Our Journey: Let’s talk about Support

May 22, 2023


Jeremiah (Tobi) here! A co-founder of Madglove. I am usually involved in the relationships we build for Madglove and I absolutely love it. This is because; the people we have met, and the organisations we have had the privilege of learning from and working with, are nothing short of magnificent. So I will give you a run-down of these wonderful organisations and mention some awesome people along the way. 

Madglove has had its fair share of challenges to get to where we are today. It takes effort, commitment and most importantly, passion to build a start-up in this ecosystem. From bringing like-minded founders together to making ourselves function as a solid unit. What we can say is we had so much help along the way and we would be remised not to mention the organisations involved in helping us grow so much. 

Here is a list of the pre-incubators, incubators and accelerators that are at the core of how we developed as a team and a company:

VU Demonstrator Lab 

The Vrije Universiteit Demonstrator Lab is a pre-incubator located on the 2nd floor of the W&N Building at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. It offers a workspace and support to start-ups developing innovative technologies in science and technology. They provide various services such as funding advice, mentorship, and access to state-of-the-art facilities to help start-ups grow and scale. We began our journey here. The mentorship gained from the D-lab, notably from former director Davide Ianuzzi, Current Director Dr Linda van de Burgwal and our coach Berno Bucker (PhD.) was beyond special in our development. Through our development here, we were able to win Amsterdam’s best social entrepreneurship prize and secure free office space at the VU Starthub.

VU Starthub 

VU Starthub is another start-up incubator located at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam that focuses on supporting early-stage start-ups in various fields such as AI, health tech, and sustainable development. They offer coaching, networking opportunities, and access to a community of entrepreneurs to help start-ups develop their ideas into successful businesses. It was through this program that we met an amazing advisor in Marc Van der Schee.   

Notable Mentions: Director Hans Drenth

The two aforementioned organisations helped us gain access to the following incubators and accelerator programmes

Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Incubator 

Building on our progress, Madglove became part of ACE. ACE Incubator is a renowned start-up incubator located at Start-up Village in  Amsterdam Science Park that offers support to tech start-ups in various fields such as fintech, cybersecurity, health tech and energy. They provide mentorship, funding, and access to a network of investors and industry experts to help start-ups grow and scale their businesses. They also offer various programs such as an accelerator program and a social impact program to support start-ups at different stages of their development. 

We had very significant events such as “Mentor Day” where we met mentors who assisted us in building our business plan and refining our pitches, the “Pitch & Beers” event where we pitch to our fellow start-ups and mentors and get helpful feedback, the “Service Provider Day” that links you with great services to help grow our start-up and make some tasks easier, and the “Investor Day” which allowed us to present our company and network with investors for funding opportunities. The whole ACE team were exceptional in organising this programme in the way they did. 

Amsterdam Start-up Launch (ASL)

Amsterdam Start-up Launch is a start-up accelerator that provides early-stage start-ups with seed funding, mentorship, and resources to help them grow and scale. They also offer a 6-month program that includes workshops, pitch training, and networking opportunities to help start-ups develop their business models and go-to-market strategies. Two major companies that worked in collaboration with ASL to give advice on management and legal development to us were Roland Berger and Van Doorne. Roland Berger is a global consulting firm that offers strategic advice to start-ups and corporations. They provide support in areas such as strategy, operations, and innovation management, helping start-ups and companies navigate the challenges of scaling and expanding their businesses. Van Doorne is a prominent law firm in the Netherlands, offering comprehensive legal services across various practice areas to national and international clients in industries such as technology, healthcare, and finance. 

Through these two programmes, we developed our business plan to a stage where we were awarded an NWO feasibility study takeoff 1 grant (https://www.nwo.nl/en/funding/our-funding-instruments/nwo/takeoff), and nominated for the best tech idea in the Netherlands.

The successful completion of these programs opened doors for Madglove to explore potential funding opportunities. The Amsterdam Academic Angel Fund focused on supporting start-ups founded by academic members, expressed interest in backing Madglove’s innovative venture and awarded us a pre-seed investment. 

Amsterdam Academic Angels Fund is an angel investment fund that invests in startups founded by students, researchers, and alumni of universities in Amsterdam. They provide funding, mentorship, and access to a network of investors and industry experts to help startups grow and succeed. The fund focuses on startups in the tech, healthcare, and sustainability sectors.

Other funding opportunities available to us are ASIF Ventures and InnovatieFonds Noord-Holland.

ASIF Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage start-ups, recognized the potential of Madglove’s technology and discussed funding our innovation. Lastly, InnovatieFonds Noord Holland, a regional innovation fund, acknowledged the potential of Madglove’s solution and expressed interest to provide support.

Our journey was not limited to entrepreneurial support alone. Ongoing conversations and potential collaborations with organizations such as Hersenletsel Stichting, Hersenstichting, and Kennisnetwerk CVA added value to our mission. These collaborations allowed Madglove to gain insights into the healthcare sector, exchange knowledge, and explore potential synergies. 

Hersenletsel Stichting is a non-profit organization in the Netherlands that provides support to individuals and families affected by brain injury. They offer various services such as counselling, rehabilitation, and education to help people with brain injury to improve their quality of life.

Hersenstichting is a Dutch foundation that funds research on brain diseases and disorders such as dementia, stroke, and epilepsy. They also provide information and support to individuals and families affected by these conditions, as well as advocacy for better policies and services for people with brain disorders.

Kennisnetwerk CVA is a network of healthcare professionals, researchers, and organizations in the Netherlands that focu

ses on improving the quality of care for stroke patients. They provide education, training, and resources to healthcare professionals to promote best practices in stroke care. They also conduct research and collaborate with other organizations to improve stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Our path from a start-up in the VU Demonstrator Lab to being recognized as one of the best tech ideas in the Netherlands showcases the power of strategic partnerships and entrepreneurial support. Through our journey with VU Starthub, ACE Incubator, and Amsterdam Startup Launch, Madglove has built a strong foundation. The recognition received, along with secured funding from NWO and Amsterdam Academic Angel Fund have solidified Madglove’s position as a promising player in the healthcare industry. Engagements with organizations like Hersenletsel Stichting, Hersenstichting, and Kennisnetwerk CVA have further enhanced their understanding and potential impact in the healthcare sector. With a bright future ahead, We hope to innovate and contribute to the advancement of healthcare technology. 

Notable mentions that are crucial to our development: Dr Paulien Goossens, Marc Van der Schee and Dr John van der Kamp


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