Jonge Ondernemingsprijs awarded to Carduso financed entrepreneur Nutte van Belzen
On 3 October, the Jonge Ondernemingsprijs 2019 [JOP, Young Entrepreneurs Award] was awarded to Nutte van Belzen’s Groningen-based company CC Diagnostics. Van Belzen is a UG alumnus who founded his company to exploit an unused patent held by the University, which he and two other students had been allowed to use in an Extracurricular Course on Entrepreneurship of the University of Groningen Centre of Entrepreneurship (UGCE). After completing his course, they took part in the VentureLab Weekend. This was a stepping-stone to the Venture-Lab North programme, after which the young entrepreneur completed his business plan and got financed by Carduso Capital.
CC Diagnostics is developing a new cervical cancer ‘self-sampling’ test using PCR testing of methylated genes, which will replace the current triage test (the Pap smear). The methylation test is more accurate, women-friendly and may decrease the number of ‘missed’ cancer cases from 24% to 3%. It also reduces the number of false positives. The jury was especially impressed by the fact that Van Belzen is a physician and an entrepreneur. The jury also praised him for the development of the new cervical cancer test.