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Principles of Research Based Business


The information below is preliminary, definitive information will be posted before August 31, 2015


This course provides an integrated programme in which you learn to master knowledge and skills relating to the commercialisation of know-how and inventions generated through research. There is some emphasis on research-based business in the Life Sciences sector (Pharma and Biotech), the focal point of activities at the Leiden Bio-Science Park and research conducted at the LUMC and the university.


‘Principles of Research Based Business’ is part of the Science & Research Based Business Minor (30 ects). It is also available as a separate elective (15 ects), provided there are places available. The course runs from November 9th, 2015 to January 29th, 2016. Please register by filling in this form.
The course is open for all 3rd year Bachelor students who are interested in science & technology as a source for business.


The maximum of 30 places in this course are primarily reserved for participants of the Minor Science & Research Based Business. Additional places may come available after August 15, 2015. Please send an e-mail to if you are interested in participating in this course as an elective.

Course content

The course has been designed to arm students with the basic knowledge of how to spot, assess and exploit an entrepreneurial, research-based business opportunity and have been desiged to lower the hurdles for getting involved in the process of starting high-tech ventures. This knowledge will be valuable for those who aspire to one day start their own company or who want to become involved in the process of company creation and development as tech transfer managers, business developers, business advisors, investment managers or serial entrepreneurs.

*The course starts off by exploring research-based business opportunities. Students work in teams to analyse how research-based products and companies came into being, and particularly what scientific developments and discoveries formed the basis of these. The analytical process includes interviews conducted by students with entrepreneurs.
Students also explore the possibilities for developing recent discoveries made during scientific research into actual business opportunities. This includes interviews with the inventors involved, the effect of these possibilities on the market, and weighing up the potential costs and benefits. These activities will gradually establish the important issues in the commercialisation process.

A series of business cases dealing with managerial issues when setting up science and technology-based business is used to take a closer look at various aspects of these issues. Focal points in these cases include entrepreneurs’ personal qualities, the role played by patents, the choice of business model, academic versus surrogate entrepreneurship, making up a team of incorporators, the available options for financing a start-up company, and the way in which investors assess and evaluate business plans. Students analyse the business cases and discuss them using various theoretical concepts.

Towards the end of the course, students work on a business plan in teams. The business plan is for a new company to be set up on the basis of a business opportunity that has arisen from research at the university or in the business sector. It requires the integrated application of the knowledge that students have acquired during the course. A final meeting is held in which each team presents and defends its business plan.

Teaching staff

Coordinating lecturers:

  • Harmen Jousma and Grada Degenaars

The information below on literature is preliminary, the definitive information will be posted before August 31, 2015


The reading list given below is a temporary one, intended to give students an idea of the books they will be expected to read. Additional reading materials will be provided in notes and readers.

  • Kubr, Marchesi, Ilar and Kienhuis, Starting up – Achieving success with professional business planning, McKinsey and Company, 1998

  • Scott Shane, Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures, Pearson Education, 2005


More information about our organization can be found on the SBB website