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Entrepreneurship on VU Campus

Do you have a great idea, but are you in need of some help with your next step? Do you want to take a course on entrepreneurship at VU? Are you interested in entrepreneurship research? Or have you already started a business and are you just looking for inspiration? Start your entrepreneurial journey at VU.

VU gives all students with a creative idea the opportunity to practice entrepreneurship through a wide range of entrepreneurship education and support. Find out here where to go, at any particular stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

"Get your feet wet and set sail in the entrepreneurial and corporate world"
- Prof. Davide Ianuzzi, Director Demonstrator Lab

Take education in entrepreneurship
VU offers students interesting education in entrepreneurship, namely several masters, minors and even more electives. For more information, visit the Center for Entrepreneurship. Here you will also find information about the results of research in entrepreneurship.

Visit the Demonstrator Lab
The Demonstrator Lab gives students and researchers the opportunity to test ideas for feasibility and to start a business on campus. 

Join the VU StartHub community
In september 2022, the VU StartHub will be open on campus; a pavilion for (student) entrepreneurship, impact and innovation, including space for 25 startups and 50 virtual members.

Discover the Amsterdam student investment fund
The Amsterdam Student Investment Fund (ASIF) bridges the gap between student entrepreneurs and capital funding. The goal of ASIF is to stimulate entrepreneurship in Amsterdam by supporting and investing in startups founded by students. 

Startup ACE Incubator
ACE incubator supports students and researchers who are looking for ways to grow their technology or science-based business ideas into impactful companies of the future. The support consists of training and coaching and introductions to an extensive network of business professionals, investors and service providers.

Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA-GO)
Through the knowledge transfer of research, scientists are contributing to society in a meaningful way. The knowledge transfer office IXA-GO offers VU researchers support to convert their knowledge into tangible products, services or processes. 

Follow the step-by-step plan below and start your entrepreneurial journey!

Want to know more about entrepreneurship at the VU?

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Start your entrepreneurial journey

  • Step 1. Get inspired! Follow entrepreneurship education

    Find an idea and your future business partner(s) by enrolling in an entrepreneurial course, elective, business challenge or event. Read the current study guide for Bachelor, Minors, Masters and elective courses in the field of entrepreneurship.  

    ACE Explore programs

    Be creative, devise solutions to real problems with a team:
    De Startup Clinic - Law in Action
    MKB Digital Workspace

    Academic Startup Competition
    Amsterdam Science & Innovation Awards
    Create Tomorrow
    Find out more about current VU events

  • Step 2. Explore your idea

    Demonstrator Lab
    You have an idea, now what? At the Demonstrator Lab, you can start from the very beginning. In this entrepreneurial laboratory, you will receive free support. Demonstrator Lab helps you with: 

    • finding a team;
    • coaching in developing your idea into a tangible product or service with a solid business plan;
    • office space and access to a complete Fablab with 3D printers and laser cutters;
    • A weekly 'user-meeting' in the Breakout Room where you learn from the experiences of your fellow entrepreneurs. 

    For more information, send an email to

    Amsterdam Startup Launch
    Do you have a business idea and want to develop it more? The Amsterdam Startup Launch is a course of 10 highly interactive lectures that will give you all the knowledge and tools you need to develop your business idea into a solid business plan. Experienced professional business experts, entrepreneurs and coaches (from Roland Berger), will guide you in areas such as customer validation, proposition development, marketing, IP issues, finance and team composition.

    ACE Incubator
    Is your idea a little more developed and does it look promising? Then apply for the ACE Incubation program. ACE Incubator supports students, academics and tech professionals who want to grow their business. You will participate in an intensive 10-week track with training and coaching and get access to an extensive network of business professionals, investors and start-up service providers. A great opportunity: ACE Incubator is ranked #6 of the Best Incubators for Startups Worldwide (2020).

  • Step 3. Start your startup!

    VU StartHub
    Your registration at the Chamber of Commerce is check and your own business is a fact! Then you will probably feel at home in the VU StartHub

    In September 2022 you can move into a vibrant startup location on VU campus with office space for 25 startups. The VU StartHub offers more than just office space: there is also room for virtual and part-time members. As a member of the community you will be supported with coaching and events, and you will have access to a broad support network, for example from one of the 60 VU alumni mentors. You can use VU Amsterdam as a business address for your company. The office spaces are suitable for 2 to 6 people, and intended for the first 2-3 years of your business. The faster you grow out of it, the better! 

    In addition to office space, VU StartHub has larger event and community spaces. This is where you'll find your fellow entrepreneurs and good coffee!

    Scale-ups@ VU Campus
    Scale-ups are located in the Mathematics and Physics Building. The location offers startups and scale-ups workspace and access to research facilities and laboratories.

  • Step 4. Continue to grow

    Ready to scale up? Then we recommend you investigate which regional accelerator program can best help you do this. The Dutch startup and scale-up ecosystem is rich with all kinds of opportunities to grow your business. Check out the Startup Amsterdam and Techleap websites to see what the possibilities are. 

