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Research Based Business Ventures



In the course RBB-Ventures –formerly known as Orientation on Technopreneurship- students will explore the process of creating new ventures (companies) based on developments of science & technology. Core of the course is studying and discussing a number of business cases covering the entrepreneurial process from various angles. In addition, in In-Class Interviews, guest entrepreneurs from the BioScience Park will share their experiences with starting and growing research-based business.

Course sessions are in the LUMC (next to Leiden Central Station), on Monday nights, 19.00-22.00 hrs, from February 6, 2012 until April 23, 2012 (for details see below). A final meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening April 26, 2012.
Weekly preparation for case discussions will take about 4 hours.
Grading will be based on class participation, a paper and a final examination.


By former participants Wouter Bruins and Oleg Guziy .


Intended for: MSc students, Ph.D. students, post-docs, university staff and others motivated for creating and working in research-based business.
Course fee:

  • no fee for university students;
    – However a contribution of 20 Euro’s for the reader is required due to copy right payments

  • Euro 200 for PhD students,

  • Euro 500 for non-students.
    If applicable, an invoice will be mailed at the beginning of the course.

Please note: For this course, it is not possible to register via USIS. Please register through our jot-form
Early registration may be useful as the course has a limited capacity.

Information meeting:

December 19, 2011, Monday, 19:00 hrs, LUMC lecture room C4. You are free to come without notification, but we would appreciate it if you let us know you intend to attend the meeting: click here to register

Course issues & concepts

The cases and supporting readings will illustrate issues and concepts like:

  • what does it take (and what not) to be an entrepreneur;

  • what is entrepreneurship and administrative versus entrepreneurial behavior;

  • academic versus surrogate entrepreneurship and the role of the scientist in academic spin-offs;

  • the framing of ventures in terms of people, opportunity, context and deal;

  • spotting and framing opportunities;

  • the phases and critical junctures in new venture formation;

  • the importance and pitfalls of patent protection;

  • factors influencing the early growth of academic spin-offs;

  • options for commercializing science & technology, business models and value creation;

  • value, valuation and risk/reward ratio in new venture financing;

  • how venture capitalists assess business plans and start-up companies.

Course schedule Spring 2012


  • Feb 6, Am I an Entrepreneur? The course; Case teaching & preparation; Entrepreneurial traits.

  • Feb 13, R&R. Opportunity spotting and mobilizing resources.

  • Feb 20, DeDrug I. IP risks (in particular patents) in a university context.

  • Feb 27, SpudSpy. Communication and attitude in trying to start a business from a university department.

  • Mar 5, Vermeer Technologies. Organizing an entrepreneurial team, pre- and post money valuation, (not) becoming CEO of you own company, deal decisions.

  • Mar 12, BetaGolf. Deciding upon a way to commercialize science; the workings of a successful cross-over of a technology house and investments company.

  • Mar 19, A123. Reorientation, what will be our business and business model?

  • Mar 26, Venture capital. How venture capitalists evaluate venture opportunities.

  • Apr 2, DeDrug II. On valuation and the investment process.

  • Apr 16, ProPharma. On the assessment of business plans.

  • Apr 23, Wrap-up.

  • Apr 26, Business Plan Contest meeting, assessing business plans

Course location: All Monday evening courses are in the LUMC (next to the Leiden train station) lecture room 4. Only the last course on April 26 is in LUMC hall 2.

In-Class interviews

In the In-Class Interviews, guest entrepreneurs from the BioScience Park share their experiences with starting and growing research-based companies. Guest entrepreneurs in latter years were:

  • Gert-Jan van Baarle, Director of Leiden Probe Microscopy

  • Jaap Blaak, founder and CEO FlexGen; co-founder der VenGen and more

  • Pieter Gaillard, Founder and CSO of To-BBB

  • Joost Holthuis, Founder and former CEO of OctoPlus

  • Gerard Platenburg, founder and former CEO of ProSensa ; CEO of ISA.

  • Bas Reichert, founder and CEO of BaseClear .

  • Victor Schut, Founder and CBO of ProteoNic

  • Gregg Siegal, founder and CEO Zobio

  • Pieter Slijkerman, co-founder and manager of ZF-Screens and NewCatch

  • Toon Stegmann, founder and CSO of Virosome Biologicals BV, now CSO of Mymetics

  • Onno van de Stolpe, Founder and CEO of Galapagos

Other RBB Courses

RBB Ventures is part of a series of three courses with a course load of 5 EC each: RBB-Ventures, RBB-Planning and RBB-Opportunities which can be followed together as well as separately. These courses arm students and (future) researchers 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 students and researchers 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.

More information on our program on Science & Research Based Business.