Delft Enterprises is the starting point for entrepreneurial TU Delft employees: they help turn a good idea into a successful and profitable business. One of those good ideas came from CyberHydra, and was born out of frustration. Running a lab experiment by hand is often a hard and time consuming process, which was bothering Dr. Evgeny Uslamin. So, he and his Delft University of Technology colleague Dr. Robbert van Putten developed a patented technology to automate experimentation. With expert help from Delft Enterprises on the business end of things they turned their technology into a business proposition and have started testing their prototype with respected research organisation TNO, who is now their industrial partner. Incredible as that sounds, Co-Founder Evgeny makes it seem like simple maths: “It could be done better, so that’s what we did”.
Do it yourself to do it right
Dr. Evgeny Uslamin and Dr. Robbert van Putten partnered up as business associates during their Ph.D. research in Delft three years ago, at the Faculty of Applied Sciences in the department of Chemical Engineering, more specifically the Inorganic Systems Engineering group led by Prof. Evgeny Pidko (who is also a scientific adviser at CyberHydra).
During their research, the need for automated reaction monitoring (explained here) arose when conventional methods were looking to be incredibly time consuming. Building their patented autosampler helped solve the problem and kicked-off their new startup.
Delft Enterprises, who participates in innovative, early stage and technology-based spin off companies of Delft University of Technology, enters the scene at exactly the right time: ‘We have an idea for a business, now what?’ Justin Kok, Innovation Scout at Delft Enterprises, helps them go through all the steps of the patent application and convinces Evgeny and Robbert that there is commercial potential for their innovation. With his assistance, the company CyberHydra was registered February of this year.
Justin’s role as Innovation Scout means he’s involved in the startup’s first phase. Right from the get-go tough calls have to be made. For example: could your idea ever be profitable and do you yourself have what it takes to make your company succeed. A brutally honest but exciting process, which he talks about below.
TU Delft spin-off
CyberHydra’s concept is straightforward, the application however was inexistent: an autosampler system that enables automated sampling of (bio-)chemical reactions. “This didn’t exist, the market for technological advancement in laboratories is quite inert”, says Evgeny. Therefore, coming up with their own innovation seemed only logical.
Evgeny being a Postdoctural Researcher for the last three and a half years in Delft, he considers himself to be a scientist first. “Only recently have I considered myself to be an entrepreneur.” He’s referring to the entrepreneurial experience he gained with the help of Delft Enterprises, who has become a shareholder of CyberHydra.