2022-2023 IN NUMBERS

Our achievements in 2023, compared to the numbers of 2022. We did improve on a lot of aspects. Read more

OUR ACTIVITIES

NLC’s activities lead to the creation of portfolio companies with the potential to solve the world’s healthcare challenges. Read more

OUR VENTURES

For this Impact Report, 69 of our current venture-portfolio companies participated in a structured impact assessment. Read more

NLC'S FUTURE IMPACT

In 2024 we will continue to improve positive impact, building on the lessons we have learnt so far. Read more

Dear healthcare partner,

In 2023 society continued to struggle with several pressing issues in healthcare, including the effects of an aging population, decreasing healthcare budgets, and an increasing shortage in the healthcare workforce. These challenges create an opportunity for innovative solutions, and therefore, for NLC and its ventures to make a sustainable impact on patients, healthcare workers, our healthcare system, and the planet. Our mission is to build ventures to advance health and we are proud to share our achievements, and those of our ventures in 2023, in our second Impact and ESG report.

This impact report centers on our commitment to a “Happy Planet.” Emphasizing sustainability and positive societal impact, we shine a spotlight on three ventures that align with our vision for a healthier world.

Together we are continuing our efforts towards driving impact towards a healthier future.

Impact in 2023

NLC’s activities

BRINGING SCIENCE TO LIFE WITH INNOVATION

95% of innovations across the world never reach the market – highlighting a stark reality. By transforming dormant or abandoned innovative projects into market-ready healthtech solutions, NLC brings science to life. Without NLC, these projects might not have had the chance to reach patients.

This year, NLC has explored over 1500 technologies, from over 40 countries, marking a 33% increase from last year. Like in 2022, we (co-)founded 22 ventures in 2023, leveraging the technologies we vetted through our venture creation process, as a foundation.

FACILITATING EARLY-STAGE INVESTMENT

2023 is marked as a year with a changing financial climate. This didn’t hold us back. Throughout 2023, NLC raised over €58 million for NLC, our funds, and our ventures collectively. In comparison, since NLCs inception in 2014, we have raised over €175 million, of which over a third was thus raised in 2023.

In June, our fourth and largest fund, the NLC Health Impact Fund, went live. And we’re proud to say that this fund, next to our three other funds, fulfills all SFDR-9 standards. In addition, in 2023, 44 of our portfolio companies secured €36.2 million in funding, this is an increase of 8% compared to 2022.

ATTRACTING AND DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL TALENT

Fostering entrepreneurial talent is vital for advancing early-stage science-based tech. Attracting and identifying entrepreneurial talent is crucial to ensure these early-stage inventions reach the market.
In 2023, we welcomed 27 new CEOs, 19 for ventures established this year and eight for existing ventures.

Notably, 37% of these CEOs were first-time leaders, selecting NLC as their trusted partner for their entrepreneurial journey. These first-time entrepreneurs contribute a diverse and innovative perspective, challenging the status quo with strong motivation to prove themselves.

MOBILISING NETWORKS AND PARTNERS

To make a meaningful impact on global healthcare, collaboration is essential. We believe in uniting diverse stakeholders to share insights and ideas, fostering partnerships that set standards and realistic expectations for healthcare impact. As our venture portfolio expands globally, so does our network.

In 2023, we significantly grew our connections with universities, hospitals, corporations, healthcare professionals, business consultants, venture suppliers, and more. Our outreach involved over 2400 organizations and countless individuals, emphasizing our commitment to extensive collaboration in the venture-building process.

Learn more about all NLC’s activities

OUR VENTURES

DIFFERENT STAGES OF OUR VENTURES

For this Impact Report, 69 of our current venture-portfolio companies participated in a structured impact assessment, compared to 39 ventures last year. As these companies are at different stages of maturity and focused on different types of products, the outcomes are heterogeneous. More on the methodology can be found here.

Almost half of our ventures are currently in the proof-of-concept phase, twenty are prototyping, eleven are conducting clinical studies or in the process of acquiring CE/FDA approval, and nine are ready for- or already on the market.

