Berno Bucker appointed interim director Demonstrator Lab VU

January 25, 2024

Berno Bucker will step into the role of interim director of Demonstrator Lab VU. He’s succeeding Linda van de Burgwal, who was director for the past two years. Berno is no stranger to the Demonstrator Lab, having launched his own start-up there six years ago and spending the last four years coaching Demonstrator Lab projects.

Berno Bucker is appointed interim director of Demonstrator Lab as of January 1st 2024. Berno has a background in academia, has been fulfilling roles in several science-based start-ups, and has been business developer at the knowledge transfer office VU IXA-GO. His diverse experiences provide a unique perspective on academic entrepreneurship, offering valuable insights into both the promises and challenges of transforming innovative academic initiatives into products or services.

Berno Bucker: “With excitement I am looking forward to further boost academic entrepreneurship at Demonstrator Lab -and beyond- in my new role. My focus will be on facilitating peer-to-peer interactions and connecting to the different elements in the bigger Amsterdam start-up ecosystem such as VU StartHub, ACE Incubator, the 3xA fund and ASIF.”

Berno is taking over the director position from Linda van de Burgwal, who has been the director of Demonstrator Lab for the past two years and who will now focus more on building her research group as part of her position as Associate Professor Societal Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Health and Life Sciences.

Linda van de Burgwal: “In the past two years, we have increased both the impact and exposure of Demonstrator Lab. I am very proud of these accomplishments, and thankful for all the team work and collaborations.”

Davide Iannuzzi, Chief Impact Officer at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, is in full agreement with Linda: “Linda has brought Demonstrator Lab to a much more professional service. The lab attracts terrific projects and teams, which creates a contagiously inspiring environment. As an academic with hands-on experience in the start-up world, I am confidently looking forward to what comes next under Berno’s guidance.”

To which Berno adds: “During my directorship in 2024 I want to sparkle entrepreneurial curiosity at the VU and with active support enable our student and research projects to become start-ups. And of course I am going to enjoy the start-up vibes.” 

About Demonstrator Lab

Demonstrator Lab is a learning-by-doing environment accessible to both students and staff members. Individuals engage with the lab from the initial stages of the idea-to-market journey. The lab provides comprehensive support throughout the entire process, from team formation to prototype development. Its objective is to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture within Amsterdam’s academic ecosystem and boost innovation grounded in research.

To date, a third of the initiatives launched from Demonstrator Lab have successfully transitioned into incorporated businesses, securing significant funding from both public and private sources. This achievement is particularly noteworthy given that it has transpired within just eight years since the lab’s inception. Visit Demonstrator Lab’s website