Author Archives: Hein Roelfsema

Incubation Programme UtrechtInc

Je eigen bedrijf starten?

Hoe en waar kun je het beste je eigen bedrijf starten? Al meer dan 150 startups kozen voor UtrechtInc. In deze incubator op het Utrecht Science Park ontmoet je experts die jou verder op weg helpen. Je werkt tussen andere ondernemers en krijgt feedback, trainingen en toegang tot financiering. Pierre Vermeulen van Solease: “Wie slim is, onderneemt bij UtrechtInc”. Aanmelden voor het 4-maanden programma kan t/m 17 aug (wetenschappers tot 14 sep). #Health #Climate #Education


Building your own company?

How and where can you best start your own company? Over 150 startups have chosen UtrechtInc. In this incubator at Utrecht Science Park you meet experts who help you to success. You work among other entrepreneurs and receive feedback, training and access to funding. “If you’re bright, you build your company at UtrechtInc”, says Pierre Vermeulen of Solease. You can sign up until August 17. If you are an scientist or researcher, please consider the Discovery programme before Sep 14.


Summerschool Programma Entrepreneurship of to a Flying Start



Last week the track the Entrepreneurial Side of Business started at the Utrecht Summer School. Visiting professor Elmarie Venter (NMMU, South Africa) kicked off with the course Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. This week Hans-Peter Bakker (Rhodes University, South Africa) continues with Entrepreneurial Marketing and the coming two weeks our own lecturers Niels Bosma and Coen Rigtering will offer courses on Social Entrepreneurship and Strategic Entrepreneurship respectively. For more information about the track email the track coordinator Peter O. van der Meer.

Adelaide University Entrepreneurship Visit

Adelaide-UU group photo

Adelaide-UU group photo

This week the Utrecht University/ Adelaide University Summer School had its first episode. Students from Down Under worked on an entrepreneurial topic and presented their pitch to both their lecturers and a group of angel investors. Could this be the start of a new annual tradition? In any way the course Essentials of Business and Entrepreneurship (Osiris code EC2EBE2) will be held in Australia for the first time this year in November. Students who are interested can get more information from Hein Roelfsema and Peter O. van der Meer (picture during class Entrepreneurial Marketing & Growth Hacking)


Utrecht University Entrepreneurship Conference

Utrecht Schience Park

The last four years, Utrecht University has made substantial progress in becoming an (even more) entrepreneurial university. This includes an increase in the efforts to support entrepreneurship in teaching, research, and valorisation. The conference is to take stock of what has been achieved and to look forward.

Target audience: deans and and directors, lecturers and researchers, students; all with an interest in an entrepreneurial Utrecht University. Please register using the button below (for catering).

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The Winterschool Entrepreneurship was Great!


Last week 20 UU students jonied the Winterschool for the certificate programme in Enteprepreneurship. Fantastic effort by the students, the great Elmarie Venter and super support by Holland Startup made it a week in which the entrepreneurial spirit was the big winner. From us at UtrechtCE, thank you trainers Elmarie, Maurice Bakker, Robert Jan Hanse, and of course students.


Erik, Peter and Hein.

Financing Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands

Big news in De Volkskrant this weekend. The most leftist newspaper reported that in 2014 some 500 million worth of international investments was channeled to Dutch startups. Although much of that was in a small number of high-valued individual firms, still we are witnessing a financing revolution. And startups are politically becoming an important issue too. Recently, former European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was appointed to lead Startup Delta, an initiative to map the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Netherlands and promote it globally as the next place to be. In a bit of conspiracy theory, the lead article in De Volkskrant (traditionally the Labor Party’s newspaper) is there to show that Iron Neelie (right wing liberals VVD) has nothing to gain and even more to lose in het mission of startup ambassador.

Why the Netherlands is suddenly successful as a startup country may have some deeper roots. For the last ten years, entrepreneurship has been promoted in universities and in science parks. This more and more seems to be paying off for society. In addition, there is a boom in public and private incubators and accelerators that play the intermediary role in channeling (bank) finance to startups. In a land where venture capital has for long been quite absent, this is a very useful function. And last, there is an increasing interest from the big corporates to stimulate innovation through entrepreneurship, see for example high profile initiatives like StartupBootcamp.

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Quantitative Easing: Will it Work?

“I will do whatever it takes”, these words resonate in the financial markets and, with the return of deflation, makes Quantitative Easing (QE) unavoidable. Will it work? That is the question that dominated the press and commentators on the Friday following the historic ECB press conference. Reading these comments, I miss two arguments that to my opinion will play an increasingly important role in the coming months.

There are four traditional mechanisms through which QE may work. It can take effect by reducing interest rates, especially long term interest rates that are important for investors. That will not work because they are already low. It may reduce the interest rates for distressed governments a bit, but this has only limited power to stimulate the economy as a whole. Another mechanism is (according to the credit view) by improving the balance sheet of banks – direct or indirect by reducing company losses –  and thus improving the conditions for lending. Do not know, but I guess this will also not work, because balance sheet conditions are not the crucial thing at the moment why banks in the Euro area are not making loans. The third mechanism is by avoiding deflation itself. If prices fall then this increases real wages and real private debt, which both are likely to reduce economic activity. As a defensive strategy, my guess is that this will work, given the size of the package and by credibly shifting inflationary expectations and putting a floor on asset prices. But it will not raise the price level, so we cannot expect a return to growth through this mechanism.

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Entrepreneurship at the AEA

Entrepreneurship at the AEA


Last week, I was lucky. Although much of my time at the American Economic Association (AEA) meeting in Boston was devoted to finding new professors for the many vacancies at the Utrecht School of Economics, careful planning made it possible to visit the central AEA session on entrepreneurship research. Clearly, entrepreneurship as a field is on the rise, however, this so far has passed the economics profession. But now the dismal science is back with a vengeance. In a session packed with top talent, the main aim was not so much to derive new hypotheses (left to business studies) but to use the tools of economics to verify some points made elsewhere.

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