What is the Validation Lab?
It is a 3-month program that we are going to run together with YES!Delft. We will select 10 startups to join our program and they can join free of charge. During these 3 months, they will get workshops to work on their product to market fit. In the end, we will choose a prize winner.
What does the winner get?
The winner gets a voucher that they can exchange for physical space here in the Biotech Campus, either a lab or an office or both. Another option is to exchange it for expert advice. At the Biotech Campus we have people from all sides of biotech, in all kinds of fields, from the microbe to the huge bioreactors, going through analytics and all the supporting competencies. We also have people that can support startups in their business and marketing strategies.
And for those who do not win, what will they gain by the end of the program?
By the end of the 3 months, they will have a different and more realistic perspective on their product, their market and how to address the upcoming challenges. Since we have a very specific scope, a lot of innovations come from the scientifical and technical side and they often neglect a very important part of the company. Is there really a market for the product they are intending to develop? So they will get a very nice and focused perspective on what their market is and ideas on how to reach it.
What will the 10 selected startups’ day to day look like?
There will be 12 one-day sessions, so one or two days per week. It’s a full day, with workshops on multiple subjects. The rest of the time it is their own time. And they will get a desk (if desired) at the campus to better make use of it. They will get enough input on that day to work for the rest of the week.
Can you tell me a little bit about the Biotech Campus Delft?
Our Campus is built on 150 years of experience in academic research and industrial commercialization. It started with a yeast factory. So already 150 years ago there was industrial biotech happening here at this site. In 1998, DSM bought this place. Because of the need for more open innovation, DSM decided to turn this into a Biotech Campus, where third parties can contribute to our innovation ecosystem. There are two production facilities; one R&D center with 400 plus scientists, a bioprocess pilot plants, 2 innovative joint ventures of DSM, and 3000 m2 office and lab space to rent for biotech startups.
Why should biotech startups join?
It’s a very nice environment for your bio-based company to scale-up, to grow and to continue innovation. In one physical location, you have everything you need: from lab space to a pilot and the possibility to do analysis. There are also a lot of like-minded people, and people with a lot of experience in the biotech industry. Overall the biggest advantage is that it is a great place to grow your startup.
What advice would you give to startups that want to join?
Show us that you are engaged and committed to growing your biotech idea and startup regardless of the cost. That you have a promising and innovative idea and the team to make it happen!