Turning ideas into opportunities

So… you have this promising idea that might be the start of a business?

Demonstrator Lab aids students and researchers to transform their bright ideas into tangible products and services.
We provide space and support to bring your idea to maturity. We help to develop equipment, build a team, explore the market, and we provide the business tools that help you decide whether your idea can make it to success.

Why D-Lab?

Whether you’re a student or a researcher, it can be quite daunting to get your ideas out there in the real world and make them become reality.
By joining Demonstrator Lab you minimize your risk exploring different hypotheses to bring your idea outside the lab, surrounded by well-connected professionals. You get the opportunity to carry out a conceptual or technical feasibility study and perform business research.
Demonstrator Lab enables you to get your feet wet and set sail in the entrepreneurial and corporate world“, says D-Lab director Prof. Davide Iannuzzi.

Watch our video

Watch the video featuring Demonstrator Lab director Davide Iannuzzi and a few of the D-Lab users.

What is D-Lab?

Demonstrator Lab provides students and researchers from all science disciplines with office and laboratory space in an entrepreneurial-minded academic environment.

We offer support in multiple ways to ease your journey from idea to customer value: providing coaching, supervision and assistance in business development and funding.

Office & lab

Demonstrator Lab offers office and equipped laboratory space in an environment dedicated to stimulating entrepreneurship.

Its strength stems from an active engagement with the research community and from the possibility to access a wealth of facilities – not only in the field of sciences but also in the field of product development (e.g. for fast prototyping).


Demonstrator Lab supports you in all the critical stages of developing your idea into tangible customer value.

The best way to achieve this goal is to formulate a set of hypotheses and milestones, and perform tests with real customers.
Over the course of a year, we review the progress and advise you whether to continue with that business model, pivot, or simply abandon the idea..… and maybe move on to the next one.


The Demonstrator Lab offers seed funding to all the science-based projects admitted to join.

We can also put you in contact with a large network of business angels and VC firms. Or we can help you in structuring and pitching winning grants or loan applications.


Demonstrator Lab connects you to the extended network of the D-Lab team, the D-Lab users, and the academic and applied science environment as a whole.

This network consists of mentors, coaches, a variety of experts, business strategists, venture capitalists, market analysts, and last but not least: potential users for your product or service.

News and events

Scroll right for our news and events

Italian museum acquires artwork from Hybrid Forms artists

GAMeC, the prestigious Italian art museum, acquires artwork from artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand; artists based at the Hybrid Forms ArtScience laboratory, part of the Demonstrator Lab. The artwork is  a collaboration with LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory-CalTech and MIT), composer William Basinski,  physicist Jean-Marc Chomaz and the VU LaserLab. The artists were invited to create artworks for the exhibition Black Hole: Art and Materiality from Informal to Invisible at GAMeC (Galleria d’arte moderna e contemporanea), Bergamo, Italy.

Strike-f(x) at Sportcentrum VU

Strike-f(x), the intelligent boxing bag is at Sportcentrum VU at their Uilenstede location. It will be there for three months to improve the user friendliness of the system as a whole by gathering long term feedback from VU users. The Sportcentrum VU is the launching partner of Strike-f(x) within the take-off grant project. Come check it out! @ https://sportcentrumvu.nl/

Interview with Elizabeth von Hauff of GlucoEasy

Link VU Magazine

Findest and Scitodate jointly received an MIT subsidy

Findest and Scitodate have been awarded Mkb-innovatiestimulering Regio en Topsectoren (MIT) to jointly develop JARVLIS, an AI engine for Scientific Natural Language Inference. Two companies will be working together to develop and commercialize algorithms to extract scientific facts from body of scientific literature. Findest and Scitodate are both D-Lab alumni and are now based in Amsterdam Venture Studios at VU Campus

Promo of Meta-grip!

Scitodate wins NWO Take-off grant Phase 2

Scitodate, former D-Lab project, has been awarded the Take-off Phase 2 by NWO, a loan for startups to further develop their business. Scitodate is a Big Data and AI company, specialized in making scientific research easy to find and understand.
Leading manufacturers of scientific research equipment use Sciotdate technology (Market Landscape) to map out their market and find out who would need their products.

