Venture Challenge Summer 2021: Meet the Teams!

Last week, the Venture Challenge Summer 2021 kicked off with innovative Life Sciences & Health startups participating in the first bootcamp. The participating teams worked on shaping their value propositions, vision and competitive differentiation to translate their idea into a solid business case.

During this intensive three days the teams received professional guidance from experienced coaches Math Kohnen and Chretien Herben. They were furthermore guided by experienced business coaches as well as seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts. But who are these teams participating in this edition?

The selected teams are Sella Therapies (LUMC), Astherna (Radboudumc), VivArt-X (TU Eindhoven), Inasol Biotech and Orgonex (both Utrecht University). Central to all propositions are technological innovations aimed at improving healthcare. These range from hormone modulation for pain management to the use of RNA therapy for the treatment of Stargardt disease or a bioreactor for fast and cost-effective large-scale expansion of organoids.

Sella Therapies

Originating form the Academic Medical Center in Leiden, Sella Therapies is working on a technology to relieve pain in a natural way through hormone modulation with bioelectronics. For them, it is all about building the dream. Although the idea to begin a startup already started 4 years ago, the momentum is now. “The Venture Challenge allows us to really focus on the venture and work together.”


Research using organoids is booming! But how can we make it more efficient? With this goal in mind, Orgonex developed the Orgonex Bioreactor, a robust and cost-effective small-scale bioreactor suitable for expansion and differentiation of organoids. The Venture Challenge helps them with the next step: “We want to explore what the best way is to bring our product to the market and make it accessible to a large range of customers.”


The feedback, coaching and mentorship is a nice jumping start for VivArt-x, a startup which develops synthetic biomaterial for cell culture and cell therapies. Unique herein is the provision of customised, tailor-made material for specific applications in the lab. “It is great to work together with other startups! Because we all have similar feedback, we can really understand and help each other.”

Inasol Biotech

In the currently used diagnostic assays for certain types of Influenza virus, more and more problems occur due to the virus involving. Thus, it is time for a new reagent in this assay and fix the problems, and this is exactly what Inasol Biotech aims to do. Apart from the feedback from the professionals and the other startups, Inasol Biotech names another great advantage of the Venture Challenge: “We can establish the initial contact with investors.”

Following this first workshop the teams will go out to talk to customers and test their assumptions in preparation of the second Venture Challenge workshop beginning of September and the finals later that month.

Do you also have a startup and do you want to benefit from this jumpstart? Apply for the next Venture Challenge, in Autumn 2021! Look for more information here.


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