Dutch startup company Tolooba is an innovative member of the Health & Tech sectors in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Early 2020, Tolooba established in Mercator Launch, the incubator of Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Although Tolooba was officially named and founded in 2020, the founder started already in 2016. Fokko van der Woude, founder, explains “Without being aware at the time, I founded Tolooba in 2016. Trying to reconnect to my 90 year old grandmother I discovered a way to retrieve lost memories and make her happy. After a lot of testing, research and networking, my business partner Anton Knipper and I officially founded Tolooba BV in 2020.”

High Tech to improve well-being

Tolooba develops software that retrieves ‘hidden’ memories for people suffering dementia. People who suffer dementia often live in their own world. By activating memories through use of images selected by the algorithm, Tolooba helps to reconnect, improve happiness, well-being and as a positive side-effect, the interaction of patients and caregivers improves a lot. Tolooba uses a data-driven and personalized approach in selecting the exact right image for every person. The team already successfully finalized a pilot-project in Australia and currently have partnerships in five countries. The coming years, the mission is to build the service in such a way, that it is scalable globally.

Access to talent and expertise in the Netherlands

The choice for Nijmegen was obvious, according to Fokko: “To be an active member of the Brain & Cognition ecosystem in East Netherlands, close to the experts in Radboud University and the associated Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, positively impacts our growth ambitions.”

Tolooba also established collaboration with the University of Twente and accelerator programme Novel-T. According to Fokko: “The University Twente has a high level of research expertise and develops talents in future-proof topics such as Human Computer Interaction. The entrepreneurial, hands-on attitude combined with high level of knowledge, is why we chose to collaborate in R&D projects.”

Strong collaborations between universities and companies and a supportive government

The business culture of East Netherlands is important to Tolooba; the people are no-nonsense and reliable; the organisations have high-level of expertise, and the collaboration between companies and universities are tight with a supportive government. Besides the R&D partnerships with universities, Tolooba has the ambition to work together with care homes in to improve the well-being of the people suffering dementia. Being a member of networks such as Health Valley is one of the ways to get connected to potential partners. “The East Netherlands Development Agency (Oost NL) helped us to establish our company in the region. Within a day we were connected to all the right people and institutions in the region.” 

East Netherlands leads in Health & Tech

With two hotspots in Twente and in Nijmegen, East Netherlands is a hotspot for Health & Tech. Improving well-being of patients and improving accessibility and affordability of health care is the main goal for the ecosystems present in Medtech, Digital Health, Brain& Cognition and Drug Discovery and Development. The well-developed ecosystem of startups, medium-sized companies and multi-national companies, two leading research universities and a supportive government, there are ample opportunities for (inter)national companies to establish their European office in the East Netherlands.

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