After attracting its first private investor in 2007, FlexGen now counts in its supervisory board a major venture capital group, a bank and a number of biotech-specialised investment firms. But while looking for private investors, one of Fred Dom's first moves was also to secure funding from public sources.
The Eurostars Programme rapidly presented itself as one of the best options, helping to cover around 50% of the required financing. 'The fact that we had the backing of a European programme helped us to get the rest of the money from investors,' says van Helvoort. 'It is important that the European Union helps SMEs, especially during the riskier stages of their development', adds Jaap Blaak, a private investor who has been supporting the company since the very beginning.
Aiming big but remaining small
At this stage of its business development, FlexGen has chosen to stay small. 'With the kind of technology developed, we need to have a close relationship with our customers, so that we understand their needs and can best explain the functioning of the equipment,' says Dom. 'A big distributor would not be able to give them this kind of attention.'
The team is now planning a product launch at a much a large scale and is already working on new technologies to introduce to the market, reinventing itself yet another time. The focus, however, will stay on genetics. Fred Dom believes that genetic sequencing is the key to fundamentally understanding diseases. 'We can now look at the cause of the disease, not only the symptoms, ensuring that every patient has the best possible treatment.'
|Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski|