Registration Now Open for the first NL Startup Competition!

Rotterdam, 18 December 2023: Today marks the official launch of the first NL Startup Competition, an exciting initiative organized by UPSTREAMErasmus Enterprise, and MT/Sprout in collaboration with the Port of RotterdamErasmus University and City of Rotterdam. This groundbreaking competition offers startups the opportunity to showcase their ingenuity in four pivotal categories: Social, Energy Transition, Digital, and Circular, with the chance to win prize money and other exclusive rewards.

The NL Startup Competition is not just about recognition; it’s about rewarding innovative solutions. The winning startup will receive prize money to further fuel their groundbreaking ideas. In addition to the monetary prize, the competition offers exclusive rewards, including mentorship opportunities, access to a network of industry experts, and potential exposure to investors interested in supporting innovative ventures.

With the Port of Rotterdam as a key partner, the NL Startup Competition benefits from a unique collaboration that enhances the competition’s impact, aligning it with the principles of sustainability and economic vitality.

Startups are encouraged to submit their solutions in one of four categories, reflecting the pressing challenges and opportunities in social, energy transition, digital, and circular economy practices.

Beyond the competition, the NL Startup Competition provides a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, offering mentorship, networking opportunities, and a chance to connect with like-minded visionaries.

Lars Crama, Upstream Festival: NL Startup Competition shows the power of collaboration in fostering innovation. Together with Erasmus Enterprise and MT/Sprout, we are providing a platform that not only recognizes groundbreaking ideas but empowers startups to drive tangible change. It’s not just a competition; it’s a collective journey towards a sustainable and impactful future.

Liesje Goldschmidt, Erasmus Enterprise: At Erasmus Enterprise, we believe in the potential of every startup to make a difference. NL Startup Competition goes beyond traditional recognition, offering not only a chance to win substantial prizes but also providing invaluable support and mentorship. We’re excited to be part of this initiative that empowers innovative entrepreneurs and propels their ideas towards impact.

About NL Startup Competition 
The NL Startup Competition is initiative led by UPSTREAM, Erasmus Enterprise, and MT/Sprout in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam. It aims to support and showcase startups addressing key challenges in social impact, energy transition, digital advancements, and circular economy solutions. 

About Erasmus Enterprise
Erasmus Enterprise is a collaborative community dedicated to empowering visionary entrepreneurs in a playful way. The dynamic ecosystem offerings include: Early-stage startup & scaleup network, qualitative (university) reach, a vibrant entrepreneurial community, incubator programs for nurturing innovation, investor opportunities and a talent pool for fostering growth.

Upstream (on 28 & 29 May 2024 in Rotterdam) connects change makers who drive the transition to a digital, carbon neutral, circular and inclusive new economy. We invite entrepreneurs, investors and bold corporates to share, connect and create meaningful innovations for sustainable growth. 

Register before 15th of April 2024 here.

Thriving Together: Ease2pay’s Collaborative Path with Erasmus Enterprise

In a celebration of innovation and collaborative spirit, Ease2pay, founded by Gijs van Lookeren Campagne and Jan Borghuis, has been honored with the Erasmus Enterprise Community Award during the Opening of Entrepreneurial Year 2023. This award highlights the strong sense of teamwork and shared progress while being part of the Erasmus Enterprise community in the last year. Gijs van Lookeren Campagne and Jan Borghuis remarked, “We have never felt as at home as in the past year being part of Erasmus Enterprise.

 Ease2pay Self-Service solution

Ease2pay was founded in 2017 by Jan Borghuis and Gijs van Lookeren Campagne. Their mission is to create a self-service platform, where services can be used at any time of the day. For Ease2pay, self-service is not just a matter of convenience; it’s an essential driver of the energy transition, particularly in sectors like charging stations where it’s vital for profitability and consumer control. Their all-in-one app allows users to effortlessly interact with services like ports, car parks, and petrol stations. Simplifying self-service options for users, driving us towards a more sustainable society. 

The Synergy between Erasmus Enterprise and Ease2pay

What sets the Community Award apart is the connection between Ease2pay and the Erasmus Enterprise community. As one of the pioneering scale-ups, Ease2pay found its home in the Erasmus Enterprise building over two years ago on the Erasmus University campus, a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation. Here, they have been able to engage directly with students, immersing them in their transformative work. Furthermore, in the past years Ease2pay has contributed significantly to the startup community by participating as coaches in the Erasmus University Challenge and engaging in insightful speed dates with budding entrepreneurs. These experiences provided valuable perspectives on overcoming challenges of starting a business, leaving a lasting impact in our entrepreneurs’ ecosystem.

This dynamic connection between Ease2pay and Erasmus Enterprise showcases the power of collaboration and support in advancing innovative ventures. Erasmus Enterprise combines essential elements for a thriving startup environment, uniting resources and multi-disciplinary expertise from Rotterdam and Delft, offering an ideal and thriving environment for entrepreneurial journeys. This partnership, then, underlines the essence of Erasmus Enterprise: fostering an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive, innovate, and make a positive impact on society. It is through seamless interactions and collaborative events that we create dynamic network spaces, driving meaningful impact in the entrepreneurs’ community.

Join the Erasmus University Challenge and be part of a vibrant community where academia, students, government, companies, and organizations collaborate to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and co-creation! 

Click here to learn more about Erasmus University Challenge!

Discover Exciting Upcoming Events

Stay informed and be part of the entrepreneurial community at Erasmus University Rotterdam!

Bridging the Aid Gap in Education: TeachBuddy’s Award-Winning Solution

In a world where education should be equal, there are still unequal access and availability of extra learning resources. This reality struck a chord with Thijs Nederlof and Rik Roosenstein, leading them to establish TeachBuddy in 2020. Their commitment to addressing educational inequality has recently earned them the Startup Award during the Opening of the Entrepreneurial Year 2023.

The Challenge and TeachBuddy’s Solution

TeachBuddy was born from a pressing need observed by Rik during his time as a tutor: he couldn’t help but notice the high costs associated with commercial tutoring agencies. Recognizing that this financial strain was a hurdle for many parents, Rik delved into research to understand the root of the issue. Through extensive research, he uncovered the “aid gap” in schools, where students requiring extra support were not always receiving it due to factors such as time constraints from teachers, students’ reluctance to seek help, and the prohibitive costs of external support.

Inspired by the success of peer tutoring at Laurens Lyceum in Rotterdam, Thijs and Rik envisioned a platform that could automate and regulate the organization of peer tutoring programs, making tutoring among peers more accessible while, at the same time, relieving the burden on teachers. TeachBuddy is currently operating in two schools in Rotterdam and six schools throughout the Netherlands.

Fostering Entrepreneurial Growth and Impact

TeachBuddy’s entrepreneurial journey resonates with the values of Erasmus Enterprise, a vibrant and diverse community that thrives on supporting entrepreneurial minds. At Erasmus Enterprise, we believe in empowering entrepreneurs to shape their own path and define their version of success. Much like TeachBuddy, we recognize that entrepreneurship is about driving positive change and impact, and that startups require a nurturing environment to grow. Our focus is on combining resources, knowledge, and networks to propel startups forward, ensuring they reach their full potential. With TeachBuddy’s dedication to creating a fairer education system, we see a shared commitment to societal improvement through entrepreneurial endeavors.

In this context, TeachBuddy’s well-earned Startup Award highlights our shared purpose. This achievement not only celebrates TeachBuddy’s achievement, but also illustrates how their journey aligns seamlessly with our dedication to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs.


Are you prepared to transform your vision into a tangible force for positive change? From idea to thriving business, we are here to fuel your entrepreneurial journey! Join our vibrant community and explore our Startup Voucher.

Click here to learn more about the Startup Voucher and start your entrepreneurial journey today!

Discover Exciting Upcoming Events

Stay informed and be part of the entrepreneurial community at Erasmus University Rotterdam!

Driving Impact: IMcoMET Game-Changing Technology

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, innovation has always been the cornerstone of progress and development. Erasmus Enterprise, recognizing the importance of innovation, recently held an event to celebrate the official Opening of the Entrepreneurial Year 2023. The highlight of this event was the acknowledgment of exceptional entrepreneurs whose contributions have significantly impacted their respective domains. Among the remarkable entrepreneurs celebrated, IMcoMET was awarded with the ‘Next Frontier Award’, presented by Jan Peter Balkenende (Former Prime Minister of The Netherlands). This award carries special significance, as it recognizes IMcoMET’s pioneering efforts and potential to lead the way in uncharted entrepreneurial territories.

IMcoMet’s Techonology: M-Duo Technology®

At the heart of IMcoMET lies a technology that transcends conventional boundaries: M-Duo Technology®. This innovation allows for non-invasive extraction of interstitial fluid, a valuable substance containing crucial information about an individual’s health. Using small needles working in pairs, one injects a carrier fluid while the other collects it along with important signals from the local area. What’s impressive is that this fluid can be continuously extracted without the need to remove the needles.

