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.

Are you ready to START?

The START Program is based on 35 years of experience at the most entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands, the University of Twente. The program is specifically developed for dedicated (student) entrepreneurs who want to get started with their innovative business idea. During this program, you will learn from the experts. You will follow several masterclasses and coaching sessions on different themes given by professionals. These experts will coach and guide you in the process of validating your idea. During the sessions, you will check the key elements of validating your business around the topic like business modeling, value propositions, legal aspects, market analysis, and teams. How long you need to validate your idea it up to your input and dedication.

Making it through the START Program gives you insights if your working on the right idea. Is your idea good enough and do you make great progress? Then you can get access to the Novel-T ADVANCED Track. Are you not ready yet to start, but are you interested in starting up a business, or do you think you have a good idea? Come join us at one of our bootcamps.

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.

Marc Sandelowsky - Space53

Marc Sandelowsky is Program manager of Space53 and expert in coaching and supporting high tech business ideas.


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 START Bootcamp! Windesheim students can apply here for the START Program.

These startups succesfully passed the START program


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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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