About Start.VUB

Start.VUB is the VUB’s student incubator, open to all VUB students. Start.VUB’s team provides continuous support and advice to (prospective) entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups. The personal growth of our student entrepreneurs is our goal, and this goal permeates everything we do.

The project was launched in 2018. Since then, we have supported more than 80 student entrepreneurs, accounting for more than 60 entrepreneurial projects.

All students with an entrepreneurial idea or project are welcome, regardless of the stage you are in. If you want, we can help you make it happen.

Each year, we organise two calls (one per semester). The first call is in October, the second in February.

Start.VUB is completely free. We do not ask for any equity; nor do we charge any fees. What we expect from the applicants is nothing more than their contribution and commitment to the Start.VUB community.

You have to apply for the program during your studies at the VUB and can stay in the program for a maximum duration of 3 years (up until one year after graduation).

No worries. Our coaches and mentors speak English and Dutch and most workshops are in English. Should it be necessary, your fellow Start.VUB peers will definitely give you a helping hand.

My application

In order to apply for the incubation program, at least one team member needs to be a student at the VUB. If you have not yet founded your start-up, that’s no problem. Maybe you already have a plan, but if you don’t all you need is to have a very good idea you are passionate about.

If you are not a student of the VUB, but you do wish to enter our incubation program, get in touch and we will get back to you.

The Start.VUB Community Manager performs a first screening. During this screening, students should be able to give a description of their project. They will present their team (if any) and their vision. All applicants that pass the first screening will have to present their project to a jury. The pitch needs to be uploaded online and the link to the video needs to be sent along with the application before the call’s deadline.

Of course you can! If you have an idea which you are passionate about and you have a good vision of where you want to take your start-up project, we are happy to help you get in touch with the right people.

If you are interested in entering the Start.VUB program, apply on www.startvub.be/sign-up or send an email to start@vub.be. We will contact you for follow-up as soon as possible.

The jury will evaluate your pitch, your business plan and your idea. The jury consists of min. 4 people, who all have an entrepreneurial background. They are experts when it comes to starting your own business and pushing forward to achieve your goals

The jury accepts approximately10 projects or teams to join our Start.VUB incubation program, capacity permitting.

Workshops

When your team or project is accepted in the Start.VUB incubation program, all workshops are free for your whole team

The workshops are not mandatory; however, we strongly encourage you to attend. We carefully select the best workshops for you and there is always new information that you might be able to use.

We give priority to the Start.VUB students to attend the workshops. However, if there are still some spots available, we welcome VUB students from outside the program to join us for the workshops.

If you wish to attend a specific workshop, just send us an email and we will send you all the information required.

The dates of the workshops will be announced on the website and our social media pages.

Co-working space

The brand new co-working space is located in Building F on the Usquare site. Just a couple of minutes away from the VUB campus in Etterbeek. (Take a closer look at the website: https://usquare.brussels/ )

All VUB students and their team have unlimited access to the co-working space.

All furniture, including the ‘chill’ area, is provided by Start.VUB, as is your good old VUB wifi. There is also a whiteboard which you are free to use. No computers or electronics are at your disposal.

Mentorship program

Every student entrepreneur or start-up project will be assigned a mentor. All mentors are entrepreneurs at heart and want to contribute to your success and personal growth. You can use them as a soundboard or coach and will meet with them regularly. Mentors come from different backgrounds and are experts in various sectors. The mentors have committed themselves to help you and to give you that extra push you might need to thrive.

Depending on your needs, we pair you up with a mentor that closely matches your intended objectives.

Shortly after your admittance to the Start.VUB incubation program, we will match you with your mentor.

Yes. However, when your mentor cannot answer a specific question, but still matches your overall needs, we can redirect your question to other mentors or experts, in order for us to give you a suitable and valuable answer.

If you would like to be a mentor and share your entrepreneurial knowledge and skills with the future generation of entrepreneurs, do not hesitate to contact us through our website or through start@vub.be. We would be very happy to welcome you to our entrepreneurial Start.VUB community.