Furthermore, IMcoMET is also leading the way in personalized skin cancer diagnostics. They’re developing a wearable skin patch that uses the same M-Duo technology®. Alongside this, IMcoMET has developed a therapy for cancer treatment, targeting the signals that cancer cells use to protect themselves from the immune system. Their technology aims to physically remove these signals, potentially improving the success rate of treatments and reducing side-effects. This represents a promising step forward in cancer therapy.

IMcoMET’s vision extends beyond innovation. They are on a mission to enhance the precision and efficiency of skin cancer diagnostics. By leveraging their technology, they propel us towards personalized medicine and accelerate biomedical research. Their ultimate goal? To markedly improve therapy outcomes for skin cancer patients.

A testament to Entrepreneurial Potential 

IMcoMET’s journey is a testament to the boundless possibilities within the healthcare sector. They have demonstrated that innovation, when combined with purpose and precision, can redefine the standards of care and open new horizons for medical advancements. The ‘Next Frontier Award’ from Erasmus Enterprise holds immense value in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By honoring and celebrating trailblazers like IMcoMET, we not only highlight on exceptional work but also provide a platform for sharing knowledge and inspiration. These awards serve as a catalyst for the growth of enterprises and the cultivation of a community of visionary thinkers.

As we look ahead, we cannot wait to witness IMcoMET’s continued growth and the positive impact they have on the future of healthcare. We truly admire their perseverance and hard work to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of skin cancer diagnostics, propelling us towards personalized medicine and advancing biomedical research. In our eyes, their journey is an inspiration for all those who dare to turn innovative ideas into reality.

So, are you ready to turn your vision into reality and make a positive impact on the world? This is your chance! Be part of the entrepreneurial community and discover our Startup Voucher to gain access to our extensive funding network. What’s holding you back? 

Click here for more information about our Startup Voucher. 

Erasmus University Challenge winners 2023 announced

Over €12.000,- awarded to students driving positive societal impact through entrepreneurship at the Erasmus University Challenge

On 21st September the Grand Finale of the 2nd Edition of Erasmus University Challenge took place at the Excelsior Stadium and it was bigger than ever. Adding to the existing categories of Ideation and Prototyping was a new Start Up Category, for more established ventures. This year’s competition saw a record number of 74 teams participating, bringing a focus on logistics, energy transition and making societal impact.

Team ReRun were announced as winners of the Ideation category, with their idea of recyclable running shoes. Habbi won the Prototype award with their solution hydroponic farming solution for a more sustainable planet. For the first time the Start-Up award was won by Playful for their initiative with their creative app solution to reduce craving such as smoking. As Ed Brinksma, President of Erasmus University, said “The finale was a great showcase of our vibrant student entrepreneurial community. All of the 15 finalists presented innovative forward-thinking ideas and I am looking forward seeing the impact they make.”

Member of the Jury, Saskia Mureau, Director Customer Digital with Port of Rotterdam shared her thoughts on the huge task faced by the finalists “What an amazing thing to be part of, I can’t believe how well all the finalists did with their pitches, it was very cool way to see the future of entrepreneurship”. Saskia joined in the student fun, awarding a year of free beer, coffee or tea to Nacalu Crafts. Other winners included The Audience Award of €1000, voted for live and won by Accuselect. The category winners were awarded cash- Ideation won €3000, Prototype €4000 and Startup €5000.



For everyone involved, the finale was a chance to see the huge progress made by the teams since the program began in April. “I was really impressed by all the participants and seeing the teams grow and improve together throughout the process has been a highlight” observed Han Go, Director & Co-Owner of Go-Tan “What an impressive challenge to be part of!” with Marie- Jose, owner of BREYTMANS BV saying “As a jury member it is nice to see how hard all the teams involved have worked, and I was really glad to be part of celebrating their achievements. All of the participants should be very proud of themselves.”

The 2023 Erasmus University Challenge has been a huge success. For the winners, they have the chance to make international impact at Berlin’s Stage TWO competition. This year with double the participants and double the entrepreneurial fun of the 1st edition, it has been a clear demonstration of how bright the future of innovation is. 


The Erasmus University Challenge is initiated by Erasmus Enterprise. Photos, videos and more information about the competition can be found at or email

Discover Exciting Upcoming Events

Stay informed and be part of the entrepreneurial community at Erasmus University Rotterdam!