nl en

Research Based Business Ventures



In the course RBB-Ventures 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.

The course sessions are in the LUMC (next to Leiden Central Station), on Monday nights, 19.00-22.00 hrs in the period from February 3, 2014 until April 14, 2014..
The preparation for case discussions takes about 3 to 4 hours per session.
Grading will be based on class participation, two essays (group assignments) 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 a 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, instead fill in the registration form
In study year 2014-2015 the SBB programme is likely to change. This might affect the courses: RBB Opportunities, Planning 2014, RBB Ventures, Tech Transfer and Business Development 2015 and SBB Management 2015. For MSc students they may be integrated into full-time classes (as opposed to previous part-time evening sessions). Please indicate which topic(s)/course(s) holds your interest so that we can inform you about the developments. Early indication of your interests may be useful as the courses will have a limited capacity.

Information meeting:

Thursday January 9th, 2014 at 16:00 hrs, at the LUMC J1-117 (a 2 minute walk from Leiden Central station you enter the central hallway of the LUMC, go to the first floor (take care: the big escalator in the hallway brings you up to the second floor), if you walk further into the building you find Hallway J on your right hand side, enter it and follow it down till room 117). You are free to come without notification, but we would appreciate it if you let us know you intend to attend the meeting by emailing to

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 behaviour;

  • 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;

  • 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;

    *distribution of equity betwen company founders; - value, valuation and risk/reward ratio in new venture financing;

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

Course sesions spring 2014 DATES, CASES & TOPICS (prelimanary schedule, subject to change)- Kick-off; Am I an Entrepreneur? The course; Case teaching & preparation; Entrepreneurial traits.

  • R&R. Opportunity spotting and mobilizing resources.

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

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

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

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

    *A123. Reorientation, what will be our business and business model? - Venture capital. How venture capitalists evaluate venture opportunities.

  • Nanogene. On the distribution of shares and completing the start-up management team.

  • DeDrug II. On valuation and the investment process.

  • ProPharma. On the assessment of business plans; Wrap-up

  • Business Plan Contest meeting, assessing business plans

Course location: LUMC (next to the Leiden train station), room to be announced

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:

  • Eliane Khoury, CEO of Virus Free Air, Delft

  • 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.