Graduate Entrepreneur distinguishes itself through its large network of partners and established entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs that were once in your shoes and want to give back to society. We believe in the potential of an ambitious student with a big dream and challenge our network to think differently: to innovate together in unprecedented ways, connecting the leaders of the industry in a boundless ecosystem. This will be the foundation for kick-starting the potential of our young entrepreneurs and reaching them on the moments that matter between education and career.
'If you think you have everything under control, you're going too slow. Making money first but also 'Karma Entrepreneurship'. Competition is good: believe in own strength. Business development AND Market Development.
1. Niet geschoten is altijd mis. 2. No gain without pain.
You can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hand
Don't hestitate to ask everything, there are no stupid questions.
Every day that we spend not improving quality of healthcare is a wasted one.
Think big, focus on finding a balance of doing the right things and doing things right, and use your network!
Be driven by a strong belief in your company, not by making money on short term.
Think Big, Start Small, Work Hard.
Passion and curiosity is fuel for growth.
Plan for success
Dare to ask for advice!
Although the solution, service or product is impeccable, there is still a massive stakeholder field (suppliers, government, customers, process owners, and so on) to be organized and geared towards the success of the startup, initiative or organization. As a recipe for success, this is to be orchestrated robustly from the start
Start with a small team building a deep understanding of customer needs/competitive advantage. The rest is iteration/perseverance.
Become an entrepreneur because it gives you a lot of energy and you like hard work. Then success will come naturally.
Grow - your team! Stretch - no boundaries! Act - clients first!
Believe in yourself but surround yourself with people to compensate for your weaknesses.
Chill when things do not go as planned: iterations are part of creating a great product or service.
Value creation comes first Cash is king
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.
What is the customer problem you are trying to solve?
Dare to experiment and always stay humble.
If somebody says no , what do you do?
'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!
Take advise but make your own decisions
Dare to scale-up internationally and go abroad yourself to make it happen. Take really, really good care of your customers and employees.
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!
Persist and keep going, even if your friends don't believe in your business!
Make sure you have fun and make profit.
Don't hesitate, just do it!
In medtech and life science: do not trust that a great product sells itself, focus on getting to scale early on
Set your self ambitious growth targets and build an infrastructure that can support such (international) growth. Focus, focus focus
Think carefully about your business model from day one so it remains good when you grow.
Create a plan, stay focused, but above all the difference is in the execution.
Discipline equals freedom.
A good idea is worth nothing without execution.
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?
The world of tech is a jungle! Realize that each misstep or mistake you make is actually progress that brings you closer to your goal - keep this growth mindset and you will come very far.
Next to a good business plan a great external pitch can make the difference.
Set the bar at the front door and hire someone more capable than you are every time.
Surround yourself with diverse people, be flexible to adapt your plans and just go for it!
Everyone can be an entrepreneur, as long as you are willing to work hard for it! Like a top athlete that wants to go to the olympics.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
Speed up and don’t be afraid to fail… and if you fail, do it fast, often & forward!
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with ;-)
Be true to yourselves and others - Realize your commitments - Be daring and imaginative - Create opportunities for everybody.
Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid to miss the opportunity.
Having the right team in place is the key to success!
The only way to find a new way is to leave the beaten track.
Start today, momentum and energy is everything!
Just do it, we're there to help!
Make sure you are well informed, but make your own choices
How can I help?
Reach for your own dreams and not those of somebody else.
Invest in building a strong team with counterbalance powers and no hierarchy.
It's good to be impatient, it's even very important.
Believe in your plan, stay focussed and surround yourself with the right people (buid a team that is complementary to eachother and challenges eachother).
1. Get your first customer, quick! 2. Think big and be ready to scale 3. Create a scalable business model
You only can win if you dare to lose.
work hard and keep focus and opportunities will always arise
A very important development in Metropool Rotterdam. There is already a very good eco system but the missing link was cooperation!
It's not a sprint but a marathon or even a few marathons. You need to: visualise the race, have a great start, the right shoes, well planned nutrition support and the ability to adapt to tough times. Perseverance and agility are equally important.
Talk, talk talk to your future customers, and check your assumptions Don't hesitate to think big!
Balance passion with knowledge.
The client will notice nothing of your vision but will notice your execution!