Meta-grip and Fitsurance win NWO Take-off grant

Demonstrator Lab projects Meta-grip (part of Climb-f(x)) and Fitsurance received a Take-off grant phase 1 – an NWO fund that allows researchers from scientific disciplines to further develop their innovative idea, bringing them closer to market.
The Meta-grip is a functional strength assessment tool for monitoring hand and fingertip health and performance in climbers. Fitsurance measures health parameters and provides customized lifestyle advise about exercise and diet online and through a mobile application, to reduce sick-leaves prevent diseases and reduce health costs. We are looking forward to see these two projects growing at D-Lab.

SAM Application selected for Startup in Residence Programme (SIR)

Meaningful social contact is the slogan of SAM Application. Elena Köstler and her team are developing a mobile app to combat loneliness among young adults. They want to bring people together offline via an online platform.
This concept made the SAM team, enter the Startup in Residence Programme. SIR connects startups and scale-ups with key social challenges in the Amsterdam Area. The Programme offers startups an intensive training programme, as well as the support of professional coaches and mentors. Read more

GlucoEasy wins NWO Open Mind funding

Demonstrator Lab project GlucoEasy wins NWO Open Mind funding of € 50,000. The Open Mind grants are awarded by NWO to technologies with a surprisingly societal application. The grants were awarded during Teknowlogy, NWO’s innovation congress. NWO awards five Open Mind grants of 50,000 for socially relevant research outside the beaten track.

Davide Iannuzzi wins valorisation prize

NWO Physics Valorisation Prize 2018 goes to VU professor Davide Iannuzzi

The tenth NWO Physics Valorisation Prize will go to Prof. Davide Iannuzzi, professor of Experimental Physics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). He has won the prize “on account of the valorisation of this own research and the attention he gives to facilitating valorisation by others”. The award ceremony will take place on 22 January 2019 during the annual national physics conference Physics@Veldhoven.

Read more

D-Lab showcases

Since 2017, many students and researchers have successfully used Demonstrator Lab to develop their ideas to maturity. This has already led to the establishment of new companies offering new products and services.


Empower data scientist to create their dream job in data science by combining research with freelancing

Through research, data scientists can stay intellectually challenged and up to date with the latest academic developments. In order to fund this independent research, our data scientists are also freelancers where we aim to apply our newest research insights. X+Y is  an independent research institute that works together with well-respected researchers worldwide and a freelance agency where we can use our academic insights for a practical application. Learn more on our site. For more information contact:  jacqueline@xyplus.nl


NILUK is a social network app that facilitates meaningful social contact among young adults.

Do what you like most, with people you like, where and whenever you want to. For example, visit a concert together, go for a run together, or join someone for a study session.  Furthermore, we invite other social initiatives and projects to join our platform. Why? Only together, we can maximise our social impact.  NILUK is an app made by people like you and me. Learn more on our site. For more information contact: info@niluk.app


Offers custom solutions using a combination of hard- and software with NFC technology.
This combination allows both big and small companies alike to have better and faster insight in internal processes. With our custom designed terminals we can register activities which then can be analysed through an app. Some examples would be: internal payment systems for companies and associations which would take away unnecessary cash handling or student registration for schools and universities which is mostly still done by hand. Learn more on our site

Attention Architects

Consumers make about 95% of their decisions without conscious awareness. Attention Architects objectively maps out behavior by using biometrics such as eye tracking, skin conductance, and brain activity. This way we tap into the non-conscious processes that truly underlie human behavior. With these neuromarketing techniques we generate valuable insights to assist our clients in making key strategic decisions that increase business performance and improve the customer experience. learn more on our site

Blockchain Train

Blockchain for a safe and maintainable train traffic management

We envision a future Blockchain-enabled railway management system, where all assets on the rail are “smart”, able to communicate and take decisions by themselves. We are building an H0 scale miniature landscape that mimics a real railway setting. All the assets in this model (locomotives, train detectors, switches, signals) are smart nodes built around a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. Above this infrastructure, a distributed software framework  implements the Blockchain protocol. The results of this research will show whether a Blockchain-enabled  self-organized rail management system can prevent critical situations and anticipate regular maintenances in a more efficient way.
For more information contact n.silvis-cividjian@vu.nl



