And we continue the next 15 years....

Creating a business is not easy. Carmen van Vilsteren, Chair of Top Sector Life Sciences and Health (LSH; Health~Holland), and Hans Schikan, member of the Top Team LSH, know all about it. Both have proudly started companies, Carmen in the field of medtech and Hans in the biopharmaceutical sector. They both agree that having a promising product is one thing, but translating it to the market is another. The Venture Challenge programme provided by LifeSciences@Work is incredibly valuable for the Dutch life sciences and health sector. It helps to ensure that promising innovations do not remain on the shelf and that societal and economic impact can be created.

This magazine includes not just success stories but also shows the hard reality of building a business. Finding investors is not easy, IP issues often emerge and being an academic does not necessarily make you a good entrepreneur. The Venture Challenge programme offered by LifeSciences@Work

pushes you a few steps in the right direction so that you can experience the reality of having a business. Learning what your target audience looks like, what your position in that market could be and which competitors are out there will completely change your view on having a business.

The 15-year anniversary of the LifeSciences@Work programme is worth celebrating. However, it is also a good moment to look ahead because we want the programme to continue to help entrepreneurs for at least another 15 years. Therefore, now is the perfect time to appoint an advisory board for the programme. The board will be officially announced during the 15 years of LS@W event on 27 June 2023 at Pivot Park, Oss.

The Dutch startup and SME landscape will be further strengthened in the coming years. We are proud of our innovative startups and scaleups that are working to create societal and economic impact. And that’s how we aim to continue for the next 15 years!


- Carmen van Vilsteren and Hans Schikan