Only start a company when you are really passionate about the subject and purpose, otherwise you will get bored. Make sure you do your homework well before making and presenting your business plan.
3 rules that invariable come up in every coaching session: (1) Focus (2) Focus and (3) Focus
Roos Damen is the Managing Director of Damen Yachting.
Let your internal vision, motivation and ambitions drive you. Be persistent, focused and don't let external circumstances hinder!
Listen to others, set your own course!
Believe. Persevere. Be creative. Succeed.
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.
Go for what you believe in, be bold, have fun and develop yourself to your full potential!
Don't let anybody kill your dream.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Undertake activities that you love to do, don't get stuck in activities that cost you a lot of energy > delegate
Don't postpone. Start your own company right now, when you are still at university. Conditions will never get better. Don't wait for a great idea either, its the least important thing there is.
Rely on yourself and keep going!
Discover and stay tuned to your primary purpose!
These startups are already in the Graduate Entrepreneur community. Are you from Rotterdam or Delft and do you want to join as well? Make sure to sign up now!
Amberscript is a subtitling and transcription software and services company. Upload your video or audio file and create 100% correct subtitles and transcripts accurately, easy and fast with our custom speech recognition models, online text editor and pool of thousands of language experts.
Auto-Pilot offers a SaaS automation platform specialized in working with all kinds of text files such as emails and PDFs, helping companies create Natural Language Processing models to structure large amounts of data.
BAND-ADE B.V. is developing an easy-to-use mobile platform to facilitate improved booking decisions for music venues and artists by offering data, a unique rating system, and a matching algorithm.
BonAPI offers ingredient based solutions for digital recipe providers. We offer recipe analysis and profiling (nutrients / diet / allergies / nutritional claims / seasonality etc.) as well as dynamic ingredient alternatives to suit any restrictions or preferences.
Breeze is a fundamentally different online dating app that is all about offline dates. At mutual interest, a match is created and both users fill in a date picker and Breeze lets them know where to be at what time.
DRIFTY offers a sustainable, fun, and practical solution for a new standard of boats (In 2025 in Amsterdam, all - over 12.000 - boats need to be emmision-free, and more cities will follow soon). We aim to make sustainable, modular, and maintenance-free boats, made from recycled plastic (rotation molding). With the modular system, the boats can easily be configured to anyone's preferences.
Developing smart home/office devices, to connect the physical world to data analysis, AI and Machine Learning. Our first product is a smart CO2 sensor, to track and monitor air quality and assist in proper ventilation.
Developing flight control solutions for the industrial drone market. Innovative algorithms with a solid software core for stable autonomous flight, while adapting to subsystem failures to prevent virtually all crashes.
We provide a platform where students can gain relevant work experience by doing study focused fixed fee jobs without temporary contracts or registration as a freelancer
We deliver on-demand beauty and wellness services by talented professionals to clients their home or work location. Crafting exceptional experiences centered around Beauty at unique locations.
GreenRoutes, specialized in optimizing routes using Artificial Intelligence. Our algorithms creates an automated route planning for waste-collectors, delivery services etc.
At Greencast, we enable companies to gain real-time insights in their CO2e emissions. Our software helps clients identify their emission hotspots to achieve concrete reductions, fast.
We provide a user-friendly solution to gyms that helps users to make progress with their fitness training. Our sensor and app make fitness training more fun, productive and rewarding, and also generates valuable and unique (data) insights on user behaviour, machine usage, training optimization and health benefits
Habitat is a new kind of climate-adaptive and circular co-living concept, which offers a solution to the current housing shortage by providing affordable and circular housing on water
This is the next generation of perfume, inspired by the icons of the past. Take our online Quiz, and our Machine Learning algorithm will find your perfect perfume.
Infoment is a social media platform based on personal development and learning. Personal development enables you to develop your skills and knowledge, boost your confidence and improve your self-awareness
We upgrade residential buildings by adding floors in a co2 neutral way. In this way, we create living space in cities and increase the quality of residential quarters for users and owners.
Meal Matcher is an online platform that supports consumers with personalised meal inspiration to order sustainable foods at their local restaurants. Local restaurants and chefs are guided by Meal Matchers with actionable support and accesible education to create a sustainable demand.
