Wageningen University: Scope BioSciences and PyroPower win the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant 2021

A diagnostic platform, based on CRISPR-Cas, able to quickly and precisely recognize illnesses, and diminishing waste by turning it into biochar, a carbon soil enhancer, using pyrolysis. These were the two themes with which the Wageningen start-up companies Scope BioSciences en Pyropower turned winners of the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant. Both start-ups are based on knowledge that is developed at Wageningen University & Research. The award ceremony took place on May 26 in Plus Ultra II building at Wageningen Campus as a pre-event to F&A Next.

The AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant is an initiative of investor Marcel van Poecke and his daughter Heleen van Poecke. Like last year, the winners received a substiantial amount of money and the possibility to make use of the knowledge, experience and network of the jurymembers. The Atlas Invest Entrepreneurship Grant is organised by StartHub Wageningen in cooperation with University Fund Wageningen.

Scope BioSciences – Winner Start-up Award
The Start-Up Award supports student-entrepreneurs who focus on commercially promising solutions for worldwide challenges in the area of nutrition and sustainability. They develop scalable products and services that have the potential to grow. The Start-up Award exists, among others, of an amount of 35.000 euro which they can use to further develop their company.

Scope BioSciences focuses on CRISPR-Cas, them ost important discovery in the area of biotechnology in the last decades. Scope has, in cooperation with Wageningen University & Research developed ScopeDx, a type III CRISPR-Cas diagnostic platform that offers very accurate molecular diagnostic results in less than 25 minutes. The jury was impressed by the potential of the company and the fact that, since the finals of the first edition last year, they have grown and improved tremendously. Scope has an interesting product, different promising routes to the market and the most clear plan of all finalists for his award.

PyroPower – Winner Impact Award
The Impact Award stimulates sociale initiatives of student-entrepreneurs that focus on reaching maximum impact in the area of environment and sustainability. The Impact Award exists, among others, of an amount of 15.000 euro.

Pyropower aims to diminish the impact of waste and stimulate a biochar-based economy.

Through semi-centralized pyrolysis technology, biomass is converted into clean energy and biochar – a promising carbon capturing method for future carbon credits reception. Biochar is able to sequester CO2, improving soil quality and productivity. Pyropower focuses first on the coffee market, where waste in the whole coffee chain contributes to pollution and where subsequently huge impact can be made. The jury thought this was the trongest pitch of the day, clear and with substantial commercial value. Pyropower offers various propositions to the investor and has a product that is also individually affordable.

University Fund Wageningen
University Fund Wageningen (UFW) connects people, ideas, and funds, in order to contribute to the growth and blossoming of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). Therefor the fund invests in strengthening contacts between WUR and her alumni, companies and relevant societal organizations. Next to that, UFW rewards and stimulates excellent Wageningen education and research. Alumnus Marcel van Poecke and his daughter Heleen van Poecke have set up a fund by name managed by UFW, from which the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant is being organized.

Starthub Wageningen
StartHub Wageningen is the startup incubator en guides studenten, PhD’s and recent graduates of WUR. The focus is to develop the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. StartHub therefor offers a diverse program of support from workshops to personal guidance of start-ups. The AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Challenge is one of the new possibilities within this palette of entrepreneurial education.