Published on 26-02-2020

Students and startups: entrepreneurship begins at Incubase

Big things start here.

Students and startups: entrepreneurship begins at Incubase

You’ll feel the vibe as soon as you walk into Incubase on the University of Twente’s campus. “This is where innovative business ideas get the chance to grow into successful enterprises,” says Mike Verkouter of Novel-T. The official opening of Incubase was held on 3 February. Students have been working here since December of 2019 and have shown great interest.

With its thirty-five years’ worth of experience as an entrepreneurial university, the UT is the perfect location for an incubator. “We had been dreaming for a while of a physical space where we could offer our startup programs and give student entrepreneurs a place to work,” Mike continues. “Together with the efforts of the Student Union and support from the university, we were able to realize this incubator.”

Big things start here

Incubase breathes innovation and inspiration. “You are challenged everywhere you look,” says coordinator Arthur the Lange. The space on the second floor of the Bastille was thoroughly remodeled. “From quiet workstations and meeting rooms to lockers for your prototypes and a bar where you can spar with other entrepreneurs. Incubase has it all.”

A gym for entrepreneurial students

Incubase is more than a workspace. It is a community in which you are challenged to develop and validate your idea and bring it to market. Novel-T’s coaches and business developers can help you realize that. “I like to call it a gym for entrepreneurs. Here, you can train with the best advisers you could hope for. We determine what you need to take your idea to the next level,” Mike says. This approach does not work for all students. You have to be highly motivated, eager to share your experiences and want to grow alongside other student entrepreneurs.

Validate your idea

“Student Union represents more than a degree,” Arthur adds. “Most people seriously underestimate what it takes to be a student and an entrepreneur. At Incubase, you are surrounded by like-minded individuals, which is a far more motivating environment than sitting by yourself in your room. What we don’t want, however, is for students to end up without either a business or a degree. That is why we determine in the first three months whether your idea is viable and whether you have the drive to become a successful entrepreneur.”

Membership from a tenner

Incubase’s membership fee is just a tenner a month. In return, you get to be part of the community, receive guidance from coaches and experts, attend inspirational meetups and events, have a place to work on your startup and drink delicious coffee and tea. You don’t have to worry about Incubase running off with your idea, either. “We do not ask for a share in the businesses that are launched here. A student’s idea will remain their own. That is quite a unique approach in the world of incubators,” Mike says. “Once you leave the idea phase and become an actual startup, you have to pay a slightly higher fee.” Incubase offers additional facilities to startups. For example, you can hire one of the cubicles for you and your team to work on your business together.

Throw your idea into the pitch arena

They are particularly proud of Incubase’s pitch arena. Mike: “This is where we offer master classes, start our boot camps and members pitch their ideas every month. We challenge entrepreneurial UT students to step into our arena as well.”

Are you ready to get to work on your idea? Check out the pictures below and discover the opportunities on the website of Incubase.

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