Access to talented people

Years of work are often spent on developing technology, without this technology ever conquering the market. Partly because the team that works on the innovation lacks the required competencies. It is all about tackling non-technical challenges. Teams working on an innovation encounter non-technical questions such as: is the chosen business model correct? How do I protect my knowledge? How can I produce my product on a larger scale? How do I ensure a healthy financial foundation for my company? Who is my customer and how do I reach them? An invention only becomes a successful innovation if all these aspects are taken into account.

We are happy to help! Are you interested?
Please contact Ronald Wielinga our manager entrepreneurship on +31 6 121 38 876 or or read more below.

At WaterCampus, there is a continuous learning curve on which we train future water technologists and other water technology professionals on practical, bachelor and master levels – essential for enabling the growth of startups and SMEs. Another unique aspect is that we support (future) start-ups and SMEs develop the necessary entrepreneurial skills. Skills that we all know are essential to set up a successful business.

Developing entrepreneurial skills takes place in five stages:

  1. Inspiration: stimulating entrepreneurship;
  2. Education: training and educating potential entrepreneurs to prepare for the launch of their innovation;
  3. Incubation: supporting entrepreneurs in the market validation towards a product-market fit;
  4. Acceleration: upscaling and bringing the technology to market;
  5. Growth: the (substantial) growth of the company.

Please see below some nice examples of our talent programmes focused on the development of entrepreneurship. More information about our education in the field of water technology can be found here.

Back to the Entrepreneurship Portal.


Being an entrepreneur is all about creating an impact. Being an entrepreneur means that you can make your own decisions and, when your startup becomes a success, you can actually change the world. However, starting your own company instead of joining an other organization is not often the first option that comes to mind. Therefore we already start stimulating entrepreneurship before new companies are even founded. For this inspiration program the WaterCampus joined forces with Founded in Friesland.

With the inspiration program, the talents are guided through their entrepreneurial journey from start to start-up. In this journey, they experience firsthand what it is like to become an entrepreneur. At the same time, we make sure they meet all the right partners to ensure that the first step towards their own start-up is closer than ever.


One of the aims of the WaterCampus is the development of talents and ideas, resulting in breakthrough technologies with high social impact. There is no doubt that MSc students, researchers or professionals are key to creating these breakthrough technologies. However, an invention can only become an innovation when applied successfully and contributes to solving complex world water problems. Only then it has an impact on society and science. To achieve this, it is important to translate research results into solutions that can be valorized. This is exactly what we do with the Business Development Course – a course that we organize every year.

At WaterCampus we realize that we can create the highest impact by bringing people together with complementary knowledge and experience. That is why we set up a cooperation with the master’s program Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Campus Fryslân (University of Groningen). Their students know all about knowledge-valorization and setting up (circular) business models while we at WaterCampus know all about creating breakthrough water technologies.

Interested? Please contact Marco de Graaff for more information about this course.



WCBCAre you a (starting) entrepreneur in the water sector or a PhD student with this ambition, and do you want to learn how to turn your innovative ideas, technologies and  services into a successful international company? Then the European WaterCampus Business Challenge is extremely interesting for you. During the European WCBC, you will meet innovative fellow entrepreneurs and get the exclusive opportunity to pitch for serious investors, launching customers and potential technology partners. On the final day of this intensive 5-day program, all participants present their business plan to a jury of water technology experts and investors and receive expert feedback.

By combining the strengths of (young) entrepreneurs, coaches, investors and innovative companies, synergy is created to turn newly developed technologies into a (commercial) success. Almost all of the 125 participants in the previous ten editions are successfully active in the water sector.

Interested? Please contact Marco de Graaff for more information about this course.

Are you in doubt about the added value? Let Wokke convince you. As part of the NEW project, we asked Wokke how he experienced his participation in the Business Development Course and the WaterCampus Business Challenge.

VentureLab water technology

VentureLab offers a cohesive business development programme for starting entrepreneurs. Through the NEW-TTT project of Deltares, the University of Groningen and Wetsus, this programme is now available for starting entrepreneurs in the field of Water technology. NEW-ttt is partly financed by a subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Curious about VentureLab and where participating can lead to? See this flyer for more information or watch the short video below from EV-biotech:

VentureLab also offers the VentureLab Weekend, for aspiring entrepreneurs to test and develop their ideas over the course of one weekend.


Starting a business takes an average of five to seven years. In cleantech, ten to fifteen years is not unusual. Unfortunately, only a small number get past the start-up phase. In most cases the bottle neck it is not the technology or the product, it is all about the commercialization and marketing.

In 2016 Paques Technology B.V., Omrin, Ecomunitypark and WaterCampus started BeStart to highlight this problem. By boosting the participating start-ups, BeStart promotes the development of clean technologies, innovation and employment in the north of the Netherlands.

Since the start, BeStart is now the strongest start-up accelerator in cleantech. BeStart supported around 50 successful circular start-ups in the north of the Netherlands. BeStart supports the start-ups via working sessions, coaching, and the strong network of companies and local governments in the region: the BeStart network.

Interested? Please contact Mariken Gaandersen for more information.


The Entrepreneur Mentoring Service promises to support talented entrepreneurs in successfully scaling up their company by helping them realize their ambitions and optimize innovations. WaterCampus cooperates closely with the EMS program, the core of which is group mentoring. Entrepreneurs admitted to the program are assigned a group of 2 – 4 mentors who best suit the entrepreneur’s need. The program mentors are inspiring role models with decades of experience looking to give back to the region. They are committed to empowering, growing and innovating the next generation of top entrepreneurs. A strict selection in advance for both the mentor and the entrepreneur (mentee) ensures commitment and support. The network of mentors also connects the top (regional) entrepreneurs. The MIT Venture Mentoring Service model forms the  program and is unique in The Netherlands.

Interested? Please contact Paula Bijvoets for more information. More information about the program can be found here (in Dutch).