    Life Sciences Innovation Hub (from 2025)
    In 2025, a Life Sciences Innovation Hub will open across VU campus, on the corner of De Boelelaan and Van der Boechorststraat. This will be a 12,000 m2 building where both mature Life Sciences companies and VU scale-ups will have offices. 


  • Nilas van Woersum of NextRound

    What does NextRound do?

    NextRound, in collaboration with the faculty of physical sciences, developed a smart punching bag that measures multiple types of data from your punching bag workout. Based on this, we developed an interactive software where you can choose from different types of full-body (kick-)boxing workouts. During the workout you will encounter different goals and challenges, which provide extra motivation and fun. 

    What has VU support meant for NextRound?

    The VU helps us by thinking along in product development and by offering us cheap workspace in the Demonstrator Lab, where we were helped with patent applications and workshops on entrepreneurship, among other things. The stimulation to start an enterprise and the facilitation of the first steps is important. And the VU does that well!

  • Sabrina Zaini of Digi.Bio

    What does Digi.Bio do?

    Digi.Bio works at the intersection of biology, computers and engineering to accelerate discoveries in the life sciences. Today, Digi.Bio is building a platform for "instant coffee machines" that will make creating cancer-killing cells as easy as making a cup of coffee. This product will reduce the development time of cancer therapies by weeks to months.

    What has VU support meant for Digi.Bio?

    The VU ecosystem has played an important role in the growth of Digi.Bio. These contributions are both tangible and intangible:

    1. We gained access to laboratory services and facilities. As a startup, we don't have the resources to invest in capital equipment, so this has helped us tremendously.
    2. We get to connect with scientists who want to work with us on cool stuff.
    3. We are helped by VU, Amsterdam Ventures Studio and the IXA ecosystem to validate our business plan and get support in our fundraising and growth initiatives. Without them, we would not have been named Best Academic Startup in the Netherlands!

    Perhaps not so obvious: I really appreciate and love the access and quality services provided by the security, logistics and Facilities and Repro VU departments! Running a business means a lot of little chores that take up a lot of time, and having these simple facilities that are easily accessible helps to ease the daily burden of running this business so that we can focus on our innovations.

  • Tommie Koppens of Fitsurance

    What does Fitsurance do?

    Fitsurance is a startup created in the Demonstrator Lab with the goal of reducing chronic diseases in the Netherlands. With Fitsurance, we help our clients gain more insight into their health through health measurements. Based on data, we provide personalized lifestyle advice. Together with our smart mobile application, we help our clients prevent or alleviate chronic diseases and thus regain control of their health.

    What has VU support meant for Fitsurance?

    VU has helped Fitsurance in several ways. We sold our first measurements to the HRM department during the Sustainable Employability Week. Such a launching customer is really a great milestone for startups. We also had office space in the Demonstrator Lab and later in the Amsterdam Venture Studios, and we received advice from various experts. 

    The community with other startups is also very valuable. You learn a lot from each other and we have a lot of fun! The help we received from VU made us take the leap into serious entrepreneurship. 

    Finally, VU decided to delegate us to the European Startup Competition in Berlin in October 2021. It is great to pitch in front of a jury of European VC professionals!

More support

  • Entrepreneurial Support

    Startup & Running
    Startup & Running is a matching platform that helps entrepreneurial students find team members or a mentor for free. You can also get exposure for your startup through the platform. 

    VU Entrepreneurship & Impact
    An entrepreneurial mindset is essential for a thriving university, now and in the future. VU Entrepreneurship & Impact facilitates a powerful entrepreneurship ecosystem, by connecting and supporting entrepreneurial students, researchers, alumni and companies.

    Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA)
    IXA is the joint valorization office of the Amsterdam universities. IXA assists researchers from all disciplines in generating social and economic impact from their work, while helping external parties navigate the academic landscape.

  • Funding

    Amsterdam Student Investment Fund (ASIF)
    ASIF Ventures is a student-organized fund that supports student and recent graduate startups from the beginning (from €25K to €100K investment). Besides funding support, ASIF offers access to a community of young entrepreneurs and a large network of VCs, industry experts and investors.

    Innovation Fund Noord-Holland
    The Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland stimulates and supports innovative projects in SMEs within the province of Noord-Holland. The Fund makes convertible loans available to prove new concepts and ideas.

  • Study and student associations

    Subliem-VU, program ConnecCie
    The ConnecCie program is part of study association Subliem, linked to the Bachelor and Master Science, Business and Innovation. Entrepreneurship is in this study association's blood. Since its existence, a good number of successful ventures have been launched, ranging from tech startups and consultancy services to clothing lines. The ConnecCie program assists students with a business idea who want to start their own company. 

    Enactus VU
    Enactus VU is a non-profit student organization and part of the global Enactus network, spread across 36 countries. More than 65,000 students are members worldwide and are actively engaged in the creation of social enterprises. The goal of the organization is to create a better and sustainable world. There are currently 6 active social enterprises.

    Aureus Graduates Development Program
    The Graduates Development Program is designed for Dutch and international graduate students who are motivated to invest time, knowledge and expertise to bridge the gap between private companies, NGOs and the academic world while striving for poverty reduction. 

Do you want to know more?

Please sent an e-mail with all your questions regarding entrepreneurship