Who we are
STARTUP/Eindhoven is the business incubator of the TU/e. We aim to give starting entrepreneurs a soft landing in the market by providing everything you need to start and grow a business. On top of basic facilities such as a with good coffee and a printer, we have access to a large network of friends (business partners), seasoned coaches and the extensive knowledge base of the TU/e.
Based on this network, we are able to offer training and coaching tailored to your specific needs, access to the markets you are targeting, and access to funding to accelerate your growth. On top of this offer, our community provides an informal and relaxed way to explore your options. Why not give it a try?
Want to find out whether or not you have a winning business concept? Or do you just want to check if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur? The answers below might help you to decide whether or not to explore being an entrepreneur further.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is my idea any good?
The big question is what you consider to be good. What do you want, at what point can you say that the idea brought success? A regular income? Building a profitable business? Having an impact on people’s daily lives or making a difference on a societal level?
The financial value of an idea can be determined at the moment you have paying customers for your product or service. Before you have reached this level of maturity, an indication of how value is created in different stages is described here.
- Eindhoven University Business Club: opportunity to informally discuss your idea. Click here for more info.
- Consultation hour: opportunity to ‘stresstest’ your idea with prof. Ad van Berlo and Sander Limonard. Interested? Approach Sander Limonard to schedule the appointment.
- Certificate Technology Entrepreneurship program (CtE): 3 month programme in which you can produce your own business plan and earn ECTS at the same time, complemented by the coaching of seasoned entrepreneurs.
- A wide range of extra curricular activities: lectures, pressure cookers, workshops etcetera. Check the agenda what for more info
Am I cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs come in different shapes. Overall, successful entrepreneurs are said to be determined, competitive and creative and possess strong social skills and a high level of confidence. A first check to explore this question can be found here. Also, several online quickscans are available. Examples are the Chambre of Commerce test and the online scan of GITP.
- Learning activities: within the curriculum of ID there are several activities in which you learn about entrepreneurship or about topics related to entrepreneurship. Please contact study advisor at your faculty for the most recent overview.
- Entrepreneurial skills training is part of the Certificate Technology Entrepreneurship program (CtE). Besides learning the ins and outs of starting your own company, a psychologist will help you to determine what type of entrepreneur you could be and what kind of complementary skills you would have to organize.
- Consultation hour: what better way to assess to what extent you are capable of running a business than meeting face to face with prof. Ad van Berlo and a business developer from TU/e Innovation Lab. Please contact Sander Limonard to arrange this.
What if I am not an entrepreneur?
No problem, there are enough options to move forward.
- Develop yourself into an entrepreneurial student.
- Team up with an entrepreneur: you do not have to take the lead in taking your idea to the market, the most important challenge is to carve out the right role for yourself.
- Let a company develop your idea into a product or service. Or develop your idea into a marketable product or service as an employee of an existing company.
- Give away your idea/product to the public domain: especially for online products. Creative commons licenses are meant to facilitate this.
- TU/e SURE Innovation offers the opportunity to be entrepreneurial, without the risks associated with running an actual business. For more info, contact Hans van Dinteren.
- Find an entrepreneur: contact ESBC and/or Monique Greve to get access to the entrepreneurial network events and start your search for a business partner.
- Find a company: you can kickstart your search for a company by consulting prof. Ad van Berlo and TU/e Innovation Lab. Please contact Sander Limonard to arrange this.
- Support in making the right decisions when it comes to licensing, either commercially or non-commercially. Please contact Robert Al for more info.
How to combine a company and an education?
First of all: it is a challenge. Secondly: organisation is everything, in preparing to set up a business as well as running it. The majority of succesful alumni started their business during their time as a student., and there are numerous possibilities to combine setting up a business and educating yourself at the same time. For tips and tricks, see here and here. If you have to choose, we advise you to finish your education. You can start your business at any point of time in your life. A fulltime academic education is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
- ESBC: get advice from fellow students who are in the middle of this balancing act. Visit ESBC for more info.
- Contact the study advisor of your faculty study advisor at your faculty to align your academic education with working on your company.
- Combine the preparation of setting up a company with earning ECTS by following for example the Certificate for Technology Entrepreneurship programme (CtE). For all the options in the curriculum, contact study advisor at your faculty.
What does STARTUP/eindhoven have to offer?
The TU/e offers students an incubation space, targeted at starting as well as experienced student entrepreneurs. This is the first point of contact for every student starting a business.
- Facilities: TU/e Innovation Lab offers work spaces and ICT facilities. For registration please contact Monique Greve.
- Incubation programme: members of the student incubator have access to a wide range of lectures and workshops on subjects ranging from how to deal with taxes to setting up a crowdfunding campaign. Members also get access to different tools, equipment and discounts on consultancy services. Please contact Monique Greve for more info on the latest agenda and service offering.
- Business Development: coaching in terms of business modeling, -planning, personal leadership, team, marketing and sales; hands-on support in getting access to early stage funding, sector specific brokers, potential launching customers as well as media outlets. Robert Al is the guy to contact for this.
