YES!Delft and Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) join forces with their startup programmes, creating a bridge between business and technology focused startups.
With two world-leading universities on technology and business only 15 minutes apart it is a no-brainer to combine this mutual power into one programme. The joint programme consists of the existing Get Started programme offered by ECE and the Validation Lab programme from YES!Delft that have been running successfully for several years.
So what is the main difference between startups from Delft and Rotterdam? “The main difference we see is at the starting point of the entrepreneurial venture. Most aspiring entrepreneurs from Delft start off with a technological solution and seek for the right problem and market. Entrepreneurs from Rotterdam are good at building businesses, but ideas are mostly born by a personal frustration” states Martin Luxemburg, director at ECE. The purpose of the program is to guide these nascent entrepreneurs in the process of finding the right product-market fit with experienced coaches and mentors guiding them through this journey.
“If you would have taken a look at Coolblue or Rituals 10 years ago, you wouldn’t necessarily call them innovative. But taking a look at them now, these companies are leading scale-ups in the Netherlands, both disrupting their markets through business model innovation.“ This unique collaboration between YES!Delft and ECE will provide advantages for the high-tech startups to start their venture in a business-minded environment and vice versa.
EJ Lugt, director at YES!Delft sees other opportunities as well: “A potential spin-off of the program could be that teams from Delft and Rotterdam join forces. Research from the Erasmus University Rotterdam shows that the chances of success are higher when teams consist of people with different backgrounds.” Good examples are Senz Umbrella and Magnet.me, both consisting of founders from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. “One of the side-effects of the program could be the creation of more of these mixed teams, and thereby increasing the likelihood of success of these startups. The expectation is that by educating the entrepreneurs in this way and connecting them to each other, they are better able to take on (social) challenges successfully and so contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals; one of the focus points of both universities.”