TOP has offered financial and business development support to innovative companies for the past 31 years. Participating entrepreneurs have access to several forms of support during their TOP year, including legal advice, communication advice, networking and financial support.
(About the Intake Procedure for TOP on Google Drive)
The program is often used by entrepreneurs from the University of Twente and Saxion, but is not exclusively intended for this group. TOP is open to all innovative entrepreneurs in Twente who are looking for a collaboration with the universities. To apply for a TOP position, you need to meet certain requirements:
- Your company was started not longer than 5 years ago, or is started while applying for TOP
- The business case is innovative and/or knowledge intensive
- Your company has not been granted a TOP position in the past
- You can underpin that your company adds value to the economic development of East Netherlands
- There is an intention to collaborate or an existing collaboration between your company and the University of Twente and/or Saxion University
As a participant in the TOP program, you will have access to different support arrangements. Of course the coordinator will guide you through the process of writing a business plan, if that still needs work. We will perform a marketscan (deskresearch) for each TOP company to provide you with valuable insights regarding your market. Other specific support include:
- Financial Support: the Rabobank Enschede – Haaksbergen can provide you with an interest free loan and TenKateHuizinga will assist you with setting up a good system for bookkeeping
- Coaching and advice regarding legal issues
- Advice regarding PR and communications via the employees of Novel-T
- Support from a university regarding the knowledge or innovative part of your product, and support of an experienced business coach
- Office facilities
- Access to relevant networks like Technology Circle Twente (Dutch)
Apply for a position
Entrepreneurs interested in a TOP position are advised to contact Erwin Holtland, phone: +31 (0)53 483 68 00). In a first meeting he will explain the application procedure, the requirements and can work with you towards the official application. This Google drive link provides additional information concerning the intake procedure. The TOP committee who assesses all applications meets monthly to discuss new applications, the progress of the companies currently in the program and the completion of the 1-year position.
The TOP programme is yearly monitoring the development of the companies that used the programme to start their business. A summary of these results is presented in this infographic.