JLABS Beerse

Opening a gateway to a global network

As New Venture Lead for the Benelux Gideon Bevelander tells us more about Johnson & Johnson Innovation and more specifically how Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS), our global network of open innovation ecosystems, aims to provide the optimal environment and infrastructure for emerging life science companies to catalyze growth. Gideon and others from the Johnson & Johnson Innovation team will be meeting selected entrepreneurs based in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg following the Meet with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Benelux event which took place on 3 March (you can watch the recording here) and shared some personal insights with us ahead of those encounters.


1. What does JLABS mean to you?

For me, JLABS is one of the ways Johnson & Johnson Innovation can enable companies to accelerate the development of their ideas and technologies. We provide connectivity with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, including mentorship and training, and the opportunity to reach a network of investors, scientific experts, and service providers globally. At our JLABS incubator in Beerse, Belgium, we also provide infrastructure and access to lab equipment. What I personally find very important is the no-strings-attached model: There is no first look, no first right of refusal and no equity assigned to the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. With this model companies can join JLABS with the confidence that they are free to collaborate with whom they want in the way they want.

“Small companies get big companies’ benefits.”

2. What do you feel makes JLABS different from other incubators in the Benelux?

JLABS is a corporate incubator that opens the door to the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, the largest life sciences R&D investor in the Benelux with a large footprint in Beerse and Leiden. JLABS also offers close engagement with the global network of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. For entrepreneurs, these links with an international network of scientific experts, investors and other resources can be attractive.

“At Johnson & Johnson Innovation we look for collaborations where all parties find this win-win situation.”

3. What are the benefits of potential collaborations for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies on one hand and for companies, researchers, organizations, on the other hand?

If we want to stay at the forefront of the development of future therapies, we think it is key to work with people outside of our business sharing knowledge, data and technology. Start-ups may be able to leverage the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies’ network and expertise to navigate the health ecosystem. We hope to bring both parties together to possibly set up new collaborations.

4. For which start-ups can it be meaningful to join Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS?

In terms of business development, start-ups do not need to have the perfect data package yet, but the science or technology should address an unmet medical need, and the team should be set up for acceleration. We focus on technologies which are in line with the different therapeutic areas and the strategy of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies. If you want to consider applying do not hesitate to check the JLABS website.

“You will need to explain what makes your approach unique”.

5. What would be your personal suggestion to a potential applicant?

If you want to connect, try to explain why Johnson & Johnson Innovation should collaborate with you: what makes your idea or technology unique. In addition, when you pitch, try to define how Johnson & Johnson Innovation can support you.

6. Following the “Meet with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Benelux” event on 3 March you will have one-to-one partnering meetings with selected emerging life science companies, can you tell us more about this opportunity?

This is an opportunity to connect directly with Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Our main goal will be to meet potential collaborators, especially innovators in pharma, medical devices, consumer healthcare and data sciences.

For more information, please visit: http://jji.jnj/benelux