We believe that young entrepreneurs are the very lifeblood of innovation and progress, and we want to help them realise their vision of creating a better world. That is why we not only provide funding for startups that contribute to this ideal, but also help in the search for mentorship by an established entrepreneur from our well-connected network and provide the right community of like-minded peers.
Getting an investment from the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund means that you will get access to the three things that are most important for your startup to become a raging success, namely:
Capital, Coaching and Community.
Convertible up to €75k
We invest tickets up to €75k in the form of a CLA (Convertible Loan Agreement) and we are more than happy to partner up with other investors for co-investments.
Connect with your coach
In addition to receiving capital, you will be matched to one of the experienced alumni in our network who will be your mentor during your Graduate Entrepreneur journey. We will match you based on your industry, solution and overall challenges. Your mentor is someone who has been in your shoes before, and who knows the steps and challenges that come with entrepreneurship. Startups funded by the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund can make unlimited use of our coaching network for ad-hoc challenges.
Be part of a community
We believe combining the competencies of Rotterdam and Delft will lead to an unprecedented startup ecosystem. You will join a continuously expanding community of both young and experienced, like-minded entrepreneurs, our knowledgeable partners, and even VCs for possible follow-up funding rounds. Moreover, there is the possibility to become part of Erasmus Enterprise, the entrepreneurial community at the EUR Woudestein campus where this all comes together. Here you can rent a flex desk or office space, and you can walk into our main office at any time.
You are an early stage startup
that wants to develop a prototype, validate your idea
or has gained some initial traction.
At least one of your founding members is a student, recent graduate
(within 5 years) or a staff member at Erasmus University Rotterdam or TU Delft.
You can be situated anywhere, as long as you are a Dutch entity, study or have studied in Rotterdam or Delft.
Continuous innovation is essential everywhere and our extensive network of coaches can support in any industry.
You are in need of funding between €10k and €75k. If you are looking for more however, we are willing to co-invest.
Pitch to our
A desire to give back to their community. That's the common denominator for all of our backers.
This merited group of individuals are all alumni of TU Delft and/or Erasmus University Rotterdam. With a shared vision of creating a local entrepreneurial ecosystem fit to compete with the best hubs in the world, our backers have been of tremendous support to enable the creation of Graduate Entrepreneur. Without them, this dream would not have been a reality.
Do you want to support the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund as well? Get in touch with Erasmus Trustfonds.
You have to be the biggest optimist that life can be because you have to wake up every morning and say yes I can do this! But you also have to wake up every night and be scared shitless of what can go wrong.
'Ik heb het nog nooit gedaan dus ik denk dat ik het wel kan' - Pippi Langkous
It begins with passion for an idea and guts. If you possess those you go to Graduate Entrepreneur!
1. Get the right people on your team 2. It's all about learning fast. Make a plan, get started, learn and adapt. 3. Customers, customers, customers!
Gijs was also the co-founder of Greenwheels.
A business plan will, of course, never turn out the way you predicted it, but it definitely helps you and your team to make one, if only to make sure you are all aligned.
If you can’t explain your idea clearly, keep quiet, and work on it until you can!
Make sure that in your business plan your product is not only well defined, but also think of how to sell it. Who is my client and how will I reach that client?
Surround yourself with diverse people, be flexible to adapt your plans and just go for it!
Think big, start small, act fast.
Be true to yourselves and others - Realize your commitments - Be daring and imaginative - Create opportunities for everybody.
Having the right team in place is the key to success!
Start today, momentum and energy is everything!
1. Get your first customer, quick! 2. Think big and be ready to scale 3. Create a scalable business model
A very important development in Metropool Rotterdam. There is already a very good eco system but the missing link was cooperation!
The client will notice nothing of your vision but will notice your execution!
“If you can dream it you can do it” – W. Disney
Let your internal vision, motivation and ambitions drive you. Be persistent, focused and don't let external circumstances hinder!
Start your business for the right reason (not money or ego) and show great co-founders leadership interaction. I love straightforward, professional, passionate and purpose-driven people, devoted to some crusade, as real team-players.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.