Startup Visa Facilitator

Download brochure Get in touch
For whom

Ambitious entrepreneurs from all over the world! Entrepreneurs who want to start their business in the Netherlands and want to validate their ideas in the European market.

Price & location

The costs are €250 excluding VAT per participant per month for a duration of one year. This is a fixed fee price. This includes the duration of the programme at the entrepreneurship campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

> Read more

Download brochure

All you need to know in 1 PDF. Download the brochure and take a look at our programme.

Read this first!

If you want to join the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme, please do not apply for one of the other programmes separately! Sign up via the orange button below.

Start your innovative company in the Netherlands

Startup Visa Facilitator 

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is a recognized RVO startup facilitator for international innovative startup entrepreneurs. A facilitator is a business mentor that provides the entrepreneur with support. Having a facilitator is one of the conditions for getting a startup visa. With a startup visa, international startups have one year to start an innovative company in the Netherlands. 

During this year, you are required to follow the Erasmus Startup Programme, the Erasmus Business Programme and the Erasmus Membership Programme.

Start your company in the Netherlands!

The Netherlands is a central hub of Europe, with the diverse workforce and environment it’s the perfect country to land your startup. English is universally spoken, there is an active international business climate and good infrastructure. The Netherlands is a country that welcomes innovative and scalable entrepreneurs and wants to encourage entrepreneurship. At Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship you will be guided through programmes that will help you create the business you desire.

Application Process

Startup programmes

What support does the Startup Visa Facilitator programme provide? 

ECE provides the following three programmes for Startup Visa participants:

1. Erasmus Startup Programme

The Erasmus Startup Programme is a four week programme that empowers you to validate your scalable business ideas and find your first customer. We train you to use the entrepreneurship process by heart and understand how you can find out what your customer wants.

Find more information about the Erasmus Startup Programme here.


2. Erasmus Business Programme

The Erasmus Business Programme is a 10 week programme that empowers you to find the right business model, test your pricing models and set up your supply chain. During this programme you will be pushed to take the next step. You have already validated your customer base and what is desired by your customer, now you need to create a viable business out of it and maybe close your first (real) sales deals.

Find out more about the Erasmus Business Programme here.


3. Business Membership Programme 

Do you want to speed up the development of your startup? Interaction with fellow entrepreneurs? A dedicated workspace? The ECE Business Membership allows you to join our community and benefit from all the facilities while staying lean. Through the ECE Business Membership, you’ll be able to have a dedicated workspace and to attend workshops and accountability sessions every month. 

Find more information on the Business Membership Programme here.

What we offer you

The Startup Visa Facilitator Programme is based on years of academic and practical experience and consists of a collection of modules covering items such as business models, value propositions, startup financials, pitching, sales and marketing, that will give you insight in how to start a company. We provide you with the tools, skills and network to make sure that your actions are both effective and efficient.


Active mentoring from our network of investors, experienced entrepreneurs and experts

View mentors


Workshops on business modelling, lean startup methodology, customer development and more

See programme
Image workplace ECE

Inspiring workplace

Make use of flex workspaces and meeting rooms at the ECE Campus, home to more than 100 innovative companies

Check ECE Campus

The Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship

Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is the leading entrepreneurship centre in Europe.

We provide a unique platform that ranges from scholarly insights about (corporate) entrepreneurship and new opportunities, startup campuses for ambitious entrepreneurs, to exciting executive programmes for leading innovation excellence within established organisations.

We developed a 10.000 m2 entrepreneurship campus, housing over 100 startups and scale-ups, creating the learning environment to teach, train and develop people to excel in innovation.

Erasmus University Rotterdam has the largest academic research group in Europe with over 25 researchers and 4 professors in the field of entrepreneurship.

What our graduates say

Since the start of the programmes we’ve supported more than 400 ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs in setting up their venture. All kinds of people participated; from students to former CFO’s and medical specialists, and they had all kinds of ideas; from an online digital housing platform to a more technical DNA testing kit and an online packaging-free supermarket.

“The best part for me is to find myself around like-minded entrepreneurs, people who have a similar mind-set as you. This is when you think: “Ok, I’m at the right place”“

Shahpour Shapournia, Founder of Realpars
Alumnus Startup Visa Facilitator 2019

Read more

“I very much like the approach of the programme because it was very focused on experiencing and doing things.“

Gastón Käufer Barbé, Founder of Toucan Insights
Alumnus Startup Visa Facilitator 2019

Read more
Ready to join?

Conditions & Costs

When you want to apply for a startup visa and therefore a residence permit in the Netherlands, there are several general conditions that apply to your stay. You can find the general conditions here.  

Apart from the general conditions there are conditions that apply to you as well as your facilitator. You can find those conditions here. 


