Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge 2021

Proefdiervrij wants to accelerate and increase the impact of animal-free research on the use of laboratory animals. One way to achieve this, is by strengthening the position of animal-free models by setting up a commercial organisation. Unfortunately, lack of experience and knowledge of scientists makes that this is not done as often as liked. To remove this obstacle, proper guidance by experts is of great essence. That is why Proefdiervrij is organising the first edition of the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge.

This 10 to 12-week programme will convert scientific breakthroughs within the life sciences into a solid business case. The participants will gain the skills necessary to either start or further develop a company.

During the course of this programme, the participants will work on their pitch and come in contact with Life Sciences experts, possible investors and experienced entrepreneurs. The Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge will, in terms of content, be guided by the experienced team of the regular Venture Challenge, which has already seen over 20 editions.

Conditions Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge

The Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge originates from the regular Venture Challenge for starting entrepreneurs, be it with an adjusted scope.

Innovations that qualify for the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge must meet the following conditions:

  1. It’s a 100% animal-free innovation that doesn’t use animals that don’t fall under the EU Directive 2010/63/EU either. This means no shrimps, fruit flies, etc. and also no slaughterhouse material. *
  2. It’s an idea in the following sectors, among others: medical, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, chemistry – this list is not exhaustive.
  3. The innovation can generate a demonstrable, positive impact on the use of laboratory animals. The question “what positive impact can this innovation have on the use of laboratory animals in general – in the short and/or long term?” must be answered with strong arguments.
  4. When in vitro methods are involved, an FCS-free medium is preferred.

* use of already existing laboratory animal data is only possible in consultation and in combination with human data (new or existing).

Who can participate? 

A maximum of 6 teams can participate in the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge. A selection committee will select 6 teams from the incoming applications.

Participation in the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge is possible for teams that meet the following conditions:

  1. The team consists of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 people.
  2. The team wants to market a new product, process or service based on a new technical invention or a new application of pre-existing technology, arising from scientific research. This must fall within the aforementioned scope.
  3. The team is prepared to cooperate in communication from Proefdiervrij. We take any sensitive/secret information into account: the emphasis in the communication lies on the motivation to participate, why animal-free research is so important, the expected effects on the use of laboratory animals, etc.
  4. When the idea includes setting up a company, this must be focused on countries within the EU that have a clear connection with the Netherlands (a Dutch founder for example).
  5. If the application is made by a startup, the startup cannot be older than 5 years.

Participation in this challenge requires a personal contribution per team. The amount of personal contribution depends on the number of team members:

  • € 2,000 with the participation of 3 team members
  • € 2,500 with the participation of 4 team members
  • € 3,000 with the participation of 5 team members

Application procedure

You can express your interest in participating through a non-obligatory pre-proposal from the 1st of June 2020 (download here).

Registration for the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge will be possible from the 1st of December 2020 to the 25th of January 2021:

  1. Download the registration form on this website (available from December 1st)
  2. Fill in the registration form. The maximum size of the total application is 10 pages, excluding attachments.
  3. Send the completed application form with attachments to Saskia Aan, Science and Innovation Advisor -> before the 25th of January 2021 at 14:00.

Assessment procedure

The first step in the assessment procedure is a test, which will determine whether the application can be processed. The conditions as described under ‘Who can participate’ will be part of this determination.

If the application is processed, the selection committee will invite you for an interview. Based on the advice of the selection committee, it is decided which teams will be invited to participate.

The timeline for the procedure is as follows:

  • Application deadline: January 25th, 2021
  • Interviews selection committee: 3rd and 5th of February 2021
  • Participation decision or rejection: mid-February 2021
  • Announcement final decision: end of February 2021

Please note! For the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge to take place, there is a need of at least 4 teams of high quality to participate. If Proefdiervrij concludes after the assessments that this number cannot be reached, the Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge will be cancelled.

Source: Proefdiervrij

Proefdiervrij Venture Challenge 2021

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