Students Gain Unique Opportunity to Connect with 45+ IndustryExperts at Erasmus University Speed Date Event

Rotterdam, Netherlands May 28th: Last week’s Speed Date Event at Erasmus University College, centrally located in the heart of Rotterdam, marked a significant milestone in the ongoing Erasmus University Challenge. Held on Day Zero of the Upstream Festival, the event was a remarkable success, fostering innovation and collaboration between entrepreneurial teams and industry experts. 

The event featured an impressive line-up with 53 teams and 45 coaches from various industries, including logistics, education, energy transition, and more. With over 150 speed dates taking place throughout the day, the atmosphere was buzzing with enthusiasm and innovative ideas.

Matthew Harvey, Managing Director of Erasmus University College, opened the event withthe historical significance of the building and reminding participants that “Life is not a sprint.It’s a marathon!” Followingly, Oscar van Veen, Director of Innovation at Port of Rotterdam,captivated the audience with his compelling journey from an aspiring basketball player to a lifelong entrepreneur, emphasizing that innovation is a collaborative process and that skill scan transfer seamlessly between the startup and corporate environments. Throughout the event, partners provided invaluable feedback, shedding light on market needs, validation, strategic alignment, and potential challenges. “It’s fantastic to see so many teams well-prepared with insightful questions for us partners” as noted by Jits Brouwer from ErasmusX.

The synergy between the diverse teams and seasoned experts was evident, highlighting the importance of exchanging innovation with industry leaders from diverse backgrounds. Such interactions are essential for sustainable growth, the success in the entrepreneurial landscape and refining the participating teams’ business strategies.

Want to know more?

Want to know more about the 3rd Edition of the Erasmus University Challenge and all theparticipants? Visit our website: and follow us on social media (@Erasmus_University_Challenge). For questions, reach out to or

The Erasmus University Challenge is initiated by Erasmus Enterprise and organized annually in collaboration with Soapbox. 

Erasmus University Challenge- Speed Dating Event

Date: May 28, 2024
Location: Erasmus University College, Nieuwemarkt 1A, 3011 HP Rotterdam
Time: 13:30 – 19:00

Erasmus University Challenge

On May 28, the Erasmus University Challenge is hosting speed dates at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam. During this gathering, student teams will have the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and projects directly to potential investors, mentors, and other interested parties. This speed dating session is a key highlight of the Erasmus University Challenge taking place on Day Zero at the UPSTREAM festival, where innovation meets community.

The Erasmus University Challenge provides a platform to spotlight the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of students across three categories: ideation, prototyping, and start-up.

Ideation: Where dreams and initial ideas begin to take shape.
Prototyping: Where visions and sketches evolve into the first versions of tangible projects.
Start-up: Featuring projects that have already entered the market and are actively seeking to expand.

Participant teams

From a diverse pool of over 95 entrepreneurial student teams, this edition of the Erasmus University Challenge has seen impressive growth. Returning partners like Go-Tan will inspire the teams to take their next step in their entrepreneurial journey. As Erik van Elderen from BTS said last year; “there is a lot of entrepreneurial eagerness!”

One of this year’s participating startups in the prototyping category is Cuphub. This student team has developed Casey. Casey is a reliable on-the-go menstrual cup cleaner, designed to provide convenient and hygienic care for women all over the world.

Another showcase of innovation this year is the start-up Biocrafts. Their mission is to revolutionise the construction industry by replacing conventional methods with innovative, greener solutions that prioritise sustainability without sacrificing quality or performance.

Last but not least, Fungi for Future is developing a material to replace plastic in the packaging sector with materials that are truly biodegradable. Partners such as Albert Heijn and Rituals have already shown interest in the team.

Speed Dating

The speed dating, which will take place on 28 May at Erasmus University College, is a great opportunity for participants in this year’s edition to discuss the next steps in their entrepreneurial journey. “Today’s speed dating was great. Some really brilliant ideas,” said Oscar van Veen from the Port of Rotterdam at last year’s edition. As last year’s edition was so successful, Oscar van Veen will be back to network with and support this year’s participants. As Rector Magnificus of the Erasmus University, Annelien Bredenoord said to be proud of the teams participating in the Erasmus University Challenge and she would like to encourage you to stop by!

Want to know more?

Want to know more about the student teams and partners of the 3rd edition of the Erasmus University Challenge? Visit the website or follow us on social media (@Erasmus_University_Challenge). The Erasmus University Challenge is initiated by Erasmus Enterprise and organized annually in collaboration with Soapbox. 

Registration is possible via

"Join us on May 28 at Erasmus University College from 13:30 for the Erasmus University Challenge. Explore the entrepreneurial spirit fostered by Erasmus Enterprise and be inspired by innovation and ambition at Erasmus University Rotterdam."
Liesje Goldschmidt
Erasmus Enterprise