Valorisation – May 10 2019

‘From Scientist To Entrepreneur: How To Commercialize Your Science’


On Friday May 10 we had another successful Young@Heart event which was themed “From scientist to entrepreneur: how to commercialize your science”!


The event took place on the 11th floor of the Inntel Hotel in Utrecht. In addition to the spectacular view on the panorama of central Utrecht, we hosted an elaborate line-up of excellent speakers that brought us closer to many new possibilities for young scientists.

The event was hosted by actor Vincent de Lusenet, who welcomed the participants with an energizing exercise to put everyone in a good mood. Kickoff of the day was Jasper Keijman from the Technology Transfer Office from Erasmus MC, which was followed by inspiring talks by Prof. John Kastelein from Amsterdam MC and Edward van Wezel from Biogeneration Ventures. We have learned that independent scientists and not big pharma are the drivers of all recent pharmaceutical innovations, yet researchers are not the best to lead the company…


There was a possibility to meet two successful startups, Single Cell Technologies represented by Mauro Muraro and Xeltis represented by Bianca Lutters. They shared the ups and downs that they faced during the process of starting the company and answered many questions from the audience.

During the exciting pitch contest “Sell your science”, six finalists presented their breakthrough research as an attractive investment opportunity. All of them did a fantastic job, and the judges had a challenging task to pick one best pitch and two runners up!

In the afternoon, there was time for discussions and a little bit of fun during an interactive workshop carrousel. Vincent de Lusenet used his excellent acting skills to lead a pitch workshop during which we have learned how to use body language and voice to improve pitching skills. Interesting discussions were held during a Worldcafé covering patents, business development and legal aspects. When is the best time to patent your findings? Can you present the data during conferences before patenting? How to protect your finding? All those and many other questions were discussed with the experts from the Technology Transfer Office and V.O. Patents & Trademarks. Last but not least, we hosted a “spaghetti marshmallow challenge”, a team-building activity in which teams competed to build the tallest free-standing structure of spaghetti sticks, tape, string and one marshmallow. Sounds fun, right? It was lots of fun, and additionally tested the group’s communication, collaboration and problem-solving strategies.

The day ended with announcing the winners of the pitch contest and was followed by drinks and snacks. It was another very successful day. Thanks for coming and we hope to see you all during the next event!


Many thanks to the organizers: Isabella Kardys, Evelyne Demkes, Nazma Ilahibaks, Monika Gladka, Anthal Smits and Femke Onwezen.