October 20, 2023

How to stay inspired in science and startups

In entrepreneurship and science, finding inspiration is crucial for breathing life into a startup or making impactful contributions. It drives innovation, fuels creativity, and helps propel entrepreneurs and scientists toward their goals.

In entrepreneurship and science, finding inspiration is crucial for breathing life into a startup or making impactful contributions. It drives innovation, fuels creativity, and helps propel entrepreneurs and scientists toward their goals. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or a dedicated scientist, maintaining motivation and finding inspiration is essential for overcoming challenges and achieving success. This article shares the top tips for finding inspiration, drawing on insights from successful individuals in the field. We'll explore the wisdom of Jan-Jaap Verhoef, Founder of Imuno Therapeutics, and Fleur van Eeden, General Manager of MyMicroZoo. From embracing mentorship to seeking out diverse perspectives, let's unlock the keys to boundless inspiration.


Finding inspiration from the people around you is essential as an entrepreneur or scientist. In Leiden, biotech entrepreneurs draw motivation from the vibrant community of innovators and experts. Attending networking events and industry gatherings with like-minded individuals can spark fresh ideas and collaborations. By joining a supportive community like the Leiden Bioscience Park, individuals can connect with peers, share ideas, and receive valuable feedback. These interactions provide an inspirational source, unlocking new perspectives and possibilities.

"I believe in the community here in Leiden. I am also a true believer in mentorship. I try to attract or surround myself with quite a few mentors." - says Jan-Jaap.

For Fleur, who is exploring her career options, keeping an open mind to different paths in science and entrepreneurship is essential. She suggests that individuals interested in these fields should actively engage with inspired individuals, attend events and competitions, and seek out like-minded individuals for potential collaborations.


In today's technology-driven world, human connection remains as crucial as ever. Entrepreneurs and scientists recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with inspirational individuals who ignite their passion for their work. Building meaningful relationships within the industry fosters collaboration and camaraderie, driving startups and scientific ventures toward their goals; engaging with others, whether as a founder, scientist, or professional, provides fresh perspectives and new ideas that lead to impactful endeavors. Passionate people can be a significant source of inspiration, motivating and encouraging others to pursue their passions.

Inspiration isn't just about personal growth; it's also about positively impacting others. Entrepreneurs and scientists believe that the human side of entrepreneurship, driven by a vision to help patients and improve lives, is critical in maintaining motivation and finding inspiration in the face of challenges.

"Most of my inspiration comes from talking to other people. People that are already doing it, people that are working on it, people that have done it - that gets you the most, I think," - says Fleur.

Personal experiences can serve as a powerful motivator for entrepreneurs and scientists in their journey. Witnessing the impact of illnesses like cancer on their surroundings inspires them to create solutions that improve people's lives. Their connection to human stories infuses purpose and meaning into their entrepreneurial and scientific pursuits.

"As we work in the oncology field, it is common for us to come across people in our surroundings who are unfortunately suffering from an illness. It is unfortunate, but it inspires us to work harder towards our goals. Our mission is to create something that adds value to patients' lives. Ultimately, this is the main purpose of our work." - shares Jan-Jaap.


Exploring how to integrate technology from other domains into biotech and scientific endeavors can lead to innovative solutions that push the boundaries of drug discovery. For instance, incorporating technology from other fields into oncology can be a game-changer. Entrepreneurs and scientists who embrace technology from various domains widen their horizons and stimulate creativity. Adopting technology in their respective fields can generate exciting ideas that add value to people's lives.

"I get quite excited about technology in that sense. Applying technology from one domain into another is something I always find quite interesting." - shares Jan-Jaap.


Interacting with others and seeking feedback on ideas can refine one's vision and inspire new possibilities. Feedback is a powerful tool for growth, particularly for entrepreneurs and scientists. Engaging in discussions and seeking input from diverse perspectives can lead to fresh insights and encourage personal development.

To find inspiration, stepping outside your comfort zone is essential. Interact with others and seek feedback on your ideas to open doors to new opportunities. Jan-Jaap emphasizes the importance of embracing the unexpected.

Fleur offers valuable advice on maintaining motivation and dealing with setbacks. She stresses the importance of cultivating a positive mindset rather than self-blame and guilt. Acknowledging that mistakes are part of the learning process allows for personal and professional growth without being overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, and being surrounded by people who truly understand and know the ins and outs of these challenges can be highly beneficial.

Inspiration is vital for success in entrepreneurship and science, and there are various ways to tap into it. Connecting with a mentor, engaging with the community, seeking diverse perspectives, and focusing on human impact are just a few ways to find inspiration. Continuous learning, resilience, and stepping out of one's comfort zone are crucial for fueling creativity and innovation.

Aspiring entrepreneurs and scientists should always remember that their passion for making a difference in the world and human connections are the primary sources of inspiration. To launch impactful ventures, individuals must engage with the community, seek mentorship, leverage technology, and draw inspiration from personal experiences.

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