July 21, 2023

Do you need partners to grow your biotech startup?

Collaboration and partnerships have emerged as essential pillars for achieving sustainable success in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment. These strategic alliances provide access to a broader pool of resources, expertise, and knowledge, allowing companies to accelerate their growth, enhance their competitive advantage, and unlock remarkable achievements. This article will discuss the significance of collaboration and partnerships, drawing insights from the contributions of Violette Defourt from Rapidemic and Yuliya Shakalisava from EXIT071.

EXIT071 team


Collaboration and partnerships are vital for businesses and startups for several reasons. Firstly, while companies can accomplish a lot independently, specific skills may be too technically complex, time-consuming, or costly to adopt internally, particularly regarding specialized skills or knowledge. Yuliya emphasizes the importance of outsourcing by stating:

"We know all about electrodriven microfluidic separation, but we lack the right facilities and extensive expertise in fabricating the micro-nano-fluidic chips. So we partner with people who are good at it."

Recognizing limitations drives companies to seek partnerships that complement their strengths and provide specialized skills or knowledge gaps.

Moreover, they are particularly crucial to outsource tasks and activities outside startups' primary focus or scope, helping them operate more efficiently and effectively. Violette supports this perspective, remarking:

“For startup companies, it’s important to focus on decreasing the time to market and keep the team strongly aligned on reaching a specific goal.”

Partnering with experts gives businesses access to necessary skills and resources, streamlining their development and production processes for increased efficiency.


Collaboration and partnerships offer numerous benefits that extend beyond financial gains and significantly impact the trajectory of businesses and startups.

One of the critical advantages of collaboration among diverse individuals is that it promotes innovation and creativity. Bringing together individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and areas of expertise cultivates a fertile environment for idea generation and problem-solving. This synergy often leads to breakthrough innovations that can disrupt industries and propel companies to new heights by encouraging out-of-the-box thinking and pushing boundaries.

"We've learned from other startups that shared insights about novel techniques. We are collaborating in the field of molecular biology, and it's great to have extra minds to share ideas with", says Violette.


These synergistic collaborations push boundaries, spark fresh ideas, and often result in breakthrough innovations that reshape industries.

Expanding market reach and customer base is another significant advantage of collaborations and partnerships. By joining forces, businesses can tap into new markets, access untapped customer segments, and expand their geographic presence.

Yuliya highlights the importance of partnering with clinicians with profound domain expertise and access to valuable samples.

We always collaborate with clinicians because they are the people who have ultimate knowledge of diseases or symptoms
— shares Yuliya

These collaborations enhance market penetration and enable companies to reach a broader audience, build brand visibility, and establish trust through association with reputable partners.


Transparency in expressing intentions from the beginning and ensuring they reflect in contractual agreements is also crucial, establishing a solid foundation and fostering mutual understanding among all parties involved.

To address these challenges, Violette believes in promptly confronting the situation and requesting honest conversations to air frustrations and facilitate constructive dialogue to move forward positively.

Use all communication tools: writing, calling, and face-to-face visits
— advises Violette

Moreover, being reliable, trustworthy, and delivering value are key factors that contribute to maintaining long-term collaborations. Violette emphasizes the importance of being a pleasant partner, creating a positive and productive working environment.


Yuliya highlights the significant role of networking in finding collaborators beyond just attending networking events: “My professional network with whom I have built relationships and am familiar with their areas of expertise is invaluable to find skilled collaborators for specific projects.”

Yuliya also mentions that attending conferences is part of her approach, as it provides opportunities to expand her network and establish connections. Relationships are nurtured by repeatedly engaging with others, ensuring a reliable source of capable collaborators when needed. While networking events are meaningful, the strength of collaboration lies in nurturing relationships within your existing network.

Collaboration and partnerships are essential for business success, unlocking valuable resources, expertise, and knowledge. By embracing strategic alliances, companies achieve breakthrough solutions, expand market reach, and enhance capabilities. To ensure successful collaborations, choose partners wisely, communicate clearly, and nurture strong relationships.

Embrace collective efforts and shared expertise. Propel your business to new heights with strategic alliances that fill skill gaps and unlock resources. Are you ready to navigate entrepreneurship with trusted partners? Success awaits those who embrace collaboration, nurture relationships, and unlock the power of partnerships.

Do you have any questions about collaborating and partnering in LBSP? Don't hesitate and get in touch to explore the possibilities.

Rapidemic team © ANNE-SOPHIE FADIÉ
Did you know? Much of our growth at Leiden Bio Science Park originated in the Park itself