Monday 15 May

13:30 – 15:30    

  Workshop – How to valdate your business idea before getting started

Milan Vukas (Quintly)


Everyone has business ideas: Some ideas come spontaneously, others come from problems which we encounter daily. But after the first enthusiasm in most cases, we are unsure whether our idea is really valuable and if it solves a real problem people are having. Therefore, ideas stall because the process of getting them to market can seem overwhelming. But in reality, if you validate your idea – prove it has worth beyond the bar napkin on which it was scribbled – the process thereafter actually gets much easier. This hands-on workshop will be dived into two parts: Idea Validation and Product-Market-Fit. In both parts, we will take a closer look into the process of idea validation and other methods which will help you to validate your business idea before you get started. You will walk away with tools and techniques you can apply and we will illustrate product advice with examples, case studies, and class exercises.


Milan Vukas is an entrepreneur and startup mentor for early stage startups, particularly focusing his work on startup sales and growth. At the age of 18, Milan realized that he was searching for something more than just the standard life, and founded his first startup. While building and growing his startup, he realized that there were barely any resources to help early stage entrepreneurs to successfully grow their business. Later in 2013 he decided to leave his startup and help passionate entrepreneurs promote and improve their business and work as a startup mentor. Milan also works as sales expert at Quintly, a social media analytics firm based in Cologne. 


  Workshop- How to find and land seed investment

Matt Kuppers (Startup Manufactory)

This workshop discusses the pros and cons of angel investment. During the workshop, Matt will touch on the benefits and negatives of crowdfunding, where to search for angel investors, how to approach them and what the pitfalls are. Matt will also discuss the best way to structure a pitch and list the key questions investors ask startups when pitching. The workshop will culminate into a practical pitch exercise for the participants including role play and a pitching exercise.”


Matt Kuppers is the founder and CEO of Startup Manufactory. The London-based startup consulting firm provides consulting to startups, advises governments, and teaches entrepreneurship. Alongside consulting startups, Matt has also been advising the London School of Economics on innovation, the European Commission on an ecosystem project, and teaching entrepreneurship. 

Matt has been working in the startup industry since 2008 where he has worn multiple hats from working in venture capital, founding multiple startups, mentoring with startup accelerators until he became a Venture Development Consultant. Matt undertook research in game theory at LSE as a PhD student and also certified in Science Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.
15:30 – 16:00     

 Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00     

 Workshop Convincing online presence

Erik Scarcia (Paesano)

We use the cliche of ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ for our offline presence, but what about our online presence? We tend to live, work, play and shop online… So why not present ourselves well online? In this workshop we will make sure you bring your A-game online. Concrete structure & steps to follow to get it right; Be there where it matters and convince your visitors. Websites/Blogs/Social Media/PR


Erik is founder and CEO of Paesano, Business & Marketing Stratego Player at TimeLynes, and BlockChain-Entrepreneur. 


  Talkshop – Act like a child!

Moodi Mahmoudi (Collaborne)
Innovation and disruption is not an art, but a science. Many seem to believe innovation is some sort of magical craft, able to be harnessed only by voodoo masters, visionaries gifted with special abilities. That belief is false. The capabilities needed to crack innovation’s code and conceive and launch disruptive offerings are in us all. Well, actually in our younger versions of us! In this back to the future talk, we will discuss how acting like a child can let you embed, replicate, and scale innovation at all levels of your organization —startup, large corporate or even governments. By being question-centric and building on insights rather than ideas you can lift the veil on what was once thought impossible — innovation for everyone, every day.
We’ll discuss:
  • Disruptive startups – How To?
  • Innovation is for everyone, every day
  • Innovation is not an art, it’s a science
  • Innovation doesn’t start with ideas, it starts with insights
  • Run your organization on questions, not answers
  • From Post-its and markets to Innovation-as-a-Process


Moodi is founder and CEO at Collaborne, mobile, social and cloud innovation management platform trusted by high performing organizations. Rooted in design thinking and lean methodology, Collaborne lets organizations engage, empower, and cross-functionally align their workforce in business innovation and transformation. Clients include BNP Paribas, NN Group, Johnson & Johnson, Orange, Port of Rotterdam, City of Amsterdam, National Police in Netherlands, and more.