If your company gets selected for the Startup Visa Programme, you sign a 12 month contract with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. During this year, you will have access to the Erasmus Startup Programme, the Erasmus Business Programme and the Business Membership Programme. Furthermore, will you also receive a dedicated workspace in the inspiring Science Tower among other start-ups and have access to our community and networking events. If your startup grows during the year, and  you wish to upgrade your workspace to an office space, the costs of an office (price depending on the type of office) will be added on top of the monthly startup visa facilitation fee.  The costs for the startup visa facilitation are 250 euro’s (ex. VAT) per month, for this 12 month period. These costs are charged per person in the team. Since the visas are granted on personal basis. An upfront payment of 250 euro’s is required after signing the contract. This payment is used to cover our administrative costs in the application process and is non-refundable, regardless of whether you are granted the visa or not. If the visa is granted to you, the upfront payment will serve as the first monthly payment. When more people from one team apply for a startup visa the upfront payment will be higher, exact prices for team members will be provided upon request.

Steps you must take when you apply for a startup visa at ECE 

Internationals applying for start-up visa with ECE as facilitator need to match the following requirements: 

  • An innovative startup idea 
  • A match with the Dutch Market 
  • A worked-out business plan 
  • A prototype 
  • Preferredwork with a team 

Fill out the following form for the ECE team to see whether you are eligible for applying for a startup visa with ECE as facilitator. 

After you filled out the form and you meet all the requirements, you might get invited for an interview at ECE in Rotterdam. If we decide to be your facilitator after the interview, you need to take the following steps: 

1. You have to fill in the following form:
2. You need to have a pitch deck/ businessplan containing:

  • your role as entrepreneur within the company
  • describe why your product or service is innovative 
  • describe which activities you as a starting entrepreneur will take in the first year to develop your idea into a business (for this you can describe your entry into the Erasmus Startup Programme more information of this below) 

3. You need to be registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce or have the intention to do this immediately after coming to the Netherlands.
4. You need a facilitator agreement, this is an agreement between the two of us (you will receive this form from us)
5. The Dutch IND wants you to have sufficient funds to sustain yourself in the Netherlands for one year (minimum of 14.000,- E)

Want to know more?

Do I need a team to join the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme?

Contrary to many other startup programs, you do not need a team to the join Erasmus Startup Programme. Our focus is on early-stage entrepreneurs, and we know many of them don’t have a team yet. That being said, having the right team is a very a important ingredient for the future success of your startup. That’s why during the programme we also talk about how to find the right co-founders and team members, something many of our coaches have experience with. Perhaps even more importantly, the network you’ll gain through our startup programme, can be of great help in finding team members. For example, every year more than 20.000 people visit the events held at our ECE Campus.

Is it possible to get a discount on the participation fee for the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme?

It is not possible to receive a discount with the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme.

What does it take to get accepted into the Startup Visa Facilitator 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 the idea itself on the one hand, and you as a person on the other. With regards to the idea, we consider to what extent it is something new or innovative and if it has the potential to scale. When it comes to you as a person, we look at your professional and entrepreneurial background, what you’ve achieved so far in moving your idea forward and your personal ambitions. If you can show us your potential, you’re most welcome to be a part of our Startup community.

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. A number of our coaches are also active as angel investors or venture capitalists and the ECE Campus is home to companies who can all support you in your quest for funding. That being said, it is our experience that many of our participants are not ready for an investment yet and raising money is therefore not the primary purpose of the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme. These subjects are covered in other programmes for later stage startups.

What kind of workplace will I get at the ECE Campus when I join the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme?

The ECE campus consists of more than 10.000m2. We’ve got 7 amazing new floors that all have their own theme (including the Life Sciences & Health hub). Our campus is the home base for our community, consisting of 100+ innovative companies that are situated here: start-ups, scale-ups and corporates. During the six weeks of the Get Started programme,  you’ll have a Business Membership of ECE; that means you can make free use of our dedicated desk area on the sixth floor as well as the numerous flex working spaces throughout the building.  That also means  you can reserve all the meeting rooms to host customers or partners and can even host your own event if you’d like. Did we already mention we also have a ping pong table, bar and stunning view over the port of Rotterdam?

In what phase should my startup be?

Preferably in the (pre-) seed phase. Ideally, you have a functioning prototype, MVP or conducted some sales.

How much money should I have?

We ask you to prove that you can provide at least 18.000, – euro’s in one year, either on your personal bank account or on the company account.

How long does the entire process take?

At least 6 months. This includes the three months that the Dutch immigration service (IND) usually needs to review your visa application.

Do I have to register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce before I come to the Netherlands?

No, you need to sign a declaration stating that you intend to register within six weeks after your arrival in the Netherlands. If you do not register within 6 weeks, your visa can be withdrawn.

Get in touch

Interested to know more?

Curious to learn more about the Startup Visa Facilitator Programme?

Get in touch with Jip Dresia.


Phone: +31 10 302 1331

Jip Dresia

Junior Programme Manager