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Blog tal-aħbarijiet17 Marzu 2023Direttorat Ġenerali għas-Suq Intern, l-Industrija, l-Intraprenditorija u l-SMEs

EEPA 2022 Testimonial – Improving the Business Environment & supporting the Digital transition

EEPA 2022 winner Category 3 Improving the Business Environment & supporting the Digital transition  LifeSciences@Work Venture Challenge

Meet the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) 2022 winner LifeSciences@Work Venture Challenge by Health-Holland and Topsector LSH, who took home the trophy for Category 3: Improving the Business Environment & supporting the Digital transition.

This category recognises innovative policies and initiatives at national, regional or local level, which make Europe the most attractive place to start a business, operate it, make it grow and scale it up in the Single Market. In addition, to simplify legislative and administrative procedures for businesses, implement the “Think Small First” principle in favor of small and medium-sized enterprises, and support the digital transition of enterprises enabling them to develop, to market and use digital technologies, products and services of any kind.

The Netherlands’ Project LifeSciences@Work Venture Challenge helps life researchers translate their research into a solid business case that forms the basis for a biotech or medtech start-up.

The Venture Challenge works with highly experienced business coaches with hands-on experience in the industry, life sciences start-ups and venture capital. Since 2008, more than 150 teams have participated and most of them have successfully started a biotech or medtech company.

How did you first hear about the national competition and why did you decide to participate?

We had already known about the competition for a while, as we were asked to participate by RVO, the government agency for entrepreneurs, a couple of years ago.

Since we work with entrepreneurs, the connection is there. We applied because we felt we’re doing something valuable for aspiring entrepreneurs and society. 

How did you prepare your application?

We did it quickly. We divided the questions on the application form amongst our team. Then we consolidated the document and we had it checked by several stakeholders. When everyone approved, we applied.

What do you think made your application standout?

I think the impact that we have achieved with the programme in terms of capital invested and grants received from our alumni. I think it is very clear what we do and why we do it. ‘Health’ is also an issue that affects all of us.

What was it like to win the award?

Even though we were confident that we had a chance to win, we weren’t sure at all. We weren’t sure whether the fit with our category would be good enough and the other contestants had appealing stories as well. Winning therefore came as a pleasant surprise and it felt like a recognition of all the work we have put in it over the last 15 years.

How has winning the award impacted your work so far?

We have noticed more positive attention. People are approaching us saying, “I saw you won an award!” We now also have bragging rights and can call the lifesciences@work Venture Challenge an award-winning program. We also use it to investigate the possibility of expanding to other countries. The fact that we won an EU award really helps for that.

What are your plans for the future?

We are going to keep doing what we have been doing for the past 15 years, which is helping scientists with creating a solid business case out of their research ideas. Next year the program will expand to other sectors outside ‘Life Sciences’ and we are looking into taking the program to other countries.

Why should other enter EEPA 2023? What advice would you give them?

Our advice would be: Don’t hesitate and just do it! If you don’t win, the application was a good exercise to get your activities and plans on paper in a structured way. And if you do win, the EEPA and the whole conference are worthwhile. We learned a lot at the conference and we enjoyed Prague.

Keep coming back to Promoting Enterprise for more EEPA 2022 winner testimonials and don’t forget to watch their winning moments on our YouTube channel.

You can also have a complete view of the EEPA 2022 winners here.

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