Skip to content

The ASC Support Program

For the 20 winners of the competition, a tailored and FREE OF CHARGE support program is available during the first six months of 2024 focusing on three challenges: 

1. Mindset transition – the transition from a scientific mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset. 

2. Dare to think BIG – the translation of your BHAG into your company culture. 

3. Build your team – building the best core and extended team. 

Besides this support program, the winners will have access to a variety of services. 

At the start of the support program you will be interviewed by one of our experts. Together you will deep dive into the challenges you are facing and identify the steps you can take during the ASC support program. After the kick-off you will join challenge based sessions in which you will receive the knowledge and insights to overcome these challenges. 

Challenge 1: mindset transition
0.5 day (afternoon)

Shifting your mindset from thinking like a scientist to thinking like an entrepreneur. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and talk about your solution, whilst it is not near perfection, is one of the most challenging hurdles academic founders face. During this session you will have the chance to talk to investors, experts and experienced founders on this topic. And find out why it is so important to make a mindset switch and how to navigate this for yourself.

Challenge 2: dare to think BIG
0.5 day (afternoon)

What would you do if you had an unlimited amount of money? Daring to think beyond the practical application or the scientific discovery you made. Being able to think about the value proposition of your solution and the size of the impact you can make. This is crucial for any entrepreneur. But also difficult. During this session you will speak with investors, experts and experienced founders on why it is important to dare to think BIG, and how to do it. 


Challenge 3: build your team
0.5 day (afternoon)

Who do you need to reach your goals? Building your academic startup requires more than strong scientific knowledge. You need a well balanced team, with different and sometimes conflicting personalities. How do you find the right balance and why is this important? During this session you will speak with investors, experts and experienced founders on building the right team. 

The ASC services

To support your journey to overcome these three challenges, the ASC support program offers you additional (optional) services based on your needs connected to each challenge.

Challenge 1: mindset transition


To tackle this first challenge, we will provide you with a national stage through the Techleap network. Additionally, you will receive:

  • A high quality promotional video
  • Newspaper exposure
  • Media coverage
  • The opportunity to join Techleap on the road to interact at events such as State of Dutch Tech.

By providing you with these communication and networking opportunities, you will be put in a position where your mindset will change from a researcher to an entrepreneur. 

Challenge 2: dare to think BIG

To tackle this second challenge, we will help you go BIG! You will receive the opportunity to:

  • Network and connect at Hello Tomorrow (Paris). The event for BIG thinkers in deeptech.
  • Get access to the Techleap ‘connector’ meet & match event. Where you will connect with international VC’s and learn how they like to think BIG.
  • Join us on an ecosystem trip to the USA. The country where you go BIG or go home. 

Challenge 3: build your team


To tackle this third challenge, we will support you to find the people you need and build or expand your all star team. You will receive the following additional services:

  • A thorough team assessment by a specialised agency.
  • Executive recruitment support.
  • Access to Global Campus to find the best scientific experts for your scientific board.

By providing you with these services, you will obtain the knowledge you need to create the team to accelerate your startup into the next phase. 

The asc timeline

The competition will be held in Q4 -2023 and consists of the following steps:

    Step 1: application deadline                   10 November

    Step 2: selection top 40  contenders      24 November (you will here back from us by this date at the latest)

    Step 3: final selection day                      14 December (in person)

The winners will be announced before the Christmas break!