A small group with big goals, that’s what Martijn Kriens, program manager at Briskr, calls the organisation. “We want to support the regional economy in health and high tech. We do so by helping start-ups and stimulating innovation.” Working from the Novio Tech Campus, in the heart of a growing MedTech community, Briskr offers their support to start-ups. To be able to help these start-ups develop even better, the organisation has added five new partners to its network.
Helping start-ups is not something Briskr can just do on its own. “It takes a village, of course. Our main partners are Gemeente Nijmegen, Novio Tech Campus, Radboud UMC, Radboud University, HAN, OostNL, Health Valley and Kadans Science Partner. These partners give us a firm foundation in the region to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship.”
But according to Martijn, one element was missing. “It is paramount to involve the business community in this network. You get a different perspective from them. And these entrepreneurs are often more critical about what we do in relation to real success. These supporting partners commit to supporting Briskr with cash as well as support to start-ups. And though they have a long-term view in the cooperation with Briskr, they do expect results: a growing regional economy that in the long run also benefits themselves. Because of this they us help to remain critical of progress and improve along the way.”
A partner network
The five partners who will now join the Briskr network, were chosen because of their specific fields. “Start-ups can make good use of the services and knowledge these companies have to offer.”
- Aeternus BV helps start-ups with valuation: they help determine what a company is worth. Which is highly important when looking for investments or for exits.
- BDO Netherlands is experienced in organising companies from a financial as well as an organisational point of view with a focus on grow.
- EP&C Patent Attorneys helps starting businesses with patent applications, particularly important in the health industry. Investors want to be sure that competitors cannot simply copy ideas.
- Poelmann van den Broek Advocaten is experienced in drawing up contracts and knows the ins and outs of the terms around venture capital. For example, how do you state the relation between founder and investor in no uncertain terms?
- Rabobank has the knowledge and experience to help growing entrepreneurs and can also provide loans, including innovation loans.
According to Martijn, the sum of all possibilities that partners offer, is important for start-ups. “We want to help start-ups with as wide a range of topics as possible. We have now gathered a group of professional companies to do so.” But there is still more to come: “In the beginning of next year we will add several other supporting partners to our network. The more high-quality partners in relevant fields for start-ups we connect to, the better we can help them!”
Health and High Tech
“The health care sector is the largest employer in Nijmegen. Radboud UMC alone has 11,000 employees. And since 1955, we have been producing microchips in Nijmegen. With Briskr, we want to link science to entrepreneurship in both Health and High Tech.” Martijn explains that doing research and entrepreneurship cannot exist without each other. “Impact is science multiplied by entrepreneurship. That means that if we do not bring innovation to the market, they will not create impact in the real world.”
For example, there are around 1,300 people at Radboud UMC who are working on their PhD research. “Every year, some 300 to 400 people complete their PhD research. Six per cent of these people will have a successful career in science. We want to convince at least five per cent of the others to build a business upon the research they have worked on day and night for four years.”
Briskr helps start-ups in a number of different ways. For example, by organising knowledge sessions with entrepreneurs from the world of science. Or Investment Days, where entrepreneurs can try and find potential investors. Martijn: “With Briskr and partners we provide opportunity in the Nijmegen region for these start-ups so that they can succeed and create real market impact.”