Alumni and students from the Universities of Delft and Rotterdam are jointly launching the start-up ecosystem: Graduate Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial students and successful alumni of TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam have jointly set up Graduate Entrepreneur, a structural collaboration that will offer start-ups and scale-ups funding, a network and coaching as well. The new platform aims to unite existing activities and offer unique growth opportunities to start-ups and scale-ups in various sectors, such as artificial intelligence, technology, social sciences and medicine. In this way, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam will offer joint entrepreneurship a more prominent place on their campuses.

TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam offer top education and research that rivals the best universities in the world. Less than 20 kilometres apart, the universities offer various studies to more than 40,000 students, and both universities are characterised by their diverse campuses and international character. While this is a good foundation for great start-ups, in practice there are still obstacles that prevent the majority of companies from surviving the first five years.

Combined Rotterdam-Delft innovation cluster

The objective of Graduate Entrepreneur is to boost start-ups and scale-ups in the combined innovation cluster around Rotterdam and Delft. We do this by offering a platform that brings (student) entrepreneurs from both cities together and gives access to a network of fellow entrepreneurs, alumni and investors. In addition, the platform will offer a wide range of facilities, support and funding. The online platform went live today.

20 to 30 new start-ups a year

The Graduate Entrepreneur Fund has the ambition to have around 20 to 30 new start-ups with pre-seed funding take their first steps every year. With additional seed funding, it is expected that a significant part of this number will grow to scale-ups. The first closing of this fund is expected to take place in the third quarter of this year.

Set up by prominent alumni

The initiators of Graduate Entrepreneur are prominent alumni from Rotterdam and Delft such as Michiel Muller, Gert Jan van der Hoeven, Hadewych Cels, Sandro van Hellenberg Hubar, Menno Antal, Frans van Houten, Michiel Westermann, Machtelt Groothuis, Tijo Collot d’Escury, Frans Haafkens, Frank Slootman and Hans van Ireland. In addition to TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam, they have also joined forces with the Erasmus Medical Centre,  various student associations, and organisations such as Delft Enterprises, Erasmus Enterprise, the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, YES!Delft, Stichting Erasmus Trust fund FoundationDelft University Fund and the Philips Innovation Award.

Source:  TU Delft

Date: 12 april 2021