One of the new companies here, Labster, won Dansk Erhverv’s Videnstafet award last week. With 40.000 users worldwide the startup is on a roll with their virtual labs. Originally envisioned by co-founder Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde in 2010, Labster brings game narratives and 3D visuals to science education. Their mission is not to replace the teacher, but allow students to perform experiments that would be too costly or dangerous in real life.
Lasse, you are Director of Market Development at Labster. What are your major concerns?
“My first priority is that the quality of each lab is high. One of the most popular ones unwraps CSI by letting users arrive at a crime scene. They perform DNA sequencing of traces of blood in order to find the killer. Every lab should connect an engaging scenario with theory. One of our strengths in terms of growth is that science courses look alike globally. If we develop a lab with University of Copenhagen or DTU, it can be used anywhere in the world.”
You are dependent on the knowledge of academic researchers. How do they respond to your concept?
“They start out by hesitating, because we challenge the way they taught for many years. Then they realize that we can render most things visually, and it reminds them why they became teachers in the first place.”
How did you get Harvard onboard as a collaborator?
“Cold canvas. We sent several friendly mails, which resulted in a meeting with the undergraduate dean of their medical school. All universities want to add new technology to their teaching. But when the big ones say yes, it is easier to make the others listen.”