Learn more

HAPPY PLANET

While healthcare is essential for sustaining and improving human well-being, it also carries an environmental footprint that contributes to threats to human health from environmental factors. According to a Lancet study, healthcare causes global environmental impact that, depending on which indicator is considered, ranges between 1% and 5% of total global impact, and is more than 5% for some national environmental impact. To compare: aviation accounts for 2% of the global environmental impact.

We are optimistic to see that the amount of ventures that aim to have a positive impact on the planet, increased significantly. This is through not using disposables, by recycling materials, and making employees aware of the waste generated. Where last year only 21% of our ventures had a positive score, this year 39% of our ventures scored positive on this aspect.

A growing number of ventures are proactively evaluating the materials incorporated into their products, exploring the feasibility of reusability to minimize their environmental footprint. This year, 52% of our ventures are actively engaged in making these sustainable design choices, marking a notable increase from 44% in 2022.

LUMABS

A significant portion of the waste generated by the healthcare sector remains unseen by most people. Consider, for instance, the analysis of a blood sample: the extensive effort and waste involved are often unnoticed by clinicians and patients. Of the 1.3 tons of waste per day per hospital, up to 20% is due to the use of plastics in diagnostic products as well as the disposal of solutions. Our venture, Lumabs, has developed a method to minimize this waste to a great extent.

More information

ANSANA

Transitioning to another facet of healthcare waste, various procedures in the operating room require different tools, each needing sterilization before use to ensure patient safety. This presents a substantial challenge in terms of inventory and waste. Addressing these issues, our venture, Ansana, has developed an innovative solution.

More information

POROUS

Sometimes, preventing surgery is the best way to avoid the waste of materials and energy. By diagnosing certain diseases earlier or more accurately and acting on them early, we can prevent the waste that surgery produces. Our venture, POROUS, is a great example of this.

More information

“Most healthcare innovations never make it to the patient. We bring science to life by transforming dormant or abandoned innovative projects into market-ready healthcare solutions.”

– Bert-Arjan Millenaar, CEO and founder NLC Health Ventures

Happy
patient

Patients are at the core of not just our ventures, but also our values and mission as a company. They are what drives and motivates us in our work. Measuring patient happiness is nuanced. Therefore, we use different instruments to assess the effect of our venture on the quality of life of the patient or the impact on the patient’s life expectancy. Last year, our ventures scored all positive on their (aimed) impact on patients. This year, only one of our ventures scored neutral on the impact on patients. The rest of the ventures score “very positive” or “positive”.

As we only build ventures that serve a verified (patient) need, our ventures impacted over 85,000 unique patients until the end of 2023. This marks a growth of 77% compared to 2022! Looking ahead, our current portfolio companies have the potential to ultimately reach over 500 million patients.

A relatively simple solution can have a significant impact on the patient, as demonstrated by Liftya. Their solution was recently featured in Danish news. They tested their shoulder brace with a patient, a kitchen assistant who typically relied heavily on painkillers. Thanks to the brace, she can now bake for a minimum of three hours without any pain, and she has regained her joy in working again.

 

The opinion of patients is becoming increasingly important in healthcare, not only as they are a ‘user’ or receiver of our venture’s products. Accessing these voices, however, presents more of a challenge. Our venture, PEP Health, has developed a great solution for this.

More information

“We are reducing by more than 90% the amount of diagnostic waste that is generated every day in the clinical laboratory.”

– Antonio Ornelas Soares, CEO, LumAbs

Happy
society

According to the most recent estimations, the average ratio of health expenditure to GDP in the OECD countries has decreased from its peak of 9.7% during the height of the pandemic in 2021, to 9.2% in 2022. However, this number is still higher than the pre-pandemic number of 8.8%. It is not likely to decrease lower than 8.8% again due to the aging population and increasing healthcare needs.

Our ventures make a positive impact on society not only by contributing to an affordable and accessible healthcare sector, but also by ensuring the continued participation of patients and caregivers in society.

