1 year Incubase: What are the highlights and how will we celebrate it?
‘A (student) incubator in the Bastille at the University of Twente – the place where entrepreneurial students and startups work on their innovative business ideas.’ This idea had been around for some time at the Student Union. In 2017, they started the business case together with the University of Twente and Novel-T. The main question was: how do we build the incubator of 2030? Today, Incubase has been around for more than a year. What makes the place so unique, and what highlights were there in 2020?
The gym for startups
“It is important to lead the way, especially with an incubator,” says Mike Verkouter, manager of Incubase. That is why he did not want an incubator where startups have to give up a percentage or pay a commission if they have a good turnover or a “kick-back fee.” “We wanted to distinguish ourselves from the rest with a business model that fits our startups,” explains Mike. After a lot of global research among the top incubators, the parties arrived at the “gym for entrepreneurship.”
“Just like in a gym, you come to Incubase to train. You have to build your startup to grow eventually,” says Mike. What does that cost? The enterprising students pay ten euros a month for a membership. Nothing more, nothing less. “With this membership, the entrepreneurs can use the co-working space, the support of Novel-T and, for example, request subsidy advice from our partners Rabobank and PNO,” says Mike.
From physical opening to an online community
The official opening in February was a big party. After a long renovation, it was now a space of renewal and innovation. With quiet work areas, lockers for prototypes, and a central bar where you can meet the community. “Of course, we didn’t know that we had to physically close Incubase again a month later because of COVID-19,” says Mike.
“Incubase was still open last year, but we also looked up the community online. For example, we arranged Startup Talks with Kees Koolen (former CEO Booking.com) and Sid Sijbrandij (CEO Gitlab). We shared our members’ entrepreneurial stories online, and we live-streamed the UT Challenge with winner Incubase member Awaves. Mike: “We received positive feedback from our members and partners. They knew how to find each other.”
“I love the environment of Incubase”
The Incubase members can’t wait to get back to work from Incubase. Geanny Santos from the startup Flawless Workflow is one of these members: “In a normal week, you can find me in Incubase almost every day. I love the environment, the quiet workplaces, and they have the best coffee.” Mike himself cannot wait to work from Incubase again: “Incubase is a great place, and as a team, we have the drive to take even more steps in 2021 to expand the community and take startups further. Ultimately, I want it to be the best incubator in the world.”
Incubase 1st anniversary: To celebrate that Incubase has been opening its doors to entrepreneurial students and startups for one year, we will be celebrating online on 17 February 2021. We do that with Kees Koolen (Booking.com, Uber) and Anne Koolen, daughter of but also an entrepreneur and the newest member of Incubase! We start the evening with a live “sushi cook along” with Chef Don from Ginza at 5:30 PM, and we start the program at 6:30 PM. Be surprised with a pleasant conversation, the kick-off of the UT Challenge, and a dynamic quiz. Make sure you are there and sign up here.