The Innovation Bootcamp


Shaping entrepreneurial ideas for sustainable energy, smart cities and intelligent grid projects


When: October (Exact date to be confirmed)
Where: TU/e: Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands


Start out as an engineer – end up as an innovator

Resource depletion, air pollution, urbanization and demographic change are placing huge pressures on current energy, heating and transport systems. Innovative new solutions are essential for these systems to evolve to meet society’s changing needs.

However, innovation in the lab really makes a difference when it is successfully deployed in real life. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurial businesses are an essential part of the mix. They can bring ideas to life and increase the impact of new solutions by successfully implementing them in the market.

The Innovation Bootcamp is specially developed to give engineers the entrepreneurial and innovation management skills they need to commercialise new and transformative technologies – whether in a large industry player, in a small specialist company, or as the founder of a brand new business.

What you’ll learn

The Innovation Bootcamp gives you a solid foundation in all the key skills needed to take innovative ideas out of the lab and into the market. Over two weeks, you will learn how to shape technical ideas into business form through:

  1. Identifying potential market opportunities
  2. Designing the right business model for you
  3. Orchestrating an innovation ecosystem for your project
  4. Assessing the advantages – and disadvantages – of the ‘lean’ start-up approach and classic business plans
  5. Developing marketing strategies for a new business
  6. Building, managing and leading teams in a new business
  7. Preparing and producing financial statements
  8. Growing and up-scaling a business – and planning an exit strategy
  9. Managing legal issues, including IP rights protection, governmental subsidies, and regulations
  10. Developing your own entrepreneurial skills


How you learn

The goal of the course is to help you think outside your lab and realise the commercial potential of your research. So don’t expect too many traditional classroom-based lectures! The Innovation Bootcamp focuses on giving you practical exercises, and applying lessons to your own research project – as well assessing, reflecting and learning from your classmates’ work.

The course consists of 10 individual modules, listed above. During the course you are asked to develop your own action plan. We call it a ‘travel guide’ because it is a personalised guide to taking your project forward and achieving tangible, actionable results. You finish the travel guide once you have completed the course.

The final session is a pitching session to internal and external judges, where you apply what you’ve learnt and convince the judges of the value of your project. Jury members include  business creation officers from InnoEnergy as well as managers with board-level experience at large international and national organisations, such as Philips and Eneco.

It’s all backed up with latest thinking on innovation and entrepreneurial management, with insights from TU/e faculty research into sustainable business models, ecosystems, innovative companies and more.


Added extras

During the first modules we use the LEGO gaming concept to get to know each other, see how your research fits into the bigger picture, and ideate potential future scenarios.

Coinciding with Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, attending the Innovation Bootcamp gives you a chance to attend this major national and international event and check out the streams on sustainability and smart cities.

Events at TU/e and InnoEnergy offer you plenty of opportunities to meet people from around the world who share your interests and your commitment to sustainable energy – including start-ups supported by  InnoEnergy Business Creation Services, our accelerator for new businesses.

Course leaders

Thoughts on the course…

From previous participants:

“Great work! Keep it up! Really congratulate the organisers for the energy and the format. I am overall highly satisfied. Thank you for everything.”

“What did I like most? Lego, intercultural interaction, dynamic, large variety of experiences of the teachers, excellent organisation.”

“I really liked the energy of the group with international students who were very friendly. And overall, the course set-up was clear and interesting. A good mix of lectures and activities.”


Practical information

When to attend: you can attend at different times during your research but to get the most out of the Innovation Bootcamp, we recommend that you take part once you have fully conceptualized your research – but before you get caught up in writing your thesis and planning your defence.

Pre-course preparation: there is some additional reading to be