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Janssen, a boost for start-ups

Janssen, a boost for start-ups

Janssen plays a leading role in stimulating innovation. We help a lot of start-ups to turn their innovative ideas into a successful business plan. We do this by offering coaching and support to highly innovative projects which could have a major impact on healthcare.

Innovation is the lifeblood of Janssen: we develop new and advanced therapeutic solutions for patients, and open innovation is an essential part of that. In recent years, we have come to realize that we can’t do it all on our own: the fight against complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s or cancer requires a great deal more knowledge than that generally contained in a single company. That is why we operate an extensive open innovation strategy and introduce as much knowledge as possible from outside the company. Janssen now adopts more of a position of a business incubator in order to convert knowledge acquired from outside the company into solutions which provide better healthcare.

A boost to progress

Seven companies have participated in the Janssen Entrepreneurial Innovation Boot Camp. These boot camps provide training and coaching for a group of start-ups in the medical field. Multidisciplinary teams help these start-ups convert innovative ideas into feasible business plans. The final goal is to launch a concept or research result on the market in the form of a product or service, whether in partnership with Janssen or independently of it.

Collaboration can boost progress enormously. However, what you really need to develop a product or service and launch it on the market is considerable funding, certainly as far as drugs are concerned. That is why Janssen sets up meetings between start-ups and venture capital providers at the end of the program. The business cases are presented and potential investors ask specific questions in order to assess the commercial and financial feasibility of those projects.”

From concept to product

‘Participating in the Janssen Boot Camp has taught us to think hard about our product and our goals,’ says a participant from one of the start-ups. ‘Thanks to the coaching, which included lecturers from Vlerick Business School, we’ve been able to convert a purely scientific finding into a potential product. What is special about Janssen Boot Camps is that all the advice is presented in a structured manner and in a specific timeframe. The interaction with potential investors is also important. That obligates us to substantiate our business case and profile ourselves clearly.’