Potje makes saving money together easy. Create a "Potje", share it with your friends and save for the perfect holiday, festival, gift or whatever adventure is waiting for you
Productpine is a shopping platform that enables brands to lower their CAC by 75% when selling direct-to-consumer (DTC). For buyers, Productpine is the go-to destination to discover their next favorite things, starting with electronics.
Rapyt delivers clothing from local clothing shops directly with an electrical bike to your home. Do you want to return something? Rapyt will pick it up at your place, and the clothing item will directly be returned to the store.
Savvy sells cleaning products and hand soap in the form of dissolvable tablets. This allows our customers to make their own cleaners and hand soap at home by just adding water. This way they won't have to throw away any plastic bottles anymore.
Seanode connects upstream B2B companies with downstream in an end-to-end supply chain through our e-marketplace. This enables our clients to have complete supply chain transparency, agility and resilience.
We build the next-generation software for waste management. Our user-centric and flexible software helps streamline the full waste cycle, from pickups to recycling.
At Smart-Ship we implement force-feedback technology on traditional ship controls to enable a sustainable maritime future with regard to people, equipment and the environment.
Sustainable students the podcast aims to inspire students on the latest developments, innovations and technologies in the field of ecological and social sustainability. In addition, we offer sustainable jobs and internships.
UV Smart develops and supplies medical disinfection solutions to care facilities worldwide. Our products increase patient safety, save costs and minimize labor while reducing environmental burden.
Uni-Life helps universities facilitate the most valuable student life through our platform, in terms of social well-being, personal development and career opportunities. We connect students to relevant events, vibrant communities and fellow, like-minded students.
Unpluq helps people regain control over their smartphone through a combination of Android software and a USB key. Users save an average of 69 minutes of smartphone screentime daily.
Venture Insider a platform that gathers stories of exceptional people: our visionaries. We strive to undress the ups and downs, the late nights, the early mornings, the failures, and the victories.
We create the possibility to virtually fit clothing on your body in an online environment. Our service increases conversion, decreases returns and contributes to a greener tomorrow.
Villari provides continuous monitoring of crack growth in steel structures, such as bridges, cranes or wind turbines, in order to reduce the cost of inspections, plan maintenance ahead, and safely extend operational lifetime.
Workwize aims to help companies focus on their core operations by integrating logistics, service, advice, and financial handling involved in setting up remote workspaces into a single procurement platform. We strive to help the corporate world accelerate in giving employees the freedom to work both from home and in the office.
We're youai, a group of data science professionals developing creative AI concepts. In our first project, we used a GAN and deepfake algorithm to create a living portrait (inspired by the talking paintings from Harry Potter). We're currently ideating our next project, considering topics like voice synthesis and automatically generated music.
Yumora application will enable people to order & pay at local shops/stores or any eateries from anywhere, thus solving the problem of standing in a queue & also removing the need to scan any code.
These incubators help you turn ideas into businesses and make sure you learn everything about entrepreneurship.
Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is the leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe. Fueled by our belief that entrepreneurship is the primary driver for innovation, we strive to embed this in the DNA of people by applying the knowledge and network of Erasmus University Rotterdam, a university founded by entrepreneurs more than 100 years ago.
The Philips Innovation Award is the largest student-entrepreneur award in The Netherlands. This award is organised for students, by students. The award does not abide by a winner-takes-all mentality but wants all its participants to benefit from the personal feedback, network, credibility and skills that you will take with you for the rest of your career.
The leading tech incubator in Europe. We believe in the impact tech companies can have. Through innovation, they provide a crucial contribution to our society and economy. Our services turn promising ideas and teams into solid startups and help them grow into successful companies. Connecting our ecosystem of experts, mentors, corporate partners, and investors with our unique programs, we help BUILD TOMORROW’S LEADING FIRMS.
The VC partners of Graduate Entrepreneur have been with us from the beginning and taught us all about Venture Capital.
As our partner they advice and support the student team. Furthermore, we partner up in terms of dealflow and follow-up investments.
Borski Fund is an innovative Venture Capital fund with a focus on diversity and technology. We provide venture capital and growth capital for ambitious companies and actively support entrepreneurs in realizing their ambitions.