Many of our ventures reduce the costs per patient by offering cheaper treatments, decreasing the number of readmissions, and reducing the risk of complications. This can also be seen by our impact scores: almost all our ventures score (very) positive.

 

Some health conditions that may not seem cost-heavy at first glance can have a significant impact on healthcare costs. An example of this is chronic wounds, which are challenging to treat in certain climates. Our venture, SERDA, has developed an inventive solution to overcome this problem.

More information

“NLC with its extensive network of supportive experts has been pivotal in selecting the right LipidEra leadership and navigating legal complexities, business planning, and developmental strategies necessary to advance our novel therapeutic into clinical trials.”.

– Katerina Solcova, Chief Business & Technology Officer, Charles University Innovations Prague a.s.

Happy
workforce

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted that the current healthcare crisis is multifaceted, consisting of many individual crises, including labor, mental health, education, gender equality and lack of financial investments. The WHO estimates a projected shortfall of 10 million health workers by 2030.

Working consistently under such sustained pressure leads to various negative effects, such as anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and burnout, ultimately contributing to a significant number of healthcare professionals exiting the sector. In our efforts to enhance the working conditions, we have examined how our initiatives influence the safety, workload, and overall satisfaction of healthcare professionals.

Most of our ventures scored positively in terms of safety and workload. The remainder received neutral scores, suggesting that the product or technology does not affect the work environment. These results are comparable with last year.

 

The burden of the workforce can be reduced in several ways. To make sure the right aspects are addressed, our ventures need to include healthcare professionals in the design of their products. A great example of this is IPD.

More information

“One of the most important things StrokeViewer does for me is the transfer of information of patients between hospitals and radiologists, which can save so much time”

– Dr. Ludo Beenen, Trauma and Emergency Radiologist, Amsterdam UMC (website Nicolab)

IMPACT IN 2024: JOIN NLC TO ADVANCE HEALTH

This second Impact Report shows what we at NLC Health Ventures and our portfolio companies have achieved to date as we work to make healthcare better, more affordable, accessible, and sustainable. We believe innovations are key to overcoming the current challenges in the healthcare sector. Our business model facilitates and accelerates the entry to market of the innovations we support, and will ultimately allow them to reach their full potential.

While impact lies at the core of all our activities and ventures, this report also shows that we are just at the beginning. Our portfolio companies are still in their early stages, with an innovation roadmap of five to eight years to market. This means our present impact measurement is based primarily on promise rather than measurable impact.

In 2024 we will continue to improve positive impact, building on the lessons we have learnt so far. We will:

  1. Install an impact council, with representatives of all 4 ‘happys’ to further educate and support NLC and our ventures on their journey towards a lasting impact.
  2. Together with the experts in this council also better define how our ventures impact the workforce.
  3. Further grow our ‘patient’ -centric clusters to develop ventures that add value for patients (and their caregivers). The aim of the clusters is to accelerate the pace with which the solutions of these ventures will reach patients.
  4. Strive for an even more diverse pool of entrepreneurs leading our ventures, based on our conviction that diversity drives entrepreneurship.
  5. Built on more measurable impact as more of our ventures will get first patients (in trials) treated with their products.

ESG

At NLC, we prioritize our impact on patients, society, health workers, and the planet and strive to structure both NLC and our ventures in such a way that it is sustainable. Our commitment is underscored by the implementation of the NLC Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policy, guiding our decisions and operations responsibly. We invite our ventures to commit and implement this policy.

More information

The NLC Health Impact Fund

The NLC Health Impact Fund is NLC’s newest flagship fund, with 16 ventures in its active portfolio, all of which participated in the impact assessment.

The NLC Health Impact Fund is established to drive investments in early-stage innovations in healthcare. The fund deploys capital towards ventures of varied maturity levels, providing initial and follow-on funding. With the NLC Health Impact Fund, NLC provides investors with the opportunity to access a diversified portfolio of impactful healthtech ventures capturing the high return potential in the early stage.

Want to find out how you can make a difference with your money?

Learn more about the NLC Health Impact Fund