Promising technology from InkBeams start-up: needle-free injections
“InkBeams makes huge strides thanks to The StartupLaunch and Novel-T”
David Fernadez Rivas is an entrepreneur who has developed promising technology: injecting ink or medication without the use of needles. Last year, he won The StartupLaunch with this innovative idea. At present, he is receiving support from the business developers at Novel-T to develop his idea into a market-ready product. Meanwhile, considerable progress has been made and we look back on recent months.
‘No, that does not appeal to me’, was David Fernandez Rivas’ initial reaction when The StartupLaunch was suggested to him by Powered By Twente. “I wondered what I could contribute during such a weekend and thought it was only for students.” Fortunately, Novel-T business developer Peter Hoekstra persuaded him to participate and to pitch his idea of ‘needle-free injections’ for further development.
David works as a tenure tracker (Assistant Professor) at the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente and is a co-founder of the BuBclean company, a UT spin-off. “I developed the technology for injecting without needles as part of a scientific project, but never had the time to develop the idea further”, David tells us.
Energetic and inspiring environment
The time David was able to invest in his idea during the StartupLaunch weekend was also the first win for the project. “Because we were able to focus fully on the business plan for a few days and were supported in this by experts, we had a clear business plan within 54 hours.” There was a healthy competitive atmosphere among the participating students, researchers and entrepreneurs. “It started on Friday evening, when we all pitched our business ideas. Smart ideas came thick and fast.” The eight ideas with the most points were elaborated over the weekend.
Coaching by a team of experts
Novel-T business developers attend The StartupLaunch and other events to support the development of ideas. “Pressure cooker methodology created the necessary pressure and focus. We worked according to a specific methodology with deadlines. And we received professional coaching on all aspects”, Peter explains. “For example, colleague Roy Kolkman offered advice on protecting intellectual property, while you could go to Erwin Holtland, Novel-T expert in the field of investments, for advice on how to attract start-up capital, and I myself assisted with developing business plans.” In addition, we heard inspiring stories from the founders of Dot Dot World and Clearflight Solutions, examples of genuine gamechangers who also benefited from the ecosystem.
Abundance of inspiration and creativity
The right mix of people is essential for the further development of a good idea. David elucidates: “To make a good idea commercially viable, you need people with different backgrounds and experience. The role of a business developer or a good marketer, for example, is no less important than that of the researcher.” David and his team received support in the development of the company name from marketing professional Tom Schepers of Creative Bastards. “Because of my technical background, I often adopt a scientific and technical approach”, David continues. “The company name I had in mind was far too technical. Tom and I came up with InkBeams. A catchy name that sticks and which explains a component of the technology.”
Developing into a successful spin-off
InkBeams’ validated technology provides a solution to serious problems and the invention has great market potential. The concept’s intellectual property has meanwhile been secured. David explains how the technology works: “The InkBeams system uses a laser to create a bubble in a liquid. The liquid is then ejected from a small device at a particular speed and penetrates the skin. You can use this method to inject medication, as well as ink, for example, without using a needle. We are currently working with a Postdoc and Industrial Design student to expand our knowledge and to develop a prototype.” There is interest from the market. “We might focus on injecting ink for tattoos first and then use the capital acquired to conduct further research. Ultimately, I would like everyone to have the option of this technology when they require medication.”
‘Grasp that unique opportunity’
“Looking back, I would not have wanted to miss this event for the world. It converted my idea into a real business. Events like The StartupLaunch offer a unique opportunity that appeals not only to students, but certainly to researchers and entrepreneurs as well.” Peter adds: “So, do you have an idea? Or would you like to experience what it is like to be an entrepreneur? Then participate in The StartupLaunch for a unique experience and, possibly, a flying start for your company. At Novel-T, we also support you in making a potential success of your idea after this exciting event.”