Ok, so you know you want to start a business, but still have the feeling you are not prepared? Always remember, you are never fully ready! At some point, it is better to just start. The answers to these questions might help you to determine this point.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start a company?
Starting a company is easy. Basically, you need perform these activities: choose a legal entity, register at the Chambre of Commerce and open a bank account. Once registered at the Chambre of Commerce, you will receive a VAT-number (Dutch: BTW-nummer) which enables you to be part of the “economic traffic” and charge Value Added Tax.
- The Chambre of Commerce is located on the TU campus. Please contact this location for registration and further information on the formal procedure of starting a company.
Do I really need a business plan?
Officially? No. Only 15% of all new ventures start with a business plan. In practice, we advise you to make a business plan: to make sure you thought of everything, to get your story straight, to decide on marketing and sales strategy and to get some grip on your financial planning. Especially for knowledge intensive ventures, this proves to be a bare necessity.
- The TU/e offers a range of Bachelor and Master courses in (technology) entrepreneurship. If you are preparing to start a venture, the Certificate Technology Entrepreneurship program (CtE) might be particularly useful. In this 3 month programme you can produce your own business plan and earn ECTS at the same time, complemented by the coaching of seasoned entrepreneurs. Please contact Myriam Cloodt for more information on the curriculum on this subject.
- The business developers at STARTUP/Eindhoven are there to ensure you are prepared to launch a venture: by providing coaching, tools and feedback in making business plans, but also in linking you to the right seasoned coach or friend. Please contact Robert Al if you could use some support/and guidance.
How do I perform market research
Lack of proper market research is one of the biggest pitfall for starting entrepreneurs. Next to the standard desk research about market size/scope/competition, validating your assumptions on what customers might need, want and how it helps them getting their job done is crucial. Getting “out of the building” and engaging in customer conversation not only gives insight in the potential need for your product or service, but also provides essential feedback that enables you to decide what the offer should specifically look like.
- Parallel to the TU/e curriculum in this field, the Business Sessions by STARTUP/Eindhoven provide hands-on tips, tricks and tools. Please follow this link for the agenda.
- The business developers at STARTUP/Eindhoven have an extensive network in a wide range of markets. It is their job to match you to the right industrial liaisons and potential launching customers. Please contact Robert Al if you are in need of a market introduction.
What about Intellectual Property?
The TU/e is here to kickstart your career as an entrepreneur. This is also the guideline in dealing with intellectual property (IP) you generated while being a student at TU/e. As a student, you need need to make arrangements with the TU/e because the exploitation rights on the IP you generated as a student lie at the side of the university. To ensure a proper transfer of these rights and/or to optimize your possibilities to commercially leverage these rights, the TU/e follows the following procedure.
- Do you want to start a company based on your work as a student OR is a company interested your work as a student? Please contact study advisor at your faculty. He will take the lead in guiding you through the process of IP transfer describedhere.
- If the TU/e made a significant contribution to the creation of the IP you generated as a student (support of staff outside curriculum, use of equipment/machinery of TU/e etcetera), we expect you to give something in return. This draft contract outlines the main conditions and requirements.
- As a student, it is an option (not an obligation) to file a patent via the TU/e. If you want to explore this option, please complete this form and send it to the IP Officer of the TU/e, Ronald van den Oetelaar.
Is your business doing ok, but do you still have the feeling it could be much more? Or do you need to accelerate the growth of your business to be successful? The answers below might help you to determine how to grow bigger and/or faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can STARTUP/Eindhoven help me save costs?
In several ways:
- Housing and facilities: STARTUP/Eindhoven offers a flexroom, a free working space with ICT facilities, large roof terrace and good coffee. A place where you can work concentrated, but can also invite clients and business associates. Please see this link for registration and availability.
- Coaching & Learning: the community of entrepreneurs , coaches en STARTUP/Eindhoven team prove to be a valuable pool of experience and network. The business sessions are a means to keep up with the latest insights for startups without additional fees.
- Specialized business services; The friends of STARTUP/Eindhoven are able to provide you with specialist advice in fields such as product development, corporate finance, , legal, IP, Human Resources, on- and offline marketing and sales. Prices vary from free to a fee with a STARTUP/eindhoven discount.
How can STARTUP/Eindhoven help me generate more revenue?
By means of providing:
- Access to market: we have liaisons and relations with large and small companies in a wide range of markets, ranging from energy to creative industry and high tech systems to agriculture. By introducing you to the right informal investor/customer/channel partner/supplier, we are able to open up new worlds, or at least save you a lot of time.
- Access to funding: we have access to Bright Move, an early stage fund with the mission of funding startups just like you. For student entrepreneurs, a student loan is available (<10.000 euro), while for startups based on a scalable technology, a Proof-of-Concept (250k euro) as well as Pre-seed (100k euro) loan are offered. In parallel, we are able to guide you through the forest of subsidies and funding possibilities. As a first tip: visit mkbfinancieringsgids.nl for a first overview.
- Access to knowledge: asa partner of the TU/e, we have access to (applied) research/researchers and prototyping facilities as well as an extensive technology portfolio that might enable you to take the next step in the development of products or services. Please contact Robert Al if you need more information on this.