Did you work on an innovative idea during your master's or PhD that you would like to market? Consider starting your own business or gaining experience by working at one of the many start-ups in the Netherlands. The Netherlands boasts an extensive start-up ecosystem and is recognised as one of the top five innovation leaders in Europe (European Innovation Scoreboard 2020).


There is a lot to consider when starting your own business! Think of:

  • Writing a business plan
  • Looking for investors/financing
  • Networking
  • Branding/marketing: how do you get customers?
  • Building a team: how do you get staff?


And of course you also need the right competences! As an entrepreneur you benefit from:

  • Passion for what you do/your product/service
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Perseverance
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving - Possibility thinking
  • Commercial insight
  • Risk taking

Get support

Most universities are aware of the possibilities to market research and support PhDs in various ways on their journey to self-employment. As a scientifically trained entrepreneur, you have access to a range of resources.

Many research universities have a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) or a Technology Transfer Office (TTO). These offices are involved in the transfer of knowledge or technology to society and also help scientists start their own businesses. For example, they offer courses to develop entrepreneurial skills and can connect you with the right people or incubators that help starting entrepreneurs market their products.

Additionally, there are several startup accelerator programs available: