Access to talented people

It often happens that years of work are spent on developing a technology, without this technology ever conquering the market. This is partly because the team that works on the innovation lacks necessary competences. Often it is 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 basis for my company? Who is my customer and how do I reach them? Etc. An invention only becomes a successful innovation if all these aspects are taken into account.

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

There is a continuous learning path at WaterCampus in which we train future water technologists and other water technology professionals at practical, bachelor and master level. Essential for enabling the growth of startups and SMEs. Another unique aspect is that we support (future) start-ups and SMEs in developing the necessary entrepreneurial skills. Skills that we all know are essential to set-up a successful business.

Developing entrepreneurial skills takes place in 5 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: actually upscaling and bringing the technology to market;
  5. Growth: the (substantial) growth of the company.

Please see below some nice examples from 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 generating impact. Being an entrepreneur means that you can make your own decissions and, when the startup becomes a success, really gives the opportunity to change the world. At the same time starting your own company instead of joining an other organisation is most of the time not the first option talented people think of. Therefor we already start stimulating entrepreneurship before new companies actually start. 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 startup. In this journey they experience firsthand what it’s like to become an entrepreneur. At the same time we make sure they meet all te right partners to make sure that the first step towards their own startup 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, (PhD) researchers or professionals are key to creating these breakthrough technologies. However, an invention can only become an innovation when it is successfully applied and actually contributing in solving complex world water problems. Only then it makes real 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 at WaterCampus do with the Business Development Course. This course is organized every year.

At WaterCampus we realize ourselves 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 program Sustainable Entrepreneurship from 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 with this ambition? And do you want to learn how you can turn your innovative ideas, technologies and / or 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 new developed technologies into a (commercial) success. Almost all of the 125 participants in the previous 10 editions have been successfully active in the water sector to this day.

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


Starting a business takes on average 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  commercialisation 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 circular start-ups in the north of to become successful. 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 talented entrepreneurs that they will support them in successfully scaling up their company by helping these entrepreneurs to realize their ambitions and optimize innovations. As WaterCampus we cooperate closely with the EMS-program. The core of the EMS program is group mentoring. Entrepreneurs admitted to the program are assigned a group of 2 – 4 mentors who best suit the needs of the entrepreneur. The mentors of the program are inspiring role models with decades of experience. Giving back to the region together, the mentors 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 of (regional) entrepreneurs. The MIT Venture Mentoring Service model form the foundation of 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).