Prior to Collaborne, Moodi was Vice President for Optimal, a private-equity backed SAP solutions provider, where he was part of the management team that raised $100 million to accelerate Optimal’s growth and international expansion that led to the company’s acquisition by NTT Data Corporation. Moodi joined Optimal after the successful acquisition in 2008 of KBMS, a leading provider of SAP-based solutions he founded in 2005. Moodi started his first venture in his McGill dorm room in 1999 building Canada’s first online classified ads company, Moodi has a BA from McGill, EDP from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from INSEAD.


 Workshop- Startup Financing

 Christopher Kampshoff (Lendstar)

Instruments, valuation, classical contract terms, and mechanics.


Christopher Kampshoff has started his career in the financial sector. He spent six years at various banks – from retail business of a savings bank up to investment banking at JP Morgan in London. For another five years he worked in the M&A advisory at Deloitte, a leading international consulting firm. Prior to founding Lendstar Christopher worked as CFO of IDENT Technology AG and designed the exit of the company significantly. In February 2013 he realized his idea of a social finance app and founded Lendstar, a social financial network from friends to friends allowing people to source, share and send money in real time.

18:00 – 19:00    

Networking & Pizza

19:00 – 21:30     

Evening talks


 Opening speech by Alderman Gemeente Maastricht Dhr. John Aarts (Economy, Finance, Mobility)


 Sebastian Sujka – The dirty secrets- what uni doesn’t teach you about starting a company
(XBird, DataMonk, WhiteWhall Health Foods)

In his talk Sebastian will discuss the difficulties of starting a business straight after University. Sebastian will speak about his own experiences starting several successful companies and will focus on the most common mistakes in the startup world. The talk will include practical advice from fundraising to how to handle an acquisition. After this session you will have a good feeling about the highs and lows about the startup world and know if this is a world you want to enter or not.

Sebastian is a Berlin based Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of xbird, a medical AI company focused on prevention and early recognition of curable diseases. Employing the latest know-how in data science and machine learning, their technology captures data streams from the built-in sensors of smartphones and wearables and analyzes these to detect critical health events before they occur. Sebastian’s first venture Whitewall Healthfoods was acquired by Schober Ventures, his second venture Datamonk was acquired by Hitfox Group. 


Thomas Blekman – Effectuation
Effectuation Academy, De Beukelaar Group, Semco Style Institute, ECE)


Panel debate: The myths and realities about entrepreneurship


Matt Kuppers (Startup Manufactory), Marc Preusche (LeROI), Alexandra Jorge (AdLudio), Christopher Kampshoff (Lendstar)

Moderator: Wynand Bodewes

This debate touches upon the many myths and misperceptions about entrepreneurship and starting a company, and the reality as things turn out in real life. For example many people believe that successful entrepreneurs take huge risks in starting their companies. The fact is that most successful entrepreneurs concentrate on minimizing risk. Coming from different backgrounds, the speakers will share their practical experiences around this topic in a fun and interactive session moderated by prof. Wynand Bodewes, associate professor of entrepreneurship at Maastricht School of Management.

21:30 – 23:00     

Drinks & networking

Tuesday 16 May

 Startup tour with Integrand


09:00 – 12:30    
Tour kick-off at Launchbase

Launchbase is the incubation programme for startups at Maastricht University. Currently there are 30 startups enrolled in the program this semester, and you will be introduced to a few of them.


Visit EU Tech Alliance in Vaals

The EU Tech Alliance aspires to be a community that helps each other, provides knowledge to its peers and is proud to produce products or services made in the EU(regio). We believe that by fostering local entrepreneurship our members become an integral part of the local economy, fight the brain-drain and create global impact.