CLImatic Manipulation of ECosystem Samples

Due to climate change, the world as we knowtoday is rapidly changing. Temperatures are rising, and both rain events and periods of drought become more frequent, intense and longer lasting. These changes are affecting ecosystems and the services they provide (e.g. food production, water storage, nutrient cycling) in unknown ways. Experiments in which climate extremes are manipulated were hard to perform, but CLIMECS greatly facilitates such experiments by exposing mini-ecosystems collected from nature to realistic climate scenario’s (e.g. simultaneously manipulating temperature and precipitation conditions), to test predictions on how climate change will affect nature in the near future.Learn more on our site. For more information contact: oscarfranken@gmail.com

Eddy Lite

Economical and easy use of eddy current based testing of carbon fiber composite and metals

Eddy Lite provides economical and easy use of eddy current techniques to test materials and structures exploiting novel developments in integrated sensors and robotic scanning. The focus is on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) used in strong lightweight structures found in airplanes, windmill blades, car bodies etc. Using our eddy current methods on metal museum artefacts is also an area of attention. The eddy current technique provides easy in depth testing and can optimize maintenance and repair. Demand for such testing will grow due to increased use of CFRP’s in e.g. the aerostructure and automobile industry.
For more information contact R.Sprik@UvA.nl


Dry Eyes

A breakthrough method for non-invasive analysis of dry eye disease.

A significant number of individuals are affected moderately to severely by dry eyes. Consequences are discomfort, pain, limited vision and reduction of the quality of life. Despite this, no effective diagnostic technique is available. Our team of four physicists and an ophthalmologist is working on developing a diagnostic method based on the evaporation of tear fluid, aiming to commercialise a simple device that is usable by any optician and general practitioner. For more information contact: project.dry.eyes@gmail.com

EERF Project

Make new. Be EERF.

The EERF Project aims to demonstrate that plastic is a fantastic and very durable product and should not be wasted. We are setting up small-scale plastic recycling stations, aiming to make recycling of throw-away plastic and packaging easier by decentralising the process.  Currently running a pilot at the VU.
For more information contact:


Your way to a healthier, happier and a more productive workforce!
Fitsurance aims to decrease health care costs by preventing disease occurrence. We want to achieve this by increasing health awareness, which will result in an enhanced health state. We offer quarterly health check-ups and medical tests in which it is possible to measure health parameters and then determine one’s general state of health. Based on this, we will provide customized lifestyle advice about exercise and diet online and through a mobile application (both iOS and Android). Learn more our site. For more information contact: info@fitsurance.nl


Non-invasive, continuous glucose monitoring

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. The first step in patient care is to regularly monitor glucose. The conventional approach requires blood samples and is therefore invasive and uncomfortable for patients. GlucoEasy aims to demonstrate an innovation in non-invasive glucose detection. Our long term vision is to develop smart wearables for continuous glucose monitoring in sweat. This would offer diabetics a comfortable and convenient way to follow the impact of food and lifestyle on their glucose levels.
Contact Elizabeth von Hauff for more information


Shirts as a Service
Hemd offers customers a variety of shirts to be delivered at their convenience. With a following delivery of shirts, the old shirts are picked up. Customers won’t have to worry about washing, ironing, repairing or even buying their shirts ever again. With Hemd as owner of the shirts, the whole chain of the shirts is accounted for. This ensures that the shirts are produced, delivered and recycled in a sustainable and socially responsible way. Customers receive crisp clean shirts on a weekly basis, even if something happened with their shirts last week. Learn more on our site. For more information contact:  info@hemd-shirts.com



Mid Infrared Spectrometer

Reading the color code of molecules
To analyse substances, we look at the “color” of the infrared light that is reflected from them. This is called the molecular spectrum. It gives a sort of fingerprint identification for that specific molecule. This fingerprint, especially of large molecules (f.e. biological molecules and special functions in those molecules) are mostly found in the invisible mid infrared part of the spectrum.  We aim to develop a spectrometer that can quickly measure and analyze these fingerprints. And that will be an easy-to-use device even for people not trained to do this kind of analysis.
For more information contact Imran B. Akca


Hybrid Forms

Crossing borders between art, science and technology

The Hybrid Forms Lab is a horizontal research platform with a collaborative effort of scientists and artists/designers to explore environmental science, automation, living systems and biophysics. These disciplines are incorporated in the curricula of the students from the collaborative institutions. The HF lab is coordinated by Ivan Henriques and Raoul Frese.

