Golden Tickets

Looking for opportunities to translate your research for the benefit of patients? This may be your chance!

Novo Nordisk Research Centre China (NNRCC) joins forces with ATLATL, inviting proposals on novel and translatable ideas. Two selected winners will be given priority access to one of ATLATL’s nationwide facilities, and a prize of RMB 500K each to pay for the ATLATL facilities and services. The winners are also entitled to mentoring by relevant experts of Novo Nordisk. There are no strings attached for teams awarded the prize.

The selection panel involves top-notch global experts in drug discovery and business development in Novo Nordisk and ATLATL. We aim to engage applicants in vibrant discussions on the scientific merits of the proposals, offering scientific and business aspiration along the process. 

Why do we do this? We are driving change to advance transformative treatments for people living with serious chronic diseases.

In China, we partner with brilliant minds via INNOVO® platform to facilitate translational research. Launched in March 2019, INNOVO® is Novo Nordisk’s open innovation initiative in China. It encompasses all external partnerships for NNRCC, with EntreStar Program as its latest addition.

We are looking for proposals in the field of metabolism, fibrosis, inflammation, or technology platforms that can be applied to facilitate drug discovery and development. Technologies that are of high interest to us include:

  • Computational/system biology, AI-assisted drug discovery & development
  • Drug delivery technology
  • Gene editing and gene therapy
  • Micro physiological system, 3D in vitro culture models 

It is considered an advantage, but not a requirement, that the proposals demonstrate a scientific connection with our therapeutic areas:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • NASH
  • CKD
  • Rare blood disorders
  • Rare endocrine disorders

Teams/companies under Seed round investment or Angel round investment or at Pre-Series A financing stage

Submit proposal

Please submit your proposal via the link to the global platform. All submissions must be in English.

By submitting an application, the Applicant agrees to the Terms and Conditions.

  • Submission deadline: July 25th 2023 
  • Evaluation by global committee to select 5 finalists: in August 2023
  • Finalist informing date: by August 31st 2023
  • Half-day pitch event and winner announcement: September 8th 2023

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 57,000 people in 80 countriesand markets its products in around 170 countries. For more information, visit

Novo Nordisk Research Centre China (NNRCC), founded in 1997, takes pride in being the first research centre established by a multinational pharmaceutical company in China. With a focus on protein and peptide therapeutics, NNRCC has full capabilities and rich experiences in drug discovery research.

The ATLATL Innovation Center is a world-class scientific hub for global life sciences. ATLATL streamlines the elements of R&D to improve resource utilization and revolutionizes the traditional asset-heavy investment model into an asset-light operation model. This much more time and cost-efficient model originated in Boston and continues to be optimized from 2017 onwards in China.  ATLATL provides not only state-of-the-art facilities and professional operational management but also many R&D platforms staffed with scientists and project managers specializing in various fields. By collaborating with leading biopharma ATLATL integrates global resources to stimulate innovative developments. ATLATL currently has R&D platforms in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, etc., leveraging the uniqueness of each site to help innovators quickly reach the next milestone.

[On-site R&D Support] ATLATL’s in-house team provides R&D assembly services for biotech companies locally and abroad, in areas including gene and cell therapy, drug discovery, single-cell research, GMP implementation, animal disease models, as well as preclinical pharmacology & toxicology studies, and more.

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 100 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care.

Novo Nordisk Research Centre China (NNRCC), an Affiliate of Novo Nordisk A/S, Denmark (“Novo Nordisk”), joins forces with ATLATL, inviting innovative researchers and biotech start-ups to submit proposals on disruptive technologies for pharmaceutical research, and/or novel therapeutic candidates for unmet medical needs (the “Competition”).

These Terms and Conditions (“Terms”) are applicable to the Competition.

The entry for the Competition begins on May 16th, 2023 and ends on 9:00 PM Beijing Time on July 25th, 2023, unless terminated earlier by Novo Nordisk (the "Open Call Period"). 

The Competition is open for participation by individuals, teams, legal entities and organizations from across the innovation ecosystem, from start-ups, university researchers, students, incubators/accelerators, as well as other industry innovators (referred to as “Participant”).

An entrant team consisting of more than one individual and not representing a legal entity is referred to as “Participant Team”.

“Participant” in these Terms shall refer to individual Participants as well as each individual member of any Participant Team.

