UT Entrepreneurial Challenge 2021

UT Entrepreneurial Challenge: What can we expect this year?

What can we expect from Novel-T and the participants this year?

Author: Tamara Hartman 13 April 2021


This year is the fifth edition of the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge. An innovation and entrepreneurship competition for all entrepreneurial students at the University of Twente. During the challenge, students work together with organizations on their idea, prototype, or startup. Novel-T is an important partner of the challenge. But what exactly is our role? And what can we expect from the participants this year? Tim de Wolff tells all!

Challenge-based learning

As every year, the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge is divided into three categories: Ideation, Prototype, and Startup. In the course of the challenge, the participants can attend several knowledge sessions and workshops. In the finals, a winner will be chosen for each category. “In this fifth edition, we are again doing everything possible to challenge the participants on all fronts. We share knowledge and provide tools to further develop their case. A great example of challenge-based learning,” says Tim de Wolff, who is closely involved in the challenge in the Novel-T Startup Acceleration team.

The role of Novel-T

“Novel-T is involved in the organization but also responsible for the content sessions, workshops, and coaching. For example, Bas Buursma, co-founder of CodeSandbox, recently joined the talk ‘Access to Markets’ to talk about how they get millions of users for their platform. 80 participants listened attentively,” says Tim. Novel-T is not the only partner. Student Union, ETM, Incubase, and DesignLab are also involved as initiators. Tim: “Novel-T’s added value is the knowledge and experience both within the organization and from our network.”

A selection of the best 40 teams

Not every student makes it to the finals. On March 8, a selection of 40 participants based on innovation and entrepreneurship had to be made, together with the partners. Tim: “It was quite a puzzle to make a top 40 selection out of the 90 applications, but we succeeded. The next few weeks will be all about preparing the teams for the speed dating event. Also, we have special sessions for them focussing on funding, growth, and exposure”

Startups with potential

Tim sees a lot of startup potential among the applications: “Take Christoff Heunis of Flux Robotics, for example. He developed a robotic arm that can be used during operations. An impressive application in the MedTech corner.” We also see Jelle Hamoet again this year with Orbitrary. He won a wildcard to participate in the 4TU finals last year with his case focused on modular building of plates as a kind of puzzle.

Among the applications is also Sefora Tunc with her Ibilight. A special lamp that represents a social presence and can thus overcome loneliness among the elderly. Tim: “We already know many of the participants, as we coach them through the process, but we are ready to mentor them beyond the UT Challenge.”

Curious about the results of the UT Entrepreneurial Challenge? Then watch the finals on June 8. Do you have a good idea, and would you like to turn it into a business? Then the START Program might be the place for you!

Tim de Wolff

Question about the UT Challenge? Ask Tim!



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