"We received a lot of media exposure because of the Academic Startup Competition. Investors and clients looked for us online, and it was very valuable that there was content from the competition. It also helped that an independent panel of judges approved our product. Moreover, the trip to the US was useful as we got a good understanding of the ecosystem (venture capital and potential clients), and it resulted in a very important lead as well!"
Academic startups can sign up for the second edition of The Academic Startup Competition until this Sunday, September 13th. The competition offers the selected academic startups the chance to follow a customized program and accelerate their business. We asked three winners of last year, STENTiT, VSParticle and Findest how the competition helped them to grow their business.
Bart Sanders: “Being a MedTech startup with international ambition, the US is a key target market. Since regulations, reimbursement and the entire healthcare system operates differently from what we have back here, the learnings from other relevant companies already operating in the States, gives you a unique insight in their real world experience. Besides, the community is very open and willing to share its valuable network to support your international aspirations. In addition, spending several weeks with like-minded entrepreneurs from The Netherlands, also creates a strong community that helps each other out even after being back home. The Academic Startup Competition is therefore definitely worth the experience.”
Aike van Vugt: “Winning the Academic Startup Competition enabled us to be submerged for a longer time in one of the most innovative hotspots on earth. Stepping out of the day to day business gave us the time to rethink the decisions we made and the overall strategy. Going through this process with 9 others Academic startups made this process even more valuable. After the trip we refined our strategy and validated our proposition with different industry leaders from the bay area.”
Vincent Franken: ”Between amazing technical innovators like MOSA-meat, VS-particle, and Lipcoat, who would have thought that we even had a chance to make it to the finals? Then we won and got to go to Silicon Valley with three members of the Findest founding team. Next to the well-designed scale-up program and the help from our own mentor Paul Kallmes, I must confess most valuable were the borrels with the Silicon Valley Dutchies like Stef van Grieken (Google). After a couple of years in the Valley, they learned a completely different way of thinking and asked completely different questions about our businessmodel: “Why isn’t this for free?”, and “What would Findest do if money was limitless?”. We flew back full of inspiration and a toolbox full of tricks to scale the company from 15 people then, to now 26 people. So do I recommend joining the Academic Startup Competition? Definitely!”
Kepler Vision Technologies
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