This article was published on May 22, 2023

How to turn university spinouts into commercial success: A must-see talk at TNW Conference

The path from academia to market ain't easy, but we got you covered


How to turn university spinouts into commercial success: A must-see talk at TNW Conference

Krijn de Nood, Julie Hawkins, and Stephanie Klein Nagelvoort-Schuit will be speaking at TNW Conference, which takes place on June 15 & 16 in Amsterdam. If you want to experience the event (and say hi to our editorial team!), we’ve got something special for our loyal readers. Use the promo code READ-TNW-25 and get a 25% discount on your business pass for TNW Conference. See you in Amsterdam!

Renowned university spinouts such as chip designer Arm in the UK and immunotherapy pioneer BionNTech in Germany have proven the importance of bringing scientific innovation to real-world industries. But the road from academia to enterprise is no bed of roses.

Back when I was in uni, I was part of a project that I hoped would place me and my fellow team under the “tech startup to watch” radar. But my dreams were quickly shuttered when I asked the leading professor if he would consider commercialising our tool outside of the university. His answer was succinct: “It’s far too complex.”

With outstanding academic institutions, Europe has the potential to emerge as the most attractive spinout ecosystem in the world — especially in the fields of computing, engineering, bioscience, and deep tech.

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Although the number of spinouts on the continent has increased over the years with many deep tech startups in particular having strong university roots, it seems that founders still have to tackle considerable challenges: from high equity demands and a long spinout process, to securing later stage funding and cultivating entrepreneurial skills.

At TNW Conference, navigating the challenging journey from academia to startup gets the spotlight it deserves. On day one of the event, a group of leading experts and entrepreneurs will take the stage to discuss the crucial steps needed to bring academic innovations to market.

These are Krijn de Nood, CEO of Meatable, the trailblazing lab-grown meat startup; Julie Hawkins, General Partner at UK early-stage VC firm Local Globe; and Stephanie Klein Nagelvoort-Schuit, VP at University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and founder of abcdeSIM, an e-learning spinout company from the Erasmus University Medical Center.

De Nood, Hawkins, and Klein Nagelvoort-Schuit will explore success stories of university spinouts and delve into some of the most significant challenges these startups face, such as bridging funding gaps and developing go-to-market strategies.

So if you’re a potential founder who wants to learn about the unique hurdles associated with university-born ventures and aspires to usher your own spinout into commercial success, make sure not to miss their talk! I know I won’t — and perhaps I’ll get inspired to go into academia again.

Navigating the spinout process is among many startup growth topics that will be explored at TNW Conference. You can find more on the event agenda — and remember: for a 25% discount on business passes, use the promo code READ-TNW-25.

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