Life Science
Incubator Leiden


We provide tailored entrepreneurship 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 ingrained in society, a valid career option for everyone with a great idea. unlock_ provides a place to encourage and develop these ideas in the Life Sciences & Health sector.

Are you a researcher and do you want to understand what it takes to launch a science-based startup? Join the Ready To Start entrepreneurship program! This free 4-week online evening course could be your first step towards making a significant impact with your research.

In this program, we delve into the entrepreneurial sphere, addressing key questions such as:

  • What defines a startup?
  • How can a startup incubator assist me?
  • Is entrepreneurship the right path for me?
  • Can entrepreneurship coexist with an academic career?

The Ready To Start program for this season just started. The new dates will follow soon. Want to get a preview of the program? Download the one-pager here.

Together with PLNT Leiden, unlock_ has developed introductory modules and activities on entrepreneurship in the following studies from Leiden University and the LUMC: Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Vitality and Aging, and Science Based Business.

In these modules, 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.

Interested in entrepreneurship but not currently taking one of the above courses? Then get involved with Startup Play! This is the perfect entrepreneurship program if you do not have a (complete) idea yet, but you want to discover if entrepreneurship suits you.




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. For more information about the upcoming Venture Academy, see the brochure.

The Venture Academy is a four 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 €70.000,-  through, for instance, the ELF pre-seed fund.

Registration for the Pre-incubation Program commencing March are now open. If you currently have an idea fit for this program, apply now!




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 designed specifically for Life Science and Biotech entrepreneurs.

The program is divided into two parts:

  1. The onboarding in which you will follow 13 full days of highly interactive sessions with the other selected participants over a 4-month period commencing in March.
  2. The tailor-made program which you can design based on your own specific needs. This includes 8 months of tailored advice, coaching, mentoring and masterclasses. Receive support from experts in the industry and grow with your fellow participants.

Furthermore, you will have access to the venture capital and biotech networks needed for your startup.

Registration for 2024 is now open! Let’s get in touch. 

Thursday, December 7, 2023
08:00 - 18:00

Dutch Life Sciences Conference

Save the date! The Dutch Life Sciences Conference, the foremost life sciences business network event in the Netherlands will be taking place on December 7th.




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.

Market Access & Reimbursement program:

Are you planning to raise your next investment round and/or are you creating your market access strategy, but you need to find out how reimbursement works in your target market? Apply now for the unlock_ Market Access & Reimbursement program from January-March or September-December 2023.

With the unlock_ Market Access & Reimbursement (MA&R) program we will support you in increasing your investor readiness level by:

  • Helping you understand the main elements of a MA&R strategy;
  • Help you understand and answer the critical questions that form the basis of your MA&R strategy, irrespective of the market that you are aiming for;
  • Understand how investors will evaluate your technology in terms of opportunities and obstacles to market adoption and market sizing.

Across three training days, you will work on building the skills and answering the most critical questions for your MA&R strategy. During the individual research track, you can choose a market of your choice. Together with experts from Hull Associates, you will map out how your technology fits in the local market and reimbursement system, and what your strategy needs to be in order to enter that market.

The costs of this program can be fully covered by the ZorgTech program voucher. Are you interested in the program or want to know more? Click below.

Examples of other 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!

Thursday, December 7, 2023
08:00 - 18:00

Dutch Life Sciences Conference

Save the date! The Dutch Life Sciences Conference, the foremost life sciences business network event in the Netherlands will be taking place on December 7th.

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