TOP Light Business Support

The TOP light program supports entrepreneurs in an early (pre-seed) phase with:

  • accessible debt loans up to €10k. An interest of 2% applies to the loan and repayment starts after 4 years in 12 equal terms.
  • an additional series of workshops on topics for startups, including business canvasses, market research, financial strategy, pitching, accountancy and legal issues. Register now for the upcoming workshops
  • peer sessions, with fellow startups to discuss challenges and issues
  • coaching and mentoring about legal issues and business law, through our legal support office
  • access to the technology startup network Technology Circle Twente

There are 17 loans of €10k available per year. The most important difference with other support programs like TOP or Proof of Concept is that TOP Light does not require a full business plan and is therefore accessible to people with an idea.  TOP Light therefore serves as a bridge for entrepreneurs who are not yet ready for TOP.

Can I apply for TOP Light? 

Participants in TOP Light have to be active in High Tech Systems and Materials (including ICT). In general TOP Light participants are:

  • Knowledge intensive service providers that need easy and accessible forms of finance
  • (High Tech) Entrepreneurs that haven’t fully completed their business case, business plan or their feasibility study. In this case they are looking for a small funding option to support their living, or to acquire support to further develop their business plan.
  • IT entrepreneurs that develop according to the Lean Startup Model. They have an idea and work towards a minimum viable product in a short period. Based on feedback from their market they will alter their products during the development process. The loan can be addressed to support their living, and they require help with creating their business case using the workshop series of TOP Light.


Participants in the TOP Light program have to meet 5 criteria in order to be admitted to the program. An independent committee will review all applications and take the following criteria in consideration:

  • The company is not yet registered or has been registered no longer than 2 years ago
  • The business idea is innovative, new, or knowledge intensive and can be linked to High Tech Systems and Materials, including IT.
  • The company or business idea has not applied for Start-Me-Up before
  • The initiative contributes to the economic activities in the Twente region
  • And there is a connection to one of the universities (Saxion or University of Twente), or an open innovation center

I’m interested, now what? 

Entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for TOP Light can contact Erwin Holtland, phone: +31 (0)53 483 68 00 or email: In an introductory session he will explain all about the procedures and criteria. Then he will help you with your application and presentation for the committee. The TOP Light committee evaluates applications each month, and monitors the progress of each of the companies in the program.

You can also visit the TOP Light workshops to get a feel for the program.

More information

The TOP light Program is an initiative of Twente Region, University of Twente and Novel-T.

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