Closer to home, we are an active member of networks such as StartupDelta and the Dutch Centres for Entrepreneurship (DutchCE). StartupDelta is the national organisation aiming to mobilise the entire country to work together and create a nation where entrepreneurs stand up, start up and then scale up. Our common goal is to help the Netherlands become Europe’s most well-connected and largest startup ecosystem!
As part of StartupDelta, we are the initiator of the frontrunners group COSTA alongside VNO NCW, Rotterdam School of Management and CVN. COSTA aims to explore how corporates can become ‘startup-ready’ and how startups can become ‘corporate-ready’. During the COSTA meetups, our academic director, Prof.dr. Justin Jansen and fellow ECE-researcher Prof.dr.ir. Vareska van de Vrande share the latest academic insights with C-level executives and work together with the participating firms to conduct further research into the collaboration between corporates and startups.
To walk the talk and put our findings into practice, we organise the How To Get There (HTGT) Summit, a flagship event of StartupDelta. During the HTGT Summit, innovative minds of the Netherlands meet as we mobilise corporates, startups and innovation hubs to innovate faster together as a ‘single hub’. In 2015, the HTGT Summit had keynotes such as Harold Goddijn, Pieter Zwart, Ben Verwaayen and Jan Kees de Jager, 30 breakout sessions, a Captains Meetup with 20 CEOs and 250 startups participating in Get in the Ring the Netherlands, resulting in 230 formal meetings with corporates.
Next to our work under the banner of StartupDelta, we are a founding partner of DutchCE, the collaborative network of centres for entrepreneurship of education institutes in the Netherlands. Through DutchCE, we primarily focus on improving the quality, offering and positioning of entrepreneurship education, training, and research in the Netherlands. On behalf of DutchCE, we are the lead coordinator for the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in the Netherlands; during this week the HTGT Summit will be one of the 5 national main events next to over 100 regional events.
To further promote and facilitate entrepreneurship among students, we were the first university in the Netherlands to introduce a special programme for ambitious student-entrepreneurs, called the Student Entrepreneurs Excellence Programme (StEEP) back in 2012. StEEP can be compared to similar programmes that exist for the best student-athletes and helps student-entrepreneurs combine their studies with running their business. The goal of StEEP is to prevent drop-outs and help student-entrepreneurs graduate. To stimulate other educational institutions to start similar programmes, we have shared our results and best practices which you can find here.