DutchDisruptiveVentures.com provides coaching, capital and commercial support to the most promising early-stage disruptive startups in The Netherlands. Our approach leans heavily on deep expertise in the principles of disruption theory, which helps deliver more predictable startup success.
INKEF Capital helps early stage companies reach their full potential. We back mission-driven entrepreneurs who are passionate about the problems they are solving and are ready to take the next step to grow their business. Working side-by-side with these visionaries makes us incredibly optimistic about the future.
InnovationQuarter is the regional development agency of the province South-Holland. We finance innovative & fast growing companies, assist foreign companies in setting up in the province & organise collaboration between entrepreneurs, institutions & government to strengthen the clusters.
Mainport Innovation Fund II is a Dutch Venture Capital Fund which invests in early stage start-ups with meaningful innovation in the aviation, transport and logistics sectors. We do this together with our investment partners KLM, Schiphol, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Port of Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology.
No Such Ventures is a disruptor in the VC landscape, offering flexible deal structures and hassle-free equity investments on a per-deal basis. Backed by an engaged network of high-profile investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts, we invest €2m to €8m in ambitious companies, globally and across sectors.
Peak Capital is an early-stage VC fund founded by experienced tech entrepreneurs. Peak Capital invest smart capital in fast-growing marketplace, platforms, and SaaS companies.
Rubio supports world-changing entrepreneurs to “cross the Rubicon”, as we believe that the most valuable companies of our time will be the ones that solve society’s biggest challenges.
SHIFT Invest is a Dutch venture capital fund that invests in innovations in food & agriculture, clean (bio-based) technologies, circularity and smart materials. Through its investments, SHIFT strives to create environmental impact alongside financial return. Together with the fund partners, SHIFT offers entrepreneurs a broad network and knowledge of the sector.
Tablomonto is an early-stage VC fund that invests in tech startups that leave a better world. In addition to investing, Tablomonto is committed to promoting equal funding opportunities for different founder groups and is one of the founding partners of #fundright.
VOC Capital Partners is a Venture Capital fund with a focus on fast growing tech-enabled businesses. VOCCP distinguishes itself from other VC's with a philosophy based on: inspiration for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.
Together with these student partners, we can bring the startup ecosystem to a higher level. These partners are
all student led, just like us.
We are the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship Students (ECE Students), Erasmus University Rotterdam’s official entrepreneurial association. Since our establishment in 2013, our mission has been providing an environment that unites a diverse group of people, and to empower them in taking entrepreneurial action.
We believe in the innovative ideas of students. By questioning all, they are the source of great ideas that will one day change both our society and economy. Our events, programs and courses provide students with all that is needed to turn great ideas into successful startups. We aim to both nurture and educate students to become a successful entrepreneur. Connecting our community of experts, mentors, corporate partners and teachers with our students, we are the place.
Whether they support us in defining the terms and conditions or train us how to work 'agile', we could not have been where we are now without our working partners!
Erasmus Enterprise, including ECE, ERBS, YES!Delft and UNIIQ, is your vibrant community of entrepreneurs and innovators on the EUR Woudestein campus. We combine the best, multi-disciplinary expertise on incubation and acceleration from Rotterdam and Delft, as well as regional startup funds, in one central location.
Fieldfisher is a European law firm with market-leading practices in many of the world's most dynamic sectors. We are an exciting, forward-thinking organisation with a particular focus on technology, financial services, energy & natural resources and life sciences.
SparkOptimus is Europe's leading digital strategy consultancy, working with leading multinationals and pure players to build digital businesses. SparkOptimus has been Graduate's partner from the beginning, supporting with strategy and hands-on (agile) coaching.
A special thanks to the founding universities who believe in the power of students and entrepreneurialism. They have supported us from day one and helped to make the dream of Graduate Entrepreneur and its Fund a reality. Thank you!
Our goal is simple. We want to help you as an early founder with growing, scaling and lifting your business to the next level. Therefore, our impressive network is ready and eager to share their knowledge and experience to help you with the diverse challenges you face. If you or your co-founder is studying in Rotterdam / Delft or has graduated within 7 years in one of these cities, don’t hesitate to apply for coaching. After you have filled out the form via the button ‘Apply for coaching’ below, we are going to match you to a coach that we think is best suited to help you.
Check out more information about the coaching process here →