Find the right business model to grow your startup
The Erasmus Incubation Programme is a 3-month incubation programme that empowers you to find the right business model to grow your startup. During this programme you will be pushed to take the next step. You already know your customer’s pains and gains by heart, developed a prototype and found a launching customer. The next steps are to find a scalable business model and acquire the skills to grow your customer base.
You will have access to a great place to work and get feedback from the community, which contains many successful entrepreneurs. The programme aims to contribute to both the success of your startup and your personal entrepreneurial skills. It will have a lasting impact on your entrepreneurial career.
During this programme, you will:
- Train your entrepreneurial skills by working with structural feedback-cycles (Build, Measure, Learn);
- Learn how you can make your business model scalable to grow your startup;
- Exchange views with like-minded and experienced entrepreneurs and coaches in order to build your partnership network;
- Master your entrepreneurial career.
In the Erasmus Incubation Programme, we aim to bring together a diverse group of entrepreneurs whose startups are more or less in the same stage. To that end, the group of participants in this programme is merged with the participants in our Startup Visa Facilitator programme, where we facilitate the landing of international startups in the Netherlands. The programme is only for entrepreneurs already based in the Netherlands.
If you are an ambitious entrepreneur who:
- has already gained market traction (at least a launching customer);
- has a co-founder or at least 2 team members in your startup;
- can relate to Christina;
…then the Erasmus Incubation Programme is the perfect push forward where you can learn how to grow your startup!
Christina: a model candidate for the programme
Christina and her co-founder have been working on building their company for the past 1-2 years. She is committed to her business in terms of time (at least 20hrs a week), energy and resources. Currently, Christina finds herself at a crossroad. She has made significant progress with her startup and already has a few customers. However, Christina wants more, she has high growth ambitions. She fears that her business will fail or stagnate. Because of this fear, she works IN her company rather than ON her company. She knows that she needs to step back and ask for help in scaling her startup. Fortunately, Christina is open to asking for help and willing to invest time to work on her startup during the Erasmus Incubation Programme, where she will learn the necessary entrepreneurial skills to build a scalable business model and grow her customer base.
This programme is a combination of workshops, that cover different topics related to scaling your business, and 1-on-1 coaching sessions. During the content sessions, you will be introduced to ways in which you can grow your startup and take it to the next level, for example by testing your pricing models and engaging in partnerships to set up your supply chain. You will exchange insights with more experienced entrepreneurs and experts from different fields such as tax and legal, intellectual property and marketing during the coaching sessions.
The programme consists of 8 bi-weekly sessions, alternating between 4 content sessions, to be facilitated by ECE and external speakers, and 4 accountability and coaching sessions. We do not include a detailed programme here because we aim to keep flexibility in the outline of the sessions, but participants can expect the following tools and topics to be covered:
- Recap validation: customer discovery, customer interviews & prototyping;
- Growth: scaling, financing & organizing growth;
- Personal development: vision & effectuation;
- Teams & partners;
- Pitching & pitch decks;
- Intellectual property: patents, norms & standards;
- Legal & fiscal.
You do not need to prepare anything in advance to this programme, as long as you bring with you a good dose of enthusiasm!
This programme is structured in such a way that it does not only provide participants with theoretical knowledge and insights about growing your startup, but it also equips you to put the skills learned during the programme into practice right away. This is achieved through our teaching method: Experiential Learning. This method assumes that learning is a continuous process of experiences that are transferred into knowledge. The method consists of the following four phases:
Using this method, participants can reflect on their learning experiences and this allows them to develop abstract concepts. Simultaneously, this method encourages them to initiate experiments to test the concepts that they developed. This learning method is different from more traditional learning methods in multiple ways:
- Through experiential learning participants are expected to take responsibility for managing their own learning trajectory.
- The learning process takes place in a larger sense than merely the physical space of the classroom. Participants receive the tools in class, which can be used directly within their startups.
- We believe that knowledge creation should take place along different paths; not just between participants and facilitator but through peer consultation as well. As such, participants are encouraged to actively partake in the programme, as it directly influences their learning experience.
2 experienced facilitators from ECE will lead the content sessions.
