Universiteit Leiden

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Daniel Verkijk

South Holland investment fund kicks off with 22 million euros

Start-up ambassador Neelie Kroes launched the new investment fund on 20 June. Erasmus Medical Centre, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter are working together on this initiative.

From innovation to business

UNIIQ has 22 million euros available to help entrepreneurs in South Holland turn their innovative ideas into a business. Innovative start-ups or academic spin-off companies can bridge their initial risk-heavy phase using starting capital from the fund.

Three top universities

The new fund combines the expertise and networks of three top universities and a regional development agency. The universities contribute the necessary technological knowledge, and InnovationQuarter the marketing knowledge and a broad network of private investors.

Netherlands creates climate for start-ups

The launch of UNIIQ is part of the approach taken by start-up ambassador Neelie Kroes to make the Netherlands one of the leading countries in Europe for creating start-ups. ‘There are an enormous number of clever start-ups in the Netherlands that take risks and think in terms of new business or societal models. They are making a difference in the way we make payments, travel, stay healthy, age, work and learn. These start-ups need capital to develop their product, service or business model. It's fantastic that UNIIQ is investing in this important growth phase of start-ups.'

Venture capital

Paul Althuis is director of the Valorisation Centre at TU Delft, and says on behalf of Erasmus MC and Leiden University: ‘We realise that it is very difficult for academic start-ups to acquire venture capital for developing their innovation; it's too big a step for them to make.  UNIIQ is there to bridge that gap.’

UNIIQ was launched during the InnovationQuarter annual event 2016 that took place in the TheaterHangaar in Katwijk. The initiative is funded partly by the European Union.

Photo above: Liduina Hammer (UNIIQ) and Neelie Kroes (StartupDelta) laying the first stone of UNIIQ

View the brief introduction to UNIIQ:

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