Maastricht University partner in new initiative for start-ups

Limburg launches Brightlands Startup League: a springboard for innovative start-ups

As spring has officially started, start-ups have a new possibility for hatching their innovative ideas in a safe, fertile environment. Today, the four Brightlands campuses, Maastricht University, LIOF and the Province of Limburg jointly launch a new initiative for start-ups. Under the name of Brightlands Startup League, start-ups receive all support required to allow their innovations in the area of health, sustainability and digitisation among other things to grow and flourish optimally. As from today, interested parties can register for this via the website www.brightlandsstartupleague.com. This way the partners hope that even more innovations find their way to the market and grow into successful Limburg companies.

Strengthening the Limburg economy

This new initiative is financed by the Province of Limburg. Member of the Provincial Executive Stephan Satijn explains why: “Over the past ten years, Limburg has developed into a breeding ground for social innovations that make the world healthier, more sustainable and more digital. Many of these types of innovative ideas have been brought to the market at the Brightlands Campuses. Partly thanks to the experts of the four Brightlands Campuses, LIOF and Maastricht University who have been working hard for many years to help starting entrepreneurs get going. In Limburg we have a great deal of knowledge, expertise, facilities and very broad network. All that we were lacking was a type of access gate. Where do you start as conceiver of an innovative idea? How do you find your way to the support you need? And to the right cooperation partners? Bundling the strengths of the Brightlands Campuses, LIOF and Maastricht University allows us to boost the start-up climate in Limburg. This results in greater cooperation between the campuses and in more crossovers. This enables us to increase Limburg’s innovative power, develop smart solutions to major social challenges and strengthen the economy even further.”

This is how it works

Many ideas are conceived to make the world healthier, more sustainable and more digital. A potential ‘gap in the market’. But the road to success unfortunately also has pitfalls. And there is therefore a need for a guide who leads starting entrepreneurs around all of those pitfalls and shows them the shortest route to success, as well as a breeding ground where entrepreneurial talent can develop. And that is exactly what Brightlands Startup League is doing. Entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs can register via the website for one of the many activities, including a personal counselling interview with an expert from Brightlands, LIOF or Maastricht University. What stage a company or idea is at is discussed during that interview. And what steps should be made in order to be able to grow.

Brightlands Startup League organises a network event and 10 master classes each year. At those events, (starting) entrepreneurs learn for example how you start a business, how you write a sound business plan and how you arrange for financing. Participants are brought into contact with possible financing during the Brightlands Funding Day. They can also become acquainted with potential cooperation partners at one of the campuses for one half day. Via their supervisor they find their way to all facilities and knowledge being offered at the four Brightlands Campuses, Maastricht University and by LIOF. This includes matters such as office space, a clean room in a professional lab or a cooperation partner. Participants themselves determine the route and the speed they use to follow the process and enter at the level that suits them most.

For whom is the support intended?

Brightlands Startup League is intended for innovations from the Netherlands and abroad that have a connection with the Brightlands themes of health, sustainability and digitisation. It does not matter what stage the idea is at. Early-stage ideas that have a social impact are welcome as well. The conceiver is supported in any event in the market analysis, applying for a patent and when formulating a business plan for example. Those who have all entrepreneurial skills can build up a network via the Startup League. For example, the Brightlands Startup League offers custom support in every phase: from the initial idea to scale-up.

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