Mission: We are a bottom-up cross-border organization that helps to integrate the existing initiatives in three separate countries into a truly collaborative cross-border ecosystem. With our activities we follow the entrepreneurial equation of Luck = Opportunity + Preparation where we provide opportunities and educate on how to prepare for them by focusing our activities on three specific pillars:

I.          Extending and improving the existing eco-system of technology startups;

II.         Communicating about its existence in the region;

III.        Awaken more understanding and acceptance through education.

12:30 – 13:30      


13:30 – 17:30      
Visit Brightlands Smart Services Campus- Heerlen

Brightlands Smart Services Campus is a revolutionary institute consisting of researchers and educators, innovative entrepreneurs, and companies leading the field in human resource management and smart services. Together they comprise one of the world’s leading locations for smart services, located in Heerlen. We will be introduced to a few of their best performing startups.

Visit Brightlands Innovation Factory- Sittard

Brightlands Innovation Factory (BIF) is the entrepreneurial backbone of the Brightlands ecosystem. BIF offers an acceleration program as well as an incubation program for startups in materials, health, smart services, and food industries. We will get to visit a few of their startups during our visit.

Wednesday 17 May

09:00 – 18:30    

Innovator’s Challenge case competition- Jurofoon

Organised in the format of a hackathon, this case competition aims at solving complex company challenges with entrepreneurial solutions. This years hosting company is Jurofoon, the innovative legal-tech company that solves juridical problems directly via phone calls. Students are challenged to come up with innovative solutions to the proposed challenge and will be rewarded with in-kind prizes. More >

Thursday 18 May

14:00 – 18:00    

 Startup Market

Meet & network with international startups from different incubators in Limburg


13:30 – 15:30     

 Workshop You don’t need to be a game changer to be an entrepreneur

Louise Mansson (LM Consulting) 

This workshop starts by clarifying some misconceptions about being an entrepreneur and what it takes to actually build a business. During the workshop, you will get the chance to look at your skills, talents and passion and reflect on how these can be used to start a business.

The workshop will allow you to pitch your ideas in an elevator pitch, followed by a feedback round for further steps and suggestions on starting a business. At the end of the workshop there will be time for a Q&A session.


Louise Månsson is UM SBE alumni and founder of LM Consulting – advising companies on corporate communication, event organization and digitalization. 


 Workshop- Pitching your social enterprise idea

Jarrod Ormiston (MC4E) & Nando Ngandu (Starters Valley)


Have you got an idea that could have a positive impact on the world? Come along to this interactive workshop to learn about how to pitch your social enterprise idea to a range of audiences. Social entrepreneurs need to gain support from investors, government, foundations and the community at large. The workshop will cover a range of topics including social enterprise business models, how to describe your social impact, and how to pitch to investors, government and foundations.


Dr Jarrod Ormiston is Assistant Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E), School of Business and Economics (SBE), Maastricht University. His research interests include social entrepreneurship, impact investment, Indigenous entrepreneurship, refugee entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in the informal economy. 

Nando Ngandu is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Smile To The Future, a registered Dutch Non-Governmental Organization, which is based in The Netherlands and Belgium. Smile to the Future was founded in 2013 after having some humanitarian trips to Africa and Asia in the past and he is responsible for the coordination of the different projects that his current organization is undertaking not only in Europe, but also abroad.

15:30 – 16:00     

 Coffee break

16:00 – 18:00     

 Hackshop: How startups hack their growth

@SparksV@PascalvanSteen, @BWVentures

Two hours in our workshop will answer all of your burning questions regarding growth hacking, its hype, and how to apply its undeniably useful methodology to any startup. Some of the tools we have decided to include will likely shock you in their utility, and hopefully you will leave wondering ‘is this legal?’ Please come prepared to expel tons of energy and interact both with us (Pascal, Sparks & Maarten), as well as each other.


