Innovation & entrepreneurship support


If you have ambition to start or have already started your business in the water technology sector, WaterCampus Leeuwarden is eager to help you to success.  You have the vision to know where you want to take your business, but perhaps you don’t yet have the know-how, the network, the skills or the resources to take the next step.

WaterCampus Leeuwarden helps you to further develop your business, one step at a time.

WaterCampus Leeuwarden offers:

Start up & small enterprise support

WaterCampus Leeuwarden is the perfect address for young talent and active professionals who have good and innovative ideas in the field of water technology, and the ambition to transform these ideas into a successful business venture. The easily accessible and highly professional approach at WaterCampus Leeuwarden will help you to develop your ideas or concepts and to lay the foundations for your business.

The available programs are listed below. For more information please send an e-mail to

European WaterCampus Business Challenge

The EWCBC is an excellent 5 day training for talented entrepreneurs where they learn how to build good innovative technologies and services into a successful international business. On the last day the participants will present their business plan to a jury of water technology experts and investors.

Candidates are selected on the basis of their innovation potential, contribution to sustainability and market readiness. Selected candidates are positioned to become the global front-runner in their field.

EWCBC is sponsored by the regional government and partners of Wetsus and WaterCampus Leeuwarden. For more information and registration please keep an eye on the website of Wetsus.


BeStart brings together entrepreneurs, creative students and innovators in the field of clean technology. It is a regional initiative with national and European connections. Since the start in 2016 BeStart established a community of creative talent to launch start-ups and to design new high-quality technologies and products. Every year a maximum of 12 start-ups will be selected for an “accelerator” process, providing them with support to allow their company to grow faster. The program consists of three phases: BeStart Think, BeStart Check and BeStart Grow.
During BeStart Think, companies get a well-thought-out, coherent image of their business. They know precisely what their client’s problem is and how their solution addresses it. BeStart Check is about validation. Companies will validate their product in close cooperation with customers. Finally, BeStart Grow is about selling products more efficiently and improving fund acquisition.


Succes factors:

  • All necessary actors involved: local government, relevant business, research institutes
and academia.
  • Interaction with the regional network. If desired, physical office and laboratory space of four founders available.
  • Engaging companies that help start-ups
to reach out to the market.
  • Communication and marketing.


In 2013, 90 entrepreneurs from Friesland, the Netherlands, met to seek entrepreneurship opportunities. Ultimately, this resulted in, among other things, BeStart. Their goal was to further develop the attractive north of the Netherlands as an innovative, enterprising region with (young) entrepreneurs who can make a difference. Their focus is now on clean technology and circular economy. BeStart is their flagship initiative related to cleantech start-ups. The incubator has a broad support network, from both the R&D and innovation and financial sides.

The parties that package their activities through the BeStart accelerator are:

  • Ecomunity Park: a unique ecological working landscape focusing on soil and biodiversity. Everything is about innovation, entrepreneurship and sharing knowledge and facilities.
  • Water Campus: the water technology hub. Everything comes together here: start-ups, education, innovation, university research, export assistance and a thorough research infrastructure.
  • Omrin is the leading waste treatment company that closes the cycle. They provide their national network.
  • Paques develops systems for biotechnological water purification. Office and production facilities are available for BeStart.

Do you want to know more about the activities of Bestart and what they can do for you? Please click here.

Climate KIC program

WaterCampus closely cooperates with  Climate KIC. Climate-KIC is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership, working together to address the challenge of climate change.

The benefits to getting involved in this community are:

  • Membership of a long-term community which is transforming climate change ideas into commercial success.
  • Attractive returns on investment through open innovation
  • More influence in the climate change field by working alongside the brightest academic minds and commercial entrepreneurs
  • Being part of a network which not only effectively combats climate change but also generates prosperity across Europe with global impact

For more information click here…

Call Resourcing Water

Joint Start-Up program by EIT RawMaterials and WaterCampus Leeuwarden

European start-ups with innovative ideas and concepts oriented to raw materials and water can get support in accelerating time to market of their innovative business cases. Support will be provided within the start-up ecosystem of the WaterCampus and EIT RawMaterials as well as at partner institutions.

The following themes are considered in this call:

  • Metal and mineral recovery and recycling technologies for (waste) water streams
  • Upcycling of waste components to high value secondary materials with specific functionalities and innovative/sustainable products.
  • Innovative water related collaboration concepts focussed on metal or mineral recovery across production industries and supply chains, digital collaboration & management services, hire and leasing based systems, etc.

The following themes are not addressed in this call:

  • Technologies for waste water treatment processes without environmental and societal advantage in terms of secondary raw materials production and management
  • Recovery, handling and valorization of organic waste and biomass treatment.

Selection criteria:

  • The start-ups has a high potential innovative business idea
  • The start-up business case is within the scope of this call
  • The start-up is European
  • The start-up applies in the appropriate way with a clearly written 1 pager in English or Dutch (see below)

The 3-level start-up program: Kickstarters, boosters and incubators

Start-ups in the different phases are invited to apply. Our joined start-up program is divided in 3 distinct levels: the kickstart, booster and incubator program (see below). Appropriate funding packages are agreed on depending on the phase and the need of the start-up.

  1. Kickstart program: (PhD) students, professionals and start-ups with a good idea are provided with the means to show a proof of concept after which a first business case validation takes place. Funding packages up to a maximum of €20,000 are available that may consist of:
  • Office space at the WaterCampus
  • Technical support and facilities for testing and experimenting at the WaterCampus
  • Educational programs and activities
  • Business coaches
  1. Start-up booster program: start-ups are provided with all the means to validate the idea in a relevant environment and develop a sound business model. Funding packages up to a maximum of €70,000 are provided that may consist of:
  • Office space at the WaterCampus
  • Technical support and facilities for testing and experimenting at the WaterCampus
  • Educational programs and activities
  • Business coaches
  • Access to demo sites (or launching customer) for testing and validation
  • Participation in WaterCampus Business Challenge
  • Support with IP protection
  • Finding additional resources
  1. Incubator program: The final transition is made from a proven technology and business idea into an investable company. Funding packages up to a maximum of €100,000 are provided that may consist of:
  • Access to soft loan program (20-150 k€) via BISON
  • Office space at the WaterCampus
  • Technical support and facilities for testing and experimenting at the WaterCampus
  • Educational programs and activities
  • Business coaches
  • Access to demo sites (or launching customer) for testing and validation
  • Participation in BeStart acceleration program
  • Membership Water Alliance SME business network
  • Support with IP protection
  • Finding additional resources

For more information and application please contact us at

Business development & export support

Water Alliance facilitates companies in their business development and export. The services offered in this field include the

  • joint participation in trade fairs at home and abroad
  • dedicated business development sessions (water square)
  • business network events
  • partnering
  • maintaining and expanding a dedicated global network for more information, check

Innovation support

Innovation is a crucial but  long and expensive path for most entrepreneurs. This process can be accelerated with the right kind of support and with access to a dedicated network.  Innovation support offered by WaterCampus includes:

  • Targeted, innovative collaboration programs (via CIV, CEW and Wetsus)
  • Workshops, network and business events
  • Access to labs and demo sites
  • Access to an extended national and international network
  • Support in the search for other (European) sources of funding
  • Support in the search for suitable business and innovation partners

Funding solutions

For funding your business, WaterCampus has close cooperation with the following partners:

Besides, WaterCampus can bring you in touch with the following investment companies: