FAQ


Eligibility

1Which are Brightlands Innovation Factory’s focus segments?
Brightlands Innovation Factory is the overarching startup organization of the Brightlands ecosystem. The ecosystem consists of four campuses in the areas of Health (Maastricht), Smart Services (Heerlen), Advanced Materials (Geleen) and Food & Nutrition (Venlo). Within each of these focus areas, there are specific areas of expertise:

- Health – Regenerative Medicine, Precision Medicine, Innovative Diagnostics.
- Smart Services – Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain & Big Data
- Chemicals & Materials - Sustainable Manufacturing & Sustainable Processing.
- Food & Nutrition – Healthy food and nutrition and future farming.
2Is the Brightlands Innovation Factory Incubator suitable for my company?
The incubation program is for startups who work on their proof of concept. At the end of the program, the startup has a validated business model, proven technical feasibility of the innovation, a team and a list of prospects. Each startup in this phase, with an innovation in the Brightlands segments, is welcome.
3Is the Brightlands Innovation Factory Accelerator suitable for my company?
The Acceleration stage starts with a proof of concept: validated business model, technical feasibility of the innovation, a team and a list of prospects. At the end of the Acceleration program, each startup has a business plans which contains:

- Growth strategy
- Validation Plan
- Financial projections
- Investment Strategy
- IP Strategy

With this business plan, you will be able to find a funding to start to validate your innovation with customers. Each startup with an innovation in one of Brightlands’ focus areas, working on their business plan, can apply for the Accelerator Program.
4Is there a company age limit to qualify for the program?
There is no general age limit for companies to participate. We look at the stage your company is in, not the age of the startup.
5Are you looking for companies of a certain size?
Company size varies widely among participants in our programs. The Incubation program can be fulfilled with a one (wo)man startup. For the Accelerator, you need a team of at least 2 FTE.
6Can I apply if our founders are not from the Netherlands?
Yes, we are an international organization. We have had companies from all over the world, so far from 19 countries and 5 continents.
7Is it mandatory to incorporate our company in the Netherlands?
Incorporating your company in the Netherlands is not mandatory. It does, however, provide some advantages with regard to local funds. If a startup decides to start a Dutch entity, Brightlands Innovation Factory will provide its assistance in the process.
8I am a single founder. Can I get accepted into the program?
It is possible to be accepted into the program as a single founder. Part of our Incubator program is linking experts to the participating teams and finding suitable people for our startups to expand their teams, either with the experts themselves or by bringing them into touch with people in our extensive network.

For our Accelerator, we do recommend teams to have at least two people joining the program, since the workload is too big for one person to carry. Also in this program, we assist the startups in finding the right people to expand their teams and in finding the competences the team needs to develop further.

Deal structure

1What do I receive when I get selected?
Incubator:
• Value of the program: €60k
• A relevant worldwide network of experts, partners and clients;
• Access to facilities at Brightlands;
• Free office space during the program;
• Assistance in applying for visa, finding housing, starting a Dutch entity, opening a Dutch bank account and other operational services.


Accelerator:
• Value of the program: €150k
• A relevant worldwide network of experts, partners and clients;
• Access to facilities at Brightlands;
• Free office space during the program;
• Assistance in applying for visa, finding housing, starting a Dutch entity, opening a Dutch bank account and other operational services.
2Does Brightlands Innovation Factory take equity or options from the selected companies?
Brightlands Innovation Factory funds startups via a Convertible Loan Agreement. Brightlands Innovation Factory expects to take a 7% stake in Accelerators and a 4% stake in Incubators after the first investment deal is made.
3What financial responsibilities does a participating company have?
Companies are responsible for all of their associated expenses, such as travel, visa, accommodation and other costs related to incorporating their business in the Netherlands.

Application

1How do I apply?
You can apply by clicking the “Apply now” buttons on our homepage. Select the program you want to apply for and fill in the application form.
2When do I apply?
You can apply online throughout the entire year. For each of the programs, the application deadline is 1.5 month before the program starts. If you miss this deadline, it is already possible to apply for the next program. We provide several Incubators and Accelerators per year, all starting in Spring & Fall. The Spring programs usually start around March, April and the Fall programs around September, October.
3What does the application process look like?
After you have filled in the application form on our website, the application process starts. The process looks as follows:

1. We look for a match between your innovation and our focus areas.
2. We determine the stage of the company; Incubation or Acceleration.
3. The startup is assessed in 7 categories to determine the development needs.
4. We give our final approval.
4Do I need to send in a business plan?
This is not mandatory. But if you already have a business plan, please send it.
5Will you protect my Intellectual Property?
During the selection process, we will only discuss non-confidential information. All IP remains the property of the startup. Part of the program is to build an IP strategy.
Apply now