Artists and scientists working together in speculative, reflective and proof of principle projects


Creating advanced head-gesture based human computer interaction using machine learning.
With developments in computer vision focusing on eye-tracking, affect recognition, face recognition, crowd-counting and movement monitoring, head-gesture based HCI (Human Computer Interaction) has been overlooked. The success of touch-based and more recently voice-controlled technology evidences the known and unknown future uses of HCIs that differ from the traditional mouse and keyboard. Lookahead.AI uses machine learning to recognise the different head gestures of users, to make available a new modality of interaction with technology.


Mobile molecular visualization for the future of educators and researchers

Molecules are three dimensional, blackboards and projectors are two dimensional. We aim to help educators and researchers visualize molecules in three dimensions by visualizing the structures in VR, all from the convenience of their mobile device.

For more information contact Matthias Debernardini

Ohnana Tents

Ohnana Tents. Sleep better and get the most out of your festival or camping experience

Ohnana Tentslooksto solve a common problem that occurs when camping on hot summer days: trying to sleep or relax in what becomes an oven-like tent once the sun rises. We developed an affordable, heat-reflective camping tent that tackles this problem by using a special aluminium coating that reflects up to 90% of sunlight. When it is 25 degrees outside, conventional tents heat up to 40 degrees, while our tent stay around 27 degrees: quite a difference! Learn more on our site. For more information contact:  hello@ohnanatents.com 



Boost your health and have a positive impact on our planet

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense food on Earth. With its ultra protein-rich content Spirulina is a vegan solution for your health and the environment as its production helps against climate change by reducing CO2.  With our nicely designed photo-bioreactor you will be able to grow easily your own healthy spirulina at home. The light energy is transformed into fresh super-food ready to use. User-friendly with exciting recipes included. For more information contact: s.e.d.haene@gmail.com



The intelligent boxing bag

Strike-f(x) is an intelligent boxing bag for immediate, accurate, and reliable monitoring of impact force. Strike-f(x) is designed to give individuals total freedom of movement – to punch, kick, knee, tackle – and, yet, have accurate and reliable feedback about the force, location, and orientation of their strikes. This information provides athletes, coaches, fitness fans, and experimentalists an objective picture about risk of injury, effort, skill, fitness, and the effects of a training intervention. Visit our site for more information

Keywords: Sport technologies | Sport innovation | Fitness apps | Performance in combat sports | Impact force | Strike forces | Fitness | Boxing | Kickboxing | Martial Arts |Motivation in sport and health



Upgrade your workspace with human-centric lighting

SunInside Creates desk light that simulates the sun light, by changing from light collar and varying from light intensity to restore the biorhythm of office employees.

Learn more on our site. For more information contact: suninsideteam@gmail.com


Veridis Instruments

Accelerating circularity, by providing more reliable information about the plastic granulate that suppliers deliver

3D-printer filament plastics are often recycled and the filament itself also has often recycled content. But plastics degrade the more often they are recycled. As companies start to use 3D-printing, a plastic quality check becomes more important, as 3D-printer settings need to change dependent on the plastic used and the quality to prevent clogging/jamming and low-quality prints. We believe that we can provide a solution for this, in the form of an instrument that gives the optimal melting temperature and plastic type, thus reducing waste and cost. For more information contact: n.d.j.visser@outlook.com


We are D-Lab

Demonstrator Lab is part of Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA), the expertise centre of the Amsterdam knowledge institutions, aiming at connecting science and business.
All students and researchers of the Amsterdam universities (of applied sciences) and medical centers can benefit from Demonstrator Lab.

D-Lab team

Davide Iannuzzi Professor in Experimental Physics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. PhD in physics and MBA 2015) with a thesis on academic entrepreneurship, plus longstanding hands on experience with idea-to-market projects. More on Davide at LinkedIn

Art Bos Business developer at IXA office VU-VUmc. Areas of expertise are: setting up collaborative projects, Intellectual Property, Licensing, Business Planning. Contact Art

Peter van der Donk Business Developer Exact Sciences at IXA office UVA-HvA. Areas of expertise are: knowledge transfer, innovation, product development, IP management. Contact Peter


Demonstrator Lab is made possible with a contribution of the City of Amsterdam


Contact us


D-Lab is located @ VU Campus
Maths & Physics Building
P2 corridor on the 2nd floor

De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam

Journalists interested to know more about D-Lab or its projects can get in touch with info@ixa.nl

Apply for D-Lab

Joining Demonstrator Lab could very well be your first step towards a successful endeavour in bringing knowledge to the marketplace.
Apply now!