UAH student’s startup places in Netherlands accelerator event


Tanner Carden in Geleen, Netherlands, with the plaque signifying NestEgg Biotech’s achievement.

Courtesy Tanner Carden

A company started by a student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and his collaborators has secured a place in the top 10 out of 17 teams at the Startup Bootcamp Smart Materials Accelerator at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen, Netherlands.

NestEgg Biotech currently has two products designed for use in drug and chemical testing. Rootcube is a network of human blood vessels supporting human tissue in a plastic dish. The Nestegg Biomaker is a 3D printer and micro-machining platform used for manufacturing Rootcubes.

The company will receive $15,000 over the next three months to prepare for a product demonstration day in the Netherlands.

"This is in return for 8 percent equity in Nestegg Bio," says Tanner Carden, a UAH sophomore who cofounded the company with Devon Bane, Gavon Carden and Tim Gualdin. "We will be spending the next three months in prototyping phase while shifting our approach to the European market. This will happen by demo day, where we plan to be investor-ready and hope to receive funding."

Startup Bootcamp Smart Materials is Europe's first business accelerator for materials. It was voted best accelerator in Europe last year. Tanner Carden and Bane were in the Netherlands from March 27 to April 2.

"The process was pretty intense. It was about 11 hours each day for the first three days at the Brightlands campus - workshopping pitches, meeting people and getting documents in order," says Tanner Carden.

We are excited to go international with our ideas, but we want to continue our presence in Huntsville even if we receive funding abroad.

Tanner Carden
Nestegg co-founder

The next two days, a Monday and Tuesday, were final selection days, where the competitors gave morning three-minute pitches to an audience of about 80 mentors from various companies, organizations and investment groups. In the afternoon, the teams participated in 25-minute "speed dating" rounds at specialized tables of mentors, rotating from one to the next for a total of nine tables per day.

"This was pretty exhausting and grueling but it was useful for feedback," Tanner Carden says. "Then the mentors would record feedback on an online portal. These results were compiled into a dashboard that our team now has access to. So even if we hadn't made it into the top 10 we would have gotten a significant value from this procedure."

The feedback was compiled and shareholders met to pick the top 11 teams, and NestEgg was announced second.

"We are excited to go international with our ideas," Tanner Carden says, "but we want to continue our presence in Huntsville even if we receive funding abroad."