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The BYS elective teaches how to build and validate the fundamental building blocks of a startup. Students start with a venture idea that slowly gets morphed into an actual startup with paying customers. It’s one of the few, if not the only, course where students actually get to implement their own solution in the market. A unique learning experience, according to our students. BYS evolves as a course, the semester starting in September 2020 has:

  • Weekly 30 minute personal coaching by Jeroen & Matthijs
  • Expert sessions & podcast like firechats by experienced practitioners and experts from the field
  • Learn about: Lean-startup, risky assumptions, experiment design, job to be done, business modelling and revenue modelling
  • Vivid community with knowledge sharing, connection to our network and alumni
  • TU Delft will not own your ideas: you keep your IP
  • Open for any TU Delft student

Build Your Startup 1: Idea Validation

8 weeks | 2 days per week: 1 day contact – 1 day work on startup | 6 ECTs

You love your idea. Probably. It’s gonna rule the world. Maybe. We like to challenge you to generate evidence that you indeed have an interesting opportunity. In the first 8 weeks of this course we will guide you through the process of understanding your idea. We will help you find the most interesting problem to solve and how to build a viable startup concept around that.

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

  • 1. Onward, building: “So far, our idea looks very promising! Let’s continue with BYS2 and start building the business, setting up sales funnel and growing our customer base.
  • 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/new 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

10 weeks | 3 days per week: 1 day contact – 2 days work on startup | 9 ECTS]s

In this aspect of the course, ideally, you are going to prototype your business. If you are not there yet, you keep on validating where ever you are in the process. With prototyping we mean the actually get your business off the ground. We will guide you in setting up sales funnels, attracting or growing your customer base. You might start making your first revenue already as a startup. It’s about really putting it to the test. From this point on it’s an interesting journey towards product/market-fit.


We are not interested in elaborate business plans. We challenge you to be concise. We have a set of deliverables, such as a pitch, validation journey, quarterly reflections and a master canvas that allow you to, in a brief way, show us your progress. The most important deliverable is the ongoing input that you give and get during the coaching sessions.


Students need to apply in a team before the IO elective registration deadline. Teams should consist of at least 2 people that have dedicated time to the venture idea. Note: It’s allowed that only one of the two persons actually follow the course. But we require commitment from at least 2 partners. You don’t want to be in the trenches alone. Build Your Startup consists of two parts. It’s possible to only follow BYS1, but for following BYS2, BYS1 or a different entrepreneurial basics course is required. Check with the coordinator if you have any questions.

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
Matthijs Buijs

Ir. Matthijs Buijs