The Garage: Under Construction #2

By Marcellien Breedveld at

Update 2

Read update 1 here

The Garage Under Construction is a 3-weekly update for those interested in sustainability, entrepreneurship, startups, healthy living, smart cities, data analytics and nudging. Due to your interests and expertise we invite you to help form The UtrechtInc Garage into an inspiring and successful experimentation lab for us all!


Foto HULAt UtrechtInc, when we look at the future, we see that cities all over the world are expanding. They are attracting more and more people who need to work, eat, learn, travel, live and consume in a healthy manner. We believe that bright entrepreneurs are the ones who can make this healthy urban lifestyle feasible for companies, policy makers and citizens. Why? They are able to transform new technology and knowledge into relevant products and services! Do we know how exactly? That is a big challenge for many (collaborating) parties to solve.

The Garage offers…

The Garage offers a co-working and experimentation lab within UtrechtInc that provides (startup) entrepreneurs, researchers, professionals and students access to knowledge, users and data. In The Garage we are creating the environment to experiment, validate, build and learn until we find market validated solutions that change our spectrum of choices to live healthy.

Read more about healthy urban living and building ‘The Garage’ in this blog by Marcellien Breedveld (Garage Ideation Engineer).

To refresh your memory

  • In November 2015 the Council of Utrecht rewarded UtrechtInc and Utrecht University with funding to create a smart sustainable startup hub (working title ‘The Garage’).
  • Our stakeholders & partners are: Utrecht University, Utrecht Sustainability Institute, Knowledge Centre HUL, University of Applied Sciences, WHEEL, Circular Economy Group, TNO and Climate-KIC. Of course we are expanding this list in the duration of our project.
  • The Garage is located in the north wing of UtrechtInc at the Utrecht Science Park and will consist of various co-working, learning, meeting and experimenting spaces.

Our Progress: partners

We tell our startups in the Pressure Cooker to get out of the building and validate their most critical assumptions. So we have been practicing what we preach and received great feedback from our partners as well as the confirmation to work with us.

But not only a lean working method can guarantee a bright future for The Garage. That is why a few advice and control bodies are being installed. At the basis of the Utrecht University and UtrechtInc collaboration stand two administrators: Jorg Kop(Managing Director UI) and Peter Driessen (Vice Dean of Research in Geosciences).

In addition we are compiling a Board of Inspiration consisting of experts and entrepreneurs in the field of healthy urban living, smart cities, data analytics/internet of things, and sustainability. These ambassadors should be able to inspire others to work, learn and experiment! We are proud to announce our first ambassador: Marianne Linde(Director Strategy & Research at Geodan).

Our Progress: concepts & construction

In the previous 3 weeks we have been brainstorming about how The Garage relates to UtrechtInc and which business concepts and projects should be brought to life for our customers. The Garage is part of and powered by UtrechtInc benefitting from the existing UtrechtInc network. Our mission Bright Entrepreneurs, Healthy Society applies to both!

Regarding our business model and customer validation, we have created our first experiment. We are going to investigate if/how we can help researchers (UU, UMC, HU) to valorise their research findings.

We believe we are able to match these scientists with experienced entrepreneurs and additionally give them the knowledge and inspirational working space to sculpt their research findings into applicable concepts and products.

Are you interested or do you know any researchers or entrepreneurs who might be, please let us know before Monday 11th of April. Of course we will also keep researching and experimenting how to best provide for our other target groups such as startups, students and Healthy Urban Living experts!

Last but not least, renovations int the north wing are starting the first week of April till end of June! Check out the blueprints below to get an impression of the working space. Next time we will elaborate more on the interior concepts, furniture and artworks!

Help us with the next sprint

In the coming 3 weeks we are going to speak to more partners from UU, HU, WHEEL and companies in Utrecht. We are going to meet entrepreneurs and researchers to start setting up the first experiment in The Garage: matching researchers  in the field of sustainble energy, geosciences and health, to entrepreneurs looking for opportunities.

  • Are you a researcher who wants to create more impact with his/her research and are you open to collaborate with an entrepreneur?
  • Are you the innovative entrepreneur we are talking about?
  • Or maybe you would just like to give us feedback on this project as an expert in the field of smart cities, healthy urban living, big data?

Let’s meet or let us know before Monday 11th of April.

Other ways to contribute:

  • Read our update & spread the word!
  • Tell us: What would you be working on in The Garage? Who do you want to meet? What do you need to take your project to the next level?
  • Share your own experiments with us, we might be able to help each other.
  • Share your ideas about creative interior concepts.
  • Or help us acquire used furniture (We’re going sustainable all the way!)
  • Reply to

Hope to hear from you soon!