Life Science
Incubator Leiden


We provide tailored programs which open doors for startups
in Life Science & Health to the rich ecosystem of businesses, research
institutions and knowledge centers at the Leiden Bio Science Park.

This occurs across 4 phases: Activation, Pre-incubation, Incubation and Acceleration.




Entrepreneurship should be engrained in society, a valid career option for everyone with a great idea. unlock_ provides a place to encourage these ideas for the Life Sciences & Health sector.

Together with PLNT Leiden, unlock_ has developed introductory modules in which the career opportunities that entrepreneurship, and an entrepreneurial attitude offers for students and staff, play a central role. These classes help form a better understanding of the personal opportunities that starting you own life science & health company has to offer. Not only inventors and future entrepreneurs benefit from this, also staff and academics are faced with questions on how to transfer their ideas into societal impact and products.

Our current course portfolio:

  • Introduction course: creating a basic entrepreneurial mindset in Life Science (graduate) students and staff and introducing the potential follow-up steps: 2,5 hours
  • Research to Market Workshop: an interactive workshop to do the first reality check if a (research) idea is suited for commercialization through a start-up: 4 hours + networking
  • Research to market Bootcamp: A high-paced bootcamp that leads to a potential route to market and a self-check for the to-be entrepreneur(s) if they’re really up to the challenge: 4 days. The end-result of this bootcamp is the optimal (but not compulsory) start for the pre-incubation stage.
  • Several program-specific modules and activities including: Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Vitality and Aging, and Science Based Business




When you are in the process of starting your own Life Science & Health company, it is important that you take the time to properly validate the assumptions in your business case. The pre-incubation program of unlock_ is an add-on to the Venture Academy of unlock_’s partner, PLNT. In the Venture Academy we support students, researchers, entrepreneurs and employees during this validation process.

The Venture Academy is a three month program divided into two tracks. The main track supports you in topics such as: how to build a healthy team, make business decisions, and validate your customer base. Then, in the unlock_ specific Life Science and Health track, you will receive support and knowledge on topics relevant specifically for Life Science startups and spin-offs. These topics include: IP & brand protection, finance & investment, and balance & budgets.

In the Venture Academy you will take your first steps in becoming an entrepreneur by learning from entrepreneurs with various backgrounds, connecting with experts in the field of life sciences and getting ready for your first round of investment of up to €30.000,-  through, for instance, the ELF pre-seed fund.

Apply now for 2022!

Registration deadline: 13th of February 2022.

Screening interviews & selection: 13th of February – 27th of February 2022

Start of Onboarding: 28th of February 2022

Start VA program: 18th of March 2022




Getting your Life Sciences and Health or Biotechnology startup going comes with many challenges. The goal of the incubation program is to support early stage founders, researchers, and employees, in successfully navigating the first stage of setting up their Life Science and Biotechnology startup or spin-off. We do this by having them answer the question: how can we help you?

During the 12-month incubation program we will support you in identifying the blind spots in your business model and to develop a validation strategy. The program is based on the Healthtech Innovation Cycle, a scientific model designed specifically for Life Science and Biotech entrepreneurs.

The program is divided into two parts, the on-boarding in which you will follow a communal program with the other selected participants and the tailor made program which you can design based on your own specific needs. Furthermore, you will receive the support and the access to the venture capital and biotech network needed for your startup.

Apply now for 2022!

Registration closes 30 of January 2022.

Start of new program: 5th of April 2022




Full speed ahead, the acceleration program is the final program of unlock_. In this phase we find out what companies need, to help them grow as fast as they possibly can. This means it’s a highly personal approach that is focussed on the needs of the individual companies. This could mean that we help you find highly skilled personel, approach VC’s or connect you to new potential partners. If you are a fast growing LSH company in Leiden, you can apply for this program.

Even though unlock_ focusses on the needs of individual companies, we always strive to combine activities for more companies. Not just because this is more efficient, but also because we believe that companies also learn a lot each others experiences.

Examples of acceleration programs:

All of the courses offered by the Biotech Training Facility and Paul Janssen Futurelab Leiden – We train biomedical professionals, can be followed through unlock_. Apply below for these courses or if you have other enquiries on what we can do for you!

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