3 years Dynamic42: How it started!
This year (2021), Dynamic42 GmbH has been around for three years! We look back on a successful time that was characterized by growth. You want to know how it started? We give you a short digression into the history of our company:
In 2014, our founders Dr. Knut Rennert and Dr. Martin Raasch were employed at the Center for Sepsis Control and Care at Jena University Hospital. While postdoctoral researcher Knut worked as a research assistant, Martin worked on his dissertation. In 2015, our current co-founder Dr. Nancy Blaurock-Möller also joined the research team as a doctoral student. This year, the project “OrganiX”, an organ-on-chip liver model, which has been awarded various start-up prizes, was launched. We won the Jury and Audience Award at the Gründer- und Innovationstag Jena (2015), the Jury Prize in the category “Innovative Start-up Idea” at the Thuringian Start-up Ideas Competition (2016) and the Jury Prize at the Thuringian Strategy Competition for Innovative Start-ups (2017).
“OrganiX” should be an EXIST research transfer project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, but the application for this failed. So, we decided in 2018 to outsource ourselves. We didn’t want to give up the idea and the progress we had made so far with the project. In addition to our attitude that animal experiments in basic research and pharmaceutical development should be reduced and replaced, we saw far-reaching potential for organ-on-chip products in the future. The increasingly lucrative market for organ-on-chip systems served as our motivation and aroused the desire to become competitive early.
In addition to bureaucratic hurdles, we had to raise 25,000 euros in share capital starting the company as a GmbH. Therefore, in the initial phase, we were grateful for the prize money we won and for a development contract. The first year was without venture capital and with Knut as our only employee.
In this turbulent time, we were always supported by Dr. Merle Fuchs (owner of TechnologieContor Gera), the K1-Gründerservice Jena, the STIFT, the IHK Ostthüringen and other start-ups who gave us helpful tips.
We can look back on several successes: We have grown continuously, so that our team currently consists of eleven employees and two scholarship holders. In addition, in 2019 we successfully completed a first major financing round in the six-digit range. This enabled us to move into our first own premises in the BioInstrumentezentrum Jena and to set up our own biochip production. In our laboratories, we were able to complete the first supervision of a master’s thesis. In addition, we were awarded with the EY Public Value Award in October 2018.
Do you know Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? Here the number 42 always stands for the “answer to the question of life, the universe and all the rest”. Just like the 42, our organ-on-chip system is adaptable to the substances and special customer requirements, so that it offers the answer to “all” questions.
Our chip models solve the problem that drugs are still mostly tested in animals or single-cell culture, which is accompanied by a long development time, high costs and high failure rates. We would like to thank everyone who has accompanied us and look forward to more exciting years!
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