About Chris Sparks: I am a vegetable monger, digital dilettante, Blockchain evangelist, and course coordinator at UM. I have 7 years of small business experience while owning and operating a produce company in the US. I began several startups in NL, and settled into a co-founder role along with Thomas Blekman, in Utrecht. We consulted for many corporate departments on how they could increase the entrepreneurial potential of their team members. I am now, along with coordinating the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship track at the MC4E, working on the worlds first cryptocurrency – IoT interface, along with a blockchain hardcoder in Heerlen.


Pascal van Steen is a growth hacker. He’s also a visual designer, startup mentor and guest lecturer. His topics of interest include lean startup methodology, customer development, behavioral psychology, and storytelling. Pascal is head of growth at Travis the Translator and recently managed to raise $630,000 (almost 800% of initial goal) for their crowdfunding campaign. He’s given guest lectures on entrepreneurship and growth marketing on Avans University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and Fontys.


Maarten van Kroonenburg is a co-founder of an Eindhoven-based precelerator for startups called BlueWhale Ventures and is a professional coach on Lean Startup Methodology, Customer Development and Growth Hacking. Being now in his mid-twenties, Maarten already succeeded to win an award of “Best Thesis of the Academy” on the topic of Lean Startup and Customer Development with a statement “measuring is growing”. Besides that, his previous project, an online platform Clownsville, attracted monthly more than 250.000 visitors on a regular basis.


 Talkshop- Starting a business in The Netherlands

Ad Scheepers & Hans Litjens (Chamber of Commerce)


Practical information on starting a business given by professionals from the Chamber of Commerce who have legal and entrepreneurial background and ample insight in real-time business facts. If you want to start a business you have to deal with several things:

1) Situational position. Situation is unique for every individual. Most people are not born as an entrepreneur, you need to develop the attitude and the skills to become one. However given the right help and backup almost everybody can become an entrepreneur. A good understanding of personal motivation, skills and required help can make a successful start of your business;

2) On-the-spot indication of readiness to start yes or no;

3) Characteristics of a real entrepreneur;

4) Benefits of a business plan;

5) Explanation of tax benefits in the Netherlands;

6) Different company types, tradename and insurances;

7) Registration at the Chamber of Commerce and Dutch tax office as final step.

We will close the talkshop by answering your questions, ideas, talking about yout plans etc.

18:00 – 19:00    

 Networking & International food!

19:00 – 21:30    

 Evening talks


Vince Meens – Blockchain applications
(Brightlands Innovation Factory, Jetwise)


Petar Chavdarov Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
(Finance in Motion)

Petar will discuss the verticals and topics in social entrepreneurship, the difference between delivering impact vs financial returns, fundraising and how to approach impact investors, how to measure and monitor impact, some practical examples of social-minded business, and the experience of Finance in Motion and how they strive to deliver impact.


Petar Chavdarov works in the investment team at Finance in Motion, a leading impact advisor with EUR 1.7BN of assets under management. He is part of the SANAD equity sub-fund focused on direct investments in financial institutions in the MENA region with the aim of supporting job creation and reducing poverty. In addition to that, he is a strong supporter of fintech startups and is the main organizer behind the Fincluders Startup Challenge, a series of startup competitions on the topic of fintech for financial inclusion. Prior to joining Finance in Motion, Petar held various positions in the financial services sector and has been part of the leading Dutch startup accelerator Rockstart.

 Moritz Delbruck – How legal tech and the rise of AI can change legal services
(Jurofoon, Pirate Summit Cologne, Concern)



 Vidar Andersen – Top 10 Startup Myths Busted
(+Andersen & Associates, A+ Recruitment, Plone) 

You’ve heard just about everything there is to know about startups by know – but here’s the deal: most founders are still doing it wrong. Why? Let’s explore the top 10 myths that destroy startups (and souls) in this talk.

Vidar Andersen (b. 1975) is an award winning Norwegian Internet software veteran of 20 years, a startup founder, hack(er), entrepreneur, organizer, (micro) investor, educator, learner, moderator, speaker, advisor and consultant to large companies on digital transformation, innovation and growth currently living in Dusseldorf near Cologne, Germany – and in airplanes around the world. More about Vidar

21:30 – 23:00     

 Drinks & networking

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