During the Open Call Period, Participants can submit their solution (“Entry”) via the Competition email:

By submitting an Entry, Participant accepts and agrees to comply with these Terms and with the decisions of Novo Nordisk, which will be final and binding in all respects, including Novo Nordisk’s right to verify eligibility, to interpret these Terms, and to resolve any claims or disputes relating to the Competition at any time.

In these Terms, “Novo Nordisk” shall be deemed to include Novo Nordisk A/S, its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns.

Each Participant must be eligible to participate in the Competition and comply with the Terms, or such Participant or its Participant Team may be disqualified.

An individual is permitted to be part of more than one Participant Team and may enter as part of a Participant Team and as a sole participant if they desire. Only one (1) person on a Participant Team will be considered Participant for entry purposes (“Team Representative”).

To be eligible to enter the Competition, Participant must be above the age of majority in the country, Province or jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry. The Competition is void in all countries where prohibited by law.

NOT eligible to participate in the Competition are:

  • Teams/Companies have financed Series A funding or beyond;
  • employees, interns, contractors, representatives, agents and official office-holders of Novo Nordisk, as well as Novo Nordisk’s subsidiaries, affiliates and their respective directors, officers, employees, interns, and contractors, and the immediate family members (such as parents, siblings, children, spouses, life partners);
  • HCP or HCO with prescription right.

Although individuals, teams, organizations and unincorporated entities are welcome to participate in the Competition, note that only duly incorporated legal entities in China will be eligible to receive the “EntreStar” award.

If Participant is entering as part of a company or on behalf of its employer, these Terms are binding on Participant as well as the employer. If Participant is acting within the scope of the employment, as an employee, contractor, or agent of another party, by submitting the Entry, Participant warrants that such party has full knowledge of Participant’s actions and has consented thereto, including to these Terms and Participant’s potential award of the EntreStar. Participant warrants that Participant’s actions do not violate the employer or company’s policies and procedures.

Novo Nordisk reserves the right to verify eligibility and to adjudicate on any dispute at any time.

3.1. Entry Submission

By submitting an Entry, the Participant accepts these Terms. 

  • Entries must be submitted via the Competition email address and must include all information required, including but not limited to: Participant (and, if applicable, Participant Team) name, email, phone number, and mailing address;
  • Team size;
  • The company’s mission statement;
  • The targeted market and unmet need, value proposition;
  • Platform and validation (describe the technology);
  • Relevant IP rights;
  • Leadership team;
  • Anticipated benefits of securing the EntreStar award;
  • Explanation of how you heard about the Novo Nordisk X ATLATL EntreStar program;
  • Confirmation that the participant has read, understood and agreed the terms and conditions.

Entries may be submitted at any time during the Open Call Period. An Entry is not complete unless and until the entry criteria above are properly followed. Submitted Entries will not be returned.

Entries will be considered non-confidential. By submitting an Entry, Participant acknowledges and agrees that the Entry will not be treated as confidential. Participant is advised, before submitting an Entry, to consult a lawyer or patent attorney as to the desirability of seeking patents or other protection for the Entry.

By submitting an Entry, Participant warrants and represents that:

i.   The Entry is the original work of Participant;
ii.  Participant and, if applicable, Participant Team, has consented to the submission and use of the Entry in the Competition;
iii.  The Entry does not contain any copyrighted material not owned by Participant or, if applicable, Participant Team and, to the best of Participant’s knowledge, does not infringe the rights of any third party, including but not limited to rights of publicity or privacy, moral rights, or any other property rights;
iv.  Participant has the right to present the Entry and to participate in the Competition and there are no claims, judgments or settlements against or owed by Participant relating to the Entry or any information contained therein;
v.  The Entry only contains names/likeness/identifying elements of persons for the use of which these persons have given their prior written consent to Participant.

In the Entry, Participant must disclose whether:

a.   whether Participant has any currently active formal partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies;
b.  whether Participant is a Health Care Professional (HCP) or HCO (Health Care Organization).

Participant’s submission of the Entry is at its own responsibility and risk. Novo Nordisk shall not be liable for loss of data or illegal intrusion into the system by third parties. 

3.2 Review of Entries

The Entries will be judged and scored by a review panel chosen by Novo Nordisk (“Review Panel”).

The Review Panel will rank the Entries based on criteria fit for a given submission.

  • Quality, feasibility, and scale of proposed solution or technology

    The description of the unique technical features of the product or service, the proposed benefits to stakeholders, any evidence or proof-of-concept supporting the impact of the solution, and the ability to scale to a broad market.

