In Ovo founders Wouter and Wil

Millions invested in Leiden method of determining sex of chicks before hatching

Discovering whether a chick is male or female while it is still in the egg. Leiden biotech company In Ovo, a spin-off of Leiden University, has been given an investment of several million euros to further develop its unique test method. The founders – both Leiden alumni – Wouter Bruins and Wil Stutterheim are now set to market their successful prototype.

The major part of the investment of several millions of euros comes from Evonik, originally a German chemicals company, and the venture capital company Visvires New Protein. Rabobank Leiden-Katwijk has also contributed what is known as a Subordinated Innovation Investment. Leiden University, which has been closely involved with the company from its outset, is also investing in In Ovo’s further development. The company is a spin off of the Leiden Institute of Biology and now works closely with the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR). Read More

One step closer to preventing mass death of roosters

The Dutch biotech start-up In Ovo is the first company to develop a large-scale solution for determining the sex of a chick while it is still in the egg. This fast and cheap technique can be applied mechanically at hatcheries, which was not possible before.

In Ovo’s innovation brings us one step closer to preventing the mass death of day-old male chicks. There are other techniques for determining the sex of a chick before it has hatched, such as measuring the level of estrogen in the egg. But this method takes four hours and it is very expensive, which makes it unsuitable for use in hatcheries. In Ovo’s technology now makes this possible. Read More

Herman Wijffels Innovatieprijs 2012 - In Ovo - publieksprijs

In Ovo genomineerd voor de Herman Wijffels Innovatieprijs 2012

In Ovo is genomineerd voor de Herman Wijffels Innovatieprijs 2012! Toen we dit hoorden waren we zeer verrast en dolblij, want er zijn maar liefst 577 inzendingen ontvangen en wij behoren tot de laatste tien. Onze inzending betreft onze diervriendelijk en duurzame innovatie voor de pluimveeindustrie: In Ovo ontwikkelt een test waarmee het geslacht van kuikens al in het ei bepaald kan worden. Hiermee kan voorkomen worden dat alleen al in Nederland 45 miljoen kuikens op de dag van uitkomen gedood worden. Dit zijn de haantjes, zullen nooit eieren leggen en zijn dan ook nutteloos voor de eiproductie.

Nu worden de kuikens direct na uitkomen handmatig gesorteerd op geslacht. Dit proces levert de kuikens veel stress op. Met de test van In Ovo kan in de toekomst het geslacht van een kuiken al in het ei bepaald worden. Hiermee wordt de diervriendelijkheid van broederijen aanzienlijk verhoogd, aangezien er geen kuikens meer gedood hoeven te worden. Read More


Finally. It took me about ten years to finish my studies, but it has happened: I graduated last April. Yes, ten years is a pretty long time, but I don’t regret a single moment. Why? Because studying is only one part of being a student. There’s a whole world outside of the university that you simply can’t ignore. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned at least as much studying biomedical subjects as exploring new opportunities while taking on all sorts of extra curricular activities. The trick is to do stuff and have fun!

I did my last internship at the startup in which I’m currently a partner. During these five months I learned a great deal about collecting market information and doing a market analysis. Together with my fellow founder, we visited a lot of people to build a strong network, acquire the required knowledge about companies in the poultry industry and to look for big piles of money to get our research started.

Currently we have a pretty strong position and are about to file for a patent. The fact that we were/are student-entrepreneurs worked in our advantage. I’m confident that we will be successful and yes, that does require a hell of a lot of work.