UNIIQ is a €22 million investment fund for new technologies at the proof-of-concept phase. Designed to help entrepreneurs in Zuid-Holland, the fund will speed up the process of bringing innovation to the market.
Liduina Hammer, who manages the fund, believes this is a very exciting period. She says, "With its many high-end knowledge institutes, I genuinely feel that Zuid-Holland is a potential gold mine.”
Hammer manages UNIIQ, an investment fund that assists innovative tech entrepreneurs in Zuid-Holland. The fund was founded by regional development agency InnovationQuarter and three top universities: Erasmus MC, TU Delft and Leiden University. UNIIQ focuses on academic spin-offs and startups and combines internationally recognised know-how with the market knowledge and extensive private investor network of InnovationQuarter.
“Knowing that UNIIQ has a significant part to play in bringing innovations to market more quickly is highly rewarding,” says Hammer. She continues, “Having the opportunity to help transform promising technologies into prospering businesses certainly makes the heart race.”
The drive to boost innovation
Hammer is on a quest to drive innovation and says, “Innovation is vitally important to a country, and UNIIQ can make a key contribution to the Dutch innovation pipeline. My aim is to prepare as many companies as I can for follow-up funding.”
What makes UNIIQ, well, unique?
“The close cooperation with incubators and knowledge institutes, the guidance our team provides to entrepreneurs and the extensive network we introduce them to,” Hammer responds without hesitation. She adds, “UNIIQ covers the funding gap by investing at an early stage with a convertible loan of up to €300k under very business-friendly conditions.”
Why don’t these entrepreneurs pursue regular means of funding?
“Developing new technologies and bringing them to market is not only costly and difficult, but it can also be risky”, Hammer explains. “Although technological innovations can be promising, they do not necessarily deliver immediate business opportunities in the early stages. Young technological companies can therefore find funding tough to come by. This is where UNIIQ comes in.”
How does Leiden Bio Science Park fit in?
By helping startups, UNIIQ aims to facilitate growth of the tech ecosystem in Zuid-Holland. Hammer is convinced Leiden Bio Science Park can benefit: “As we transform more innovations into viable business ventures, talented entrepreneurs with bold ideas will be drawn here. And Leiden Bio Science Park offers them the perfect location to start their venture and collaborate with like-minded people.”
Indeed, UNIIQ is looking to invest in companies currently based in Leiden Bio Science Park. Hammer stresses, “If you’re a startup working on new technologies, give me a call. We might be very interested.”
For more information: www.UNIIQ.nl
Show me the money
Meet UNIIQ at the upcoming Show me the money session on funding for startups.