Double chance for NWO Venture Challenge with additional winter issue

The NWO Venture Challenge helps starting entrepreneurs in life sciences to bring their service or product to the market. In a programme of approximately eight weeks, starters receive support in setting up a company and develop their idea into a solid business case. The aim of the Venture Challenge is to shorten the time to market. In addition to the regular autumn edition, NWO is also organizing a winter edition this year. 

Many scientific findings never reach the market. Researchers often do not have the experience and knowledge needed to set up a commercial organisation and to come to a market-ready product. It is usually too early for private investors and experienced entrepreneurs to step in during the start-up phase, for example because the business case is not yet sufficiently clear to them. The Venture Challenge helps by developing a well-thought out business case together with the researchers. This provides insight into what is needed to bring the invention to the market.

Who can apply

The Venture Challenge is aimed at teams of at least three and a maximum of four people who are planning to bring a product or service in the field of life sciences & health to the market as a new start-up. The product or service is based on a new technological discovery or a new application of existing technology, arising from scientific research. More specifically, it concerns a new therapy or medicine, diagnostics, medical device or a technology for improving existing – or accelerating the development of new – therapies or medicines. The team consists of the person who made the scientific discovery and the other founders of the start-up.

What to apply for

An edition consists of two three-day bootcamps and regular coaching sessions. Participants work under the supervision of experienced coaches, to set up or improve their business case.  The entire process takes ten to twelve weeks. At the end, the participants pitch their plans in front of a jury, including experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The selected candidates pay a personal contribution and receive funding for participating in the Venture Challenge, to be spent in the upcoming edition. The personal contribution for participation per team is:

  • 2,000 euros when 3 team members participate;
  • 2,500 euros when 4 team members participate.


The following dates are important:
First Venture Challenge program Second Venture Challenge program
First bootcamp 2-4 October 2024 27-29 November 2024
Second bootcamp 13-15 November 2024 22-24 January 2025
Pitches for the jury 4 December 2024 12 February 2025

Deadline for registration

Deadline for registration is 2 July 2024.


Jouw onderzoek naar de markt?

Doe de quickscan door je gegevens hieronder in te vullen.