Frequently asked questions TOP program
Frequently asked question TOP
Is this funding an investment?
No, the funding is not an investment but a loan. This loan must be repaid between the 3rd and 4th year. Under conditions, the loan is interest free the first three years.
Do I personally guarantee the loan?
The entrepreneur always personally guarantees the loan. In case of a VOF (general partnership)/Eenmanszaak (one-man business) because of the legal registration form. In case of a B.V. (private limited liability company) we ask the entrepreneur(s) to co-sign personally.
Can I participate in the TOP scheme if I have a negative BKR registration at the Office for Credit Registration?
No. The bank will check for a BKR registration. If it becomes apparent somewhere in the process that one of the entrepreneurs has a negative BKR registration, the TOP scheme stops immediately.
What is the first step?
See the available flow chart on the TOP program for a complete overview of all steps. Step 1 consists of an introductory meeting with the TOP coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What are the important dates and deadlines?
Final business plans must be submitted before every first Wednesday of the month (12:00 noon) (see also step 4 of the process diagram). Every third Wednesday of the month the committee meets to assess the business plans received before the first Wednesday of the month (see also step 5 of the process diagram).
Can I go through the procedure faster?
The quality of the entrepreneur and the business plan determine how quickly the procedure can be completed. The committee expects a certain degree of quality. During the preliminary stage, we offer various support structures to this effect. It is up to the entrepreneur how to deal with this. The processing time of the first step (intake) is approximately one (1) week. Working towards a definitive business plan often takes more time. Experience has shown that entrepreneurs often underestimate this step. Ideally, this could also be done within a week. After that, the committee will need two weeks for the assessment. The processing time (ideally) could be four weeks. In practice, we see that this often takes twice as long.
Is support mandatory in the preliminary stage?
No, support isn’t mandatory. But the committee does recommend to make contact with the parties mentioned. At a later stage of the process, the committee will ask these parties to analyze the business plan. If support has already been offered in an early stage, this offers a better basis.
Which components should be included in the business plan?
A checklist is included in the documentation and can be found here. The coordinator checks whether these components are present when the business plan is submitted.
Who are on the TOP committee?
On the TOP committee are:
- Lars Pieke: Co-Founder of PNO consultancy and investor behind BATfund
- Edwin Vlieg: Co-Founder Moneybird.nl
- Raoul Werger: Managing Director Oxilion
- Arjan Floris: Manager Program Management at Benchmark Electronics, Inc.
- Martin Nieuwmeijer: Innovator/owner at Flexxolutions
Should I use the business plan and funding format?
The design of the format has proven to give a complete picture of all the data the committee would like to see. The committee has therefore decided that entrepreneurs should use the guidelines in the format when submitting a business plan.
I have no business yet. Can I still participate in TOP?
The TOP scheme is specially designed for starting entrepreneurs. When the TOP scheme is granted, registration with the Chamber of Commerce is mandatory for the funding. In the preliminary stage, registration is not yet an obligation.