Pressure Cooker

Entrepreneurs in this stage are passionate about their company and see opportunities everywhere. By participating in the Pressure Cooker, your startup takes focus on targeted approach to time, money and resources. UtrechtInc has already successfully supported well over 100 startups. It’s all about bringing entrepreneurs like you together with partners, experts and investors in a dynamic environment. During the course of 4 months you work towards finding paying customers,building a scalable business model, a working prototype, company culture and a complementary team.

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How it works

  • Bi-weekly sprint sessions with peers, based on the lean startup methodology and Simon Sinek's Golden Circle
  • Personal advice and coaching by experienced mentors
  • Training: Cold Calling, Customer Validation, Pitching, Finance, Media & PR, Marketing, Customer Development, Lean Startup, and Business Modelling
  • Funding through the Rabo Pre-Seed Fund (from € 18,000 up to € 50,000 per startup team)
  • Determining sales targets
  • Being part of an active startup community with ambitious, intelligent entrepreneurs
  • A network of investors, mentors, partners, students and many more valuable connections.
  • Access to knowledge institutions UMC Utrecht, Universiteit Utrecht, Hogeschool Utrecht and other partners
  • Access to young talent as well as co-founders for building your team
  • An office, including meeting rooms, brainstorm space and a lively coffee corner
  • Expertise on the subject areas of eHealth, eClimate, and eLearning/EdTech
  • Support in prototyping and applying for patents
  • Various inspirational events including hackathons, talent meetings and our weekly networking drinks

At the end

By the end of the Pressure Cooker you will have learned fast and your company will have grown quickly. An independent advisory committee will decide if you should be rewarded with access to Stage 3 and € 18,000 of equity-free funding. With these pre-seed funds you keep all shares in your company and can continue on to conquer the world. In the next stage Build you focus on growing your initial user base, financing acquisition costs, building a scalable sales process and creating a blueprint for your market strategy.

For who

  • Entrepreneurs, alumni, postdocs and researchers (preferably at UU, HU and UMCU)
  • Your startup has a team (under contract) and at least one of the founders is committed to working full time.
  • Your company registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce
  • Your idea is technically feasible
  • You have defined and validated your first customer segments and prototype and secured your first customers or partners.
  • There is a Business Model 1.0
  • You have freedom to operate (IP, pilot, former employer, etc…)
  • You have a convincing pitch
  • You want to rent work space or an office at UtrechtInc and actively take part in the entrepreneurial community of UtrechtInc.
  • Other criteria


The four month Pressure Cooker program costs € 1850, excluding the costs of work space or office(s) and revenue share.  Click here for more information.


Are you interested? Please apply to the program.