Katty HsuSenior Researcher and Startup Facilitator
Marleen BaxProject Manager Research & Education
Jip DresiaProgramme Manager Education
Annique de GreefHead of Education
Some guest speakers from our previous programmes are:
Michel WillemsCo-founder of H1 Group (4 Webdevelopment Agencies)
Li ZhongPartner at De Investeerdersclub
Please review the information below to learn more about the programme dates and application deadline.
- Autumn programme (2022)
- Application deadline: TBA
- Session dates: TBA
- Time: 13:00-17:00
Apply for the programme here.
The costs for the Erasmus Incubation Programme are:
- € 800 per startup team of 2
- € 1.200 per startup team of 3
Our general terms and conditions apply when you register for an open programme. Please review them to learn more about our policies for cancellation, deferral and substitution.
The programme takes place at the ECE Campus, the entrepreneurship campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam located in the innovative M4H district.
Rotterdam Science Tower, 10th floor
3029 AK Rotterdam
Why should I join the programme?
If you are an ambitious entrepreneur, working on your startup for a while already, in need some help to grow and make your business model scalable: the Erasmus Incubation Programme is the perfect push forward. Our ultimate goal is to further develop your entrepreneurial talent. We are not going to create your company for you, but we are going to provide you with the knowledge, skills and network to enable you to do so yourself and do so fast! Additionally, we offer you a flexible workspace at our ECE Campus, which is home to over 100 innovative companies for you to meet and learn from.
How much time will I need to spend on this programme?
The programme consists of 8 bi-weekly sessions taking place on Friday, which you are expected to attend. Outside of the sessions, it is up to you how much time you want to, and are able to, spend on the development of your startup.
What kind of people can join the Erasmus Incubation Programme?
We are looking for ambitious people with early-stage startups. You should have at least one co-founder/team member, a prototype and ideally already some (launching) customers. Our programmes are not sector-specific. We do not require a particular professional background, as our alumni come in all shapes and sizes: from students to lawyers and from former CFO’s to medical specialists. What our participants have in common is a passion about further developing their startup, perhaps most importantly, a drive to take action and make it happen.
Do I need a team to join the Erasmus Incubation Programme?
To join the Erasmus Incubation Programme, we ask that you join only if you have at least one co-founder/other team member. Our focus is on early-stage entrepreneurs, and having the right team is a very important ingredient for the future success of your startup. In addition, during the programme we will discuss how to build teams and company culture, and the network you’ll gain through our incubation programme can be of great help in finding team members. For example, every year more than 20.000 people visit the events held at the ECE Campus.
Can I join the Erasmus Incubation Programme while I have a job?
It is possible to join the programme while you have a job. However, we do require you to be committed to your startup (at least 20 hours a week) and to be present during all the sessions. It will be a busy time, but that is what it takes when you want to grown your startup. In the end, it simply depends on how effective you are in using the time that you have. Testing your business model is no walk in the park and we will push you to go as fast as possible and expect you to make real progress in-between sessions. Many of our alumni who combined the programme with a full-time job tell us that having the structure, rhythm and a fellow group of entrepreneurs around them actually forced them to take steps much faster than they would have otherwise been able to do.
What does it take to get accepted into the Erasmus Incubation Programme?
Our application process consist of two simple steps. The first is an online questionnaire in which you tell us more about you and your startup. Based on your answers, we decide if we want to invite you to the second round, a personal interview. During both steps, we review your application by looking at your startup on the one hand, and you as a person on the other.
What does the Erasmus Incubation Programme look like, and do I have to be present at every session?
The Erasmus Incubation Programme is made up of 8 bi-weekly sessions alternating between content and coaching. We fill focus on learning you the entrepreneurial process and adapt the right entrepreneurial mindset. It consists out of eight full-day (11:00-17:00) sessions on Friday in which we coach you, through various workshops and tools, how to continue validation of your business idea and make your business model scalable. If the dates of one of our classes do not work for you, keep an eye out for our next programme; we run two each year.
I’m looking for an investment, can you connect me to investors?
Yes and no. ECE has a huge network that does include many investors. When we feel that you are ready to talk to investors, we are willing to facilitate an introduction. However, it is up to you to close the deal!