  • Differentiation of solution within the competitive landscape

    The description of how the proposed solution addresses the unmet need, why it would be sustainable, and how it is differentiated within the competitive landscape.

  • Capability of Participant to develop and execute solution

    A description of the composition of the Participant Team and relevant background and experience of Participant or each Participant Team member that uniquely positions Participant to execute on this solution.

Novo Nordisk reserves the right to assess the Entries in a manner determined by Novo Nordisk, which may include interviews or discussions with certain Participants.

3.3 Selection of Finalists

The 5 Entries ranked highest by the Review Panel will be selected as finalists (“Finalists”), subject to verification and compliance with these Terms. The Finalists will be notified by the email address they provided by August 31st 2023.

If an email notification is returned as undeliverable, or if a Finalist does not respond within the required number of days specified by Novo Nordisk, or if any information submitted by Participant is found in non-compliance with the Terms, raises significant concern to Novo Nordisk, or if a potential Finalist decides to decline its selection as Finalist for any reason, Novo Nordisk shall have no further obligations to such Finalist and such place as Finalist may be awarded to a runner-up Finalist, time-permitting and at Novo Nordisk’s sole discretion.

The Finalists may receive questions or other feedback from Novo Nordisk after being selected as Finalists.

If an email notification is returned as undeliverable, or if a Finalist does not respond within the required number of days specified by Novo Nordisk, or if any information submitted by Participant is found in non-compliance with the Terms, raises significant concern to Novo Nordisk or if a Finalist decides to decline the prize for any reason, Novo Nordisk shall have no further obligations to such Finalist and the applicable prize will be forfeited and may be awarded to a runner-up Finalist, time-permitting and at Novo Nordisk’s sole discretion.

If, once selected as a Finalist, a Participant is of the opinion that their solution cannot be further discussed or developed without the disclosure of any confidential or proprietary information, Novo Nordisk may decide to enter into a confidentiality agreement with Participant to ensure that the mutual interests are well protected.

At the business pitch planned on September 8th 2023, each Finalist will present its solution to the Review Panel and may be asked to give a short presentation (in English). 

In its sole discretion, Novo Nordisk will select two Finalists as winners of the EntreStar (the “EntreStar Winners”). To be eligible to win the EntreStar, the Finalist must be a duly incorporated legal entity in China before Series A funding stage.

The EntreStar Winner will receive a spot on a priority waitlist for lab space rental at any chosen site of ATLATL and will be entitled to receive exemption of fee of a total amount of CNY500,000 (rent and relevant service fee to ATLATL, tax inclusive) by ATLATL. For taking up residency at ATLATL the EntreStar Winner will be required to sign a Service Agreement with ATLATL, on ATLATL’s terms and conditions. The EntreStar winners are required to take up their residency at ATLATL with two calendar months of the award announcement date.

The EntreStar award is non-transferable and substitutions or cash redemptions will not be allowed. Except where prohibited by law, all tax liabilities are the responsibility of the EntreStar Winner. Novo Nordisk will not be responsible for any tax deductions which may be necessary. Participant acknowledges that he/she will not be entitled to any additional payment by reason of any award(s) being subject to any tax, levy, or other charge in any jurisdiction.

The EntreStar Winner is responsible for any costs and expenses associated with the acceptance and/or use of the prize. All details of the prize not specified in these Terms shall be determined by Novo Nordisk in its sole discretion.  

Novo Nordisk and the selected Finalist will execute any such further agreements as may be necessary or advisable.

Participant accepts the conditions stated in these Terms, agrees to be bound by all decisions of Novo Nordisk regarding the Competition, and warrants that he/she is eligible to participate in the Competition as specified in these Terms.

Participant indemnifies Novo Nordisk for any damages (including payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees) in connection with Participant’s participation in the Competition and Participant’s acceptance and use of the Golden Ticket.

Participant indemnifies Novo Nordisk for any damages (including payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees) in connection with any claim for misappropriation or infringement resulting from (i) Participant’s infringement of any third party’s intellectual property rights; (ii) Novo Nordisk’s mentoring of Participant; or (iii) resulting from Novo Nordisk’s involvement with any idea, invention, information or materials comprised in the Entry.

Participant acknowledges that Novo Nordisk may presently, during the Competition, and/or in the future be developing internally, or receiving from other parties, ideas, concepts, solutions and information that are similar to the Entry. Accordingly, nothing herein shall prohibit Novo Nordisk from independently acquiring, developing, or having developed for it, products, concepts, systems, services, or techniques that are similar to or compete with the products, concepts, systems or techniques contemplated by or embodied in the Entry.

Participant will not in any manner undermine the integrity of the Competition. Participant will not use any device, software or routine to interfere with the proper working of the Competition Website or with the intention to damage, interfere with or surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or personal information.

i. No offer or payment for products or services.

This Competition and the award of the Golden Ticket are not intended to be, nor shall these be construed as, an offer or payment made, whether directly or indirectly, to purchase, lease or order of any item or service of Novo Nordisk.

ii. Compliance with requirements.

Determination of compliance with entry, technical, and other requirements and these Terms will be in the sole discretion of Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk reserves the right to disqualify any Participant whose participation may, or Entry that may, cause controversy or negative publicity for the Competition, LabCentral, Novo Nordisk or any third parties. Participant shall not use the Novo Nordisk name, logo, corporate identity or images without Novo Nordisk’s prior written consent.

iii. No liability.

Novo Nordisk assumes no responsibility for the following: any problems, technical malfunctions or delays in electronic operations or transmissions; Entries that are lost, stolen, incomplete, damaged, garbled, destroyed, misdirected or not received for any reason; destruction of or unauthorized access to, or alteration of Entries or related material, failed or unavailable hardware, network, software or telephone transmissions, damage to Participant’s or any person’s computer and/or its contents related to or resulting from participation in the Competition; or any errors in these Terms or in any advertisements or correspondence in connection with the Competition.

iv. Participation consent.

Participant consents, authorizes and grants to Novo Nordisk the irrevocable and unrestricted right and permission to take, copyright, use and publish printed, video, audio, or photographic images of Participant and Participant’s statements, in whole or in part, in conjunction with or without Participant’s name, or any reproductions thereof related to the Competition for use with internal and external audiences, including the right to edit these materials to ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations.

v. Timekeeping.

During the Competition, Novo Nordisk’s administrator’s server/computer is the official timekeeping device.

vi. Novo Nordisk decisions.

Novo Nordisk’s decisions are final and binding in all matters relating to the Competition.

vii. Precedence.

In the event of any inconsistency between these Terms and any other provisions published or otherwise communicated in relation to the Competition, these Terms shall prevail.

viii. Competition cancelation or suspension.

Novo Nordisk reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Competition at any time at its sole discretion.

Entries will include information relating to identified or identifiable natural persons (“Personal Data”), in particular name, title, email address, mailing address, phone number and age of Participants as well as names of members of Participant Teams.

Novo Nordisk collects, processes, and/or uses Personal Data submitted for the purposes of the Competition in accordance with these Terms, in particular for verifying the identity of Participants, for administering the Competition, and to contact Participants for the organization and execution of the Competition.

Participant expressly consents to: (i) the collection, use and retention by Novo Nordisk of Participant’s personal and business information contained in the Entry for all purposes (including promotion and publicity) related to the Novo Nordisk Innovation Partnering Program, as well as for use in a publicly available Finalists list; (ii) the publication of Participant’s name, picture and entrepreneurial story on the Competition Website, Novo Nordisk websites as well as on Novo Nordisk’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Wechat, etc.); and (iii) the sharing of Participant’s personal and business information with [Novo Nordisk A/S] (including the data storage on the server of [Novo Nordisk A/S] outside China and the data processing by [Novo Nordisk A/S] or its service providers) solely for the purposes described herein.

By submitting Personal Data of members of a Participant Teams, the Team Representative represents and warrants that all necessary permissions from all members of Participant Team have been obtained, including that all members of Participant Team have been informed of and been provided with all information required under applicable laws regarding the scope, purpose and method for the sharing with [Novo Nordisk A/S] and regarding the publication inside and outside China, and have consented to such data sharing and publication..

Novo Nordisk may anonymize and aggregate data collected through the Competition Website for statistical purposes to help improve its products and services.

Participant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action out of or connected with the Competition shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action.

All issues and questions with regard to the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Terms, or the rights and obligations of Participant and Novo Nordisk shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of PRC, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any other jurisdiction.

The exclusive jurisdiction and venue of any action with respect to the subject matter of these Terms shall be the courts in PRC; and Participant submits itself to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of such courts for the purpose of any such action. Any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with participating in the Competition, but in no event attorneys’ fees. Participant hereby waives all rights to (i) claim or be awarded any punitive, direct, indirect, incidental, and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of- pocket expenses, and (ii) to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased, including for willful patent infringement.