Amsterdam-based healthtech startup LAYCO secures convertible loan of €300K from the North Holland Innovation Fund (INH). The Province of North Holland, the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Amsterdam UMC, and Sanquin are the partners in the INH initiative.
The Fund offers loans to businesses that must demonstrate novel ideas and concepts—a process known as “Proof-of-Concept.” Two funds are overseen by the INH: one is for RVO-supported innovative startups, and the other is for ERDF-supported academic startups.
Co-founder Weustink says, “Distributors worldwide are receiving much more demand for sustainable equipment from hospitals. Unfortunately, the medical industry still clings to the lucrative business model surrounding disposable equipment. With LAYCO, we would like to show, in collaboration with hospitals and distributors, how things can be done differently. Global healthcare really needs to be more sustainable and fairer for the children born today.”
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Vela, the reusable vacuum extractor, is the first product that LAYCO releases onto the market. Christiaan Bakker, the inventor, developed the patent-pending invention internally. Hospitals over the world now have access to reusable and environmentally friendly hoover extraction equipment thanks to vela.
Wouter Keij, fund manager at INH adds, “Layco’s reusable vacuum extractor makes an essential contribution to making healthcare more sustainable and transcends national borders, making this method of childbirth more accessible worldwide. The timing is opportune, given the growing awareness of sustainable care. Wider acceptance, aided by increasing availability, could lead to improved health of mothers and babies worldwide.”
With a focus on trials at the Amsterdam UMC, LAYCO will employ the funding to further develop and test vela in a real-world setting.
Co-founder Dieuwertje Drexhage says, “The development of vela started at TU Delft in 2020. In collaboration with Professor Jenny Dankelman and 200 gynaecologists from all over the world, we came up with this patented design. We are very proud of the award from the North Holland Innovation Fund to take the next step.”
Dieuwertje Drexhage and Thom Weustink founded LAYCO in 2020 as a spin-off from the TU Delft research group “Surgery for All.” The business has been situated in Amsterdam’s former Slotervaart Hospital since 2023. Reusable medical equipment is developed by LAYCO to enhance accessibility to healthcare and reduce the environmental impact of the sector.