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Students need to apply in teams of 2-4 with their own startup idea or at least a problem that could be solved by building a startup. It can end up being a product or a service, hardware or software, it can be for consumers or for businesses, but it can’t be a consultancy. Tip: Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

Visit our website to see the course impression video, download the application form, meet other students on our #Slack and see up-to-date information such as the application deadline:


Build Your Startup 1: Idea Validation

“On day one, a startup is a faith-based initiative built on guesses.” – Steve Blank

Many startup founders, especially the ones with technical and design backgrounds, start businesses by building a product first – after all, that’s what we do best! It is therefore no surprise that the leading cause of startup death is “Ooops, we’ve build something customers are not willing to buy!”

In BYS1 you will do customer centred innovation. We will introduce you to methods and tools associated with the lean startup and design-thinking philosophy. This will help you to validate if the problem/opportunity you’re addressing is real and if there is enough demand for your idea before you spend a fortune of time and money to build it into a startup. You will continuously go ‘out of the building’ to talk to your potential customers, observe them, learn who they are and what they need. Your learnings will be used to continuously improve the concept of your product, you might even have to change the target customer until you find a good problem-solution fit. You will assess the potential of your startup by sizing the market, analyse key competitors and relevant trends. You will also start thinking about how much and in what way you might be able to get paid for the value you are about to create for your customers (revenue model), so that you can make even more impactful solutions in the future!

At the end of Build Your Startup 1: Idea Validation (6EC) you will be left with the following options:

  • 1. Onward, prototyping: “So far, our idea looks very promising! Let’s continue with BYS2 and put emphasis on prototyping a product and a business model around it!
  • 2. Onward, validate: “Our idea might be promising but we’re not convinced yet. Let’s continue with BYS2 to validate it further while prototyping!
  • 3. Onward, better idea: “Our idea will not work, but we have a better one that we’ll validate and prototype in BYS2!”
  • 4. Onward, switch: “I’ll join a different team for BYS2 and continue with their project.”
  • 5. Stop, later: “Now is not a good time for me, but I’ll use what I’ve learned either as a startup entrepreneur or as an intrapreneur (innovation teams within corporates) later in my career.”

Build Your Startup 2: Prototyping

In this course you will build prototypes, minimum viable products and business models around them. You will rely heavily on the skills you’ve mastered in BYS1 – you will validate your progress with your customers on an ongoing basis in order to make sure that you’re building the right thing for the right price for the right customer. Besides that, topics about branding, product launch, intellectual property (patents, copyrights, etc.), deal-making, sources of finance and others are covered. Regarding the product prototyping – we teach you startup philosophy and give you guidelines on the overall fidelity of your prototypes, but it’s up to you to find specific technical support yourself, should you need it!

  • Build prototypes, minimum viable products and experiments.
  • Design a profitable business model.
  • Find relevant IP (patents, copyrights, trademarks etc.) to avoid infringements and define IP protection strategy (moving fast and open source are strategies too!).
  • Estimate potential future value of the business by analyzing the market size, growth rate and relevant trends and by (basic) modeling of revenue projections.
  • Convince customers, partners, investors and other stakeholders about the commercial, societal and environmental quality of the business proposition through persuasive pitching and writing.

Companies which have arisen from Build Your Startup

QLayers (Josien Groot & Ruben Geurtjens)

Qlayers helps conservative and energy intensive industries to become more sustainable. With our automated coating application method, we can create nature-based microstructures such as the drag-reducing ‘sharkskin’ microstructure in certified coatings at high speed.

For more information visit


MG Aubel (Marc Goedkoop)

MgAubel, a YES!Delft scaleup and EIT Climate KIC Venture Competition Award 2016 winner, has grown from developing its core technology in 2015 to delivery of turnkey repair and renovation of infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam. Successful applications include warehouse floors, road repair, and quay walls, all meeting the requirements of heavy-duty applications.

For more information visit


Dawn Aerospace (Tobias Knop & Robert Werner) Website:

We’re working to become the first company in history to fly the same vehicle to space, twice in one day. Together with the worlds highest performance green satellite propulsion, this brings us into a future of simple, inexpensive and frequent orbital access.

For more information visit


Envision (Karthik Mahadevan & Karthik Kannan)

Envision uses Artificial Intelligence to currently enable 50,000 blind people in more than 60 different countries to live more independent lives. It speaks out the world that we see. Envision won the Google Play Award and the Computable Startup of the Year Award earlier this year.

For more information visit:


Ari van Twillert (Lidewij van Twillert)

A company in ‘Houte Comforture’ lingerie by 3-D scanning & printing

For more information visit


Polytential (Yuri van Engelshoven, Jeroen Cevaal & Deak Istvan)

Polytential provides mechanical recyclers real-time insight in the material composition of samples plastic flakes with the Virtual Chemist.

For more information visit


Dental Robotics (Joppe van Dijk)

The toothbrush for elderly care. Developed with the elderly and caregivers to make brushing your teeth a fast, simple and pleasant interaction.

For more information visit 


Sense Glove (Gijs den Butter & Johannes Luijten)

Haptic feedback with gloves in virtual reality. Control and feel your virtual environments, using your own hands.

For more information visit N


Praxasense (Leonard Moonen & Liselotte Stolk)

We are developing an unobtrusive long-term monitoring device that will enable the early detection of the most common heart rhythm diseases of this time. We do this by combining a small, user friendly device with algorithms that can detect heart rhythm disorders with a high accuracy, minimizing manual labor while optimizing the time a patient can be monitored. This way, serious consequences, like strokes, can be prevented.

For more information visit 

Principal coordinator Build Your Startup
Jeroen  Coelen

Msc Jeroen Coelen