START program

Start your future with the START program.

START program

The START program is a validation sprint for your innovative business idea. With this program you take the first steps with your business idea. You start whenever you are ready. The program is free for participants, but with a value of more than €7.000 in tools, expertise, and coaching we allow the best candidates. Did you make it into the program?  Then you will get access to our experts and coaches that challenge you to validate and achieve rapid progress with your business idea.


Do you already have a business idea? Then the START Program is the perfect way for you to see if you need to invest more time, money and energy into this.
The START Program is a free validation program based on a pressure cooker approach. This means that we will treat the minimum for successful validation. In 8 weeks we will guide you through the validation process. You will be linked to a business coach and you will become part of our worldwide community. We admit 10 teams per edition and we lay the foundation of the startup. Progression will be tested for everyone during the Dragon’s Den session. This applies to all START participants, both physically and digitally.

Each team also receives a free trial membership at Incubase when participating. Share knowledge and experiences with like-minded people, make use of the pitch room, our flex workplaces, book a meeting room for important appointments, and perhaps most importantly, grab a good cup of coffee or tea to start the day.

What does the program include?

The START Program consists of 4 mandatory physical evenings that are held in Incubase, our startup Incubator. During these evening sessions you will receive masterclasses from entrepreneurs, 1-on-1 coaching and there is the opportunity to network. In addition to all this, we also use Slack, Notion and Miro. This combination of tools, supplemented with our 40-year expertise, offers you all the tools to start your business.

What is a good outcome of the program?: Entrepreneurship sounds very cool, but it is not for everyone. We’d love to be able to instantly see if your idea will be a success. Unfortunately this is not the case.

During this program you can discover that entrepreneurship is not for you, there is no market for your idea or that there is already too much competition. These are perfect outcomes. Fail fast and start something new. Can you do it better, faster or more efficiently than the competition? What makes your idea unique and distinctive? Are you actually solving a problem? These are questions that you need to find the answer to. Have you found enough evidence from the market? Are you still excited about the idea? And have you made the necessary progress? Then you may be admitted to the ADVANCED Program. We’ll keep that program is a secret for now. First you need to focus on your idea and validation.

Apply here


Become part of the community

Participation in the START program means that you actively get started with your business idea and that you become part of our community. Within this community, you’ll get access to lots of opportunities and instruments. Such as advanced support, further business development, capital support, training to get investor-ready, marketing support, and access to our broad network.


START Program cohorts

From now on you can start at any given time. When you are accepted for the program we discuss with your the best moment to start.

Meet our coaches and experts

Peter Langela - Novel-T

Peter Langela is expert in the Business Model Canvas and new digital technologies.

Gilles Meijer - Golden Egg Check

Gilles Meijer is expert in market research and funding/investment opportunities.

Mike Verkouter - Novel-T

Mike is expert in internationalization and participates in the mission to connect Twente startups with opportunities from around the globe.

Lars Prinsen - Novel-T

Lars is validation-specialist and advices on consistent behaviour to make this process as efficient as possible.


The procedure of the START Program

Participation in the START Program means a full commitment from you as a participant. It’s obligated to attend all four evening sessions and prepare them.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Fill out the application form
  2. Make sure to provide us with honest and accurate information and data. Only then we can evaluate correctly and eventually give you the best support.
  3. After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email and the evaluation process begins.
  4. Within 7 working days, you will be informed about the outcome of your application.


Apply for the START program

Interested in participating in the START Program? Apply now! Based on your application, we screen your business idea and determine whether you will be admitted to the START program. If not, feel free to join the Startup Workshop! Windesheim students can apply here for the START Program.

These startups succesfully passed the START program


PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
T: +31 (0)53 483 6800

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Hengelosestraat 500
7521 AN Enschede
T: +31 (0)53 483 6800

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We are supporting students, startups en scale-ups and to strengthen the innovative power of the regional SME and large companies. Successful innovation starts with us. Do you have a question, an idea or do you want to work together? Let us know!

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