As if doing a Master’s is not enough to keep you busy, Carlos Serrano Fajardo (24) also runs his own company from his student room. He and three friends started Remode Solutions.
Carlos Serrano Fajardo with the brand new Australian 3D printer located in his room. Photo Sven Menschel
‘After finishing my BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Seville, I wanted to go abroad to get my MSc. I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and to learn as much about life as possible. Then Wageningen University & Research popped up in my browser search results – which is how I ended up starting on my MSc in Biotechnology in August 2017.
In March 2018 I participated in the course New Venture Creation, in which students were asked to come up with a business idea and pitch it in one minute. I presented an idea about personalized lab bioreactors. Lab bioreactors are also known as “fermentation vessels”, which are used to ferment and produce wine or beer. But they are also used to produce pharmaceuticals, chemicals and biogas, and for treating wastewater.
First business trip
The jury was instantly interested and the initial course assignment evolved into a real project. My team developed the concept and by working very hard we got the chance to pitch our idea for a student loan in order to launch our company. We got the loan and suddenly we were registering our own company as Remode Solutions, of which I am now CEO.
In Remode Solutions we give a boost to research in biotechnology by speeding up the fermentation process which happens naturally in nature. This process usually takes up to three months, but with our technology it takes a matter of days.
We work in a team of four people: myself, Juan Arias, Emanuele Ribatti and Roland Berdager. We have already experienced really nice moments: from celebrating our first meeting with a beer at The Spot, to our first business trip: three days in Belgium for a competition. It is wonderful to combine work, friendship and fun.
It is really cool to decide what kind of company you want to build, what kind of boss you want to be and what team culture you want to cultivate. My biggest challenge as CEO is managing my time in order to combine my studies, work, friends and chill time. I have no business background at all, so everything related to management, negotiations, finances, investors and legal issues is new to me. But I’m already familiar with the ins and outs of the Belastingdienst – the tax department – and their blue envelopes.
We recently purchased our first 3D printer. It is being shipped from Australia and it is as big as a family fridge! It’s going to be interesting fitting it into my room. My house has gradually become somewhat of a headquarters.
Once I’ve finished my degree, my plan is to focus on Remode fulltime. We have ambitions to expand across Europe. I am thinking of staying based in the Netherlands for the time being. We get a lot of support and opportunities here.’