our unique incubator ecosystem, we can make a real impact in biotech innovation. The Biotech Validation Lab will be an amazing opportunity for startups with top-notch ideas to accelerate and be part of the transition to a sustainable bio-based future.”

About biotechnology

Biotechnology refers to the use of (parts of) living organisms as cell factories to make useful products from renewable feedstocks. Historically, humankind has used biotechnology in food production (wine, beer, bread, cheese etc.) for centuries. In the past century, its application has been industrialized and expanded to pharma, agriculture, and production of bio-molecules. Today, the next level biotechnology represents a bigger opportunity than ever to build our bio-renewable future. It allows us to move away from non-renewable fossil sources and therefore diminish greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time offering an opportunity to address future challenges related to food, health & energy.

About Biotech Campus Delft

Biotech Campus Delft is developed by founding father Royal DSM to accelerate biotech innovations. Its open innovation campus offers a biotech ecosystem in which cooperation and knowledge transfer between companies and knowledge institutes is encouraged. Located on DSM’s site in Delft, over 1200 people work on developing, scaling up and commercializing bio-based innovations. Besides DSM and pilot factory BPF, Biotech Campus Delft also houses startups, SME’s and established companies.

Read the full press release on Biotech Campus Delft website 

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