Press Release

VU StartHub & Catalyze announce strategic partnership

Amsterdam, April 6th 2022 – VU StartHub and Catalyze have announced a new partnership, wherein Catalyze will deliver strategic funding and business expertise to startups and researchers, helping to accelerate their innovations.

Jalal Es-Sbai, Catalyze Founder & Director, together with Hans Drenth, VU StartHub Director.

VU StartHub is a brand new startup community opening in the heart of the VU Amsterdam campus, where it will function as the spearhead for the large pool of enterprising talent at VU Amsterdam, providing a complete startup ecosystem. VU StartHub will accommodate approximately 50 startups, creating a highly collaborative environment for the acceleration of innovative, entrepreneurial initiatives. This way science based startups can profit from being very close to the VU campus science & knowledge hub. A new pavilion for the StartHub is under construction and is expected to open in mid-2022.

Catalyze is an innovation consultancy delivering expertise ranging from strategic consultancy to funding applications and project management, for clients working in the fields of life sciences & health, and green & sustainable innovations. Driven by a belief that the most meaningful innovations deserve the best chance to succeed, Catalyze has established itself as a key player in the innovation ecosystem, headquartered in Amsterdam and operating worldwide. To date, Catalyze has raised €750 million in funding for its clients, built a network ecosystem of more than 2500 partners, and grown to over 120 employees.

Catalyze joins the VU ecosystem as a VU StartHub Partner. The partnership will provide a significant boost to StartHub startups and researchers, as they will gain access to Catalyze’s industry leading expertise in funding strategy and strategic business consultancy. Catalyze will apply this expertise to equip members with clear and actionable strategies to accelerate their innovations. Activities will include services such as strategic funding, grant writing support, project management, and business coaching.

Jalal Es-Sbai, Founder & Director of Catalyze comments on the new partnership:

Being a VU alumnus myself it is great to be part of the VU StartHub ecosystem and work with innovative companies and researchers. Our team is looking forward to helping young entrepreneurs to accelerate their development, by guiding them through the complex funding landscape and strategically advising them to reach their goals. In addition, it is also great that we can share our story to students during a yearly lecture and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

Hans Drenth, Director of VU StartHub:

“I am really content that the VU Amsterdam Board has decided to invest in the VU StartHub initiative. This shows that VU Amsterdam puts their money where their mouth is. But we also need the business community to help us. With expertise, network and also financially. So I’m very happy that Catalyze decided to step up here. They can really help startups find their way in the ‘funding jungle’. Looking forward to a fruitful partnership!”


More information on VU StartHub

Photography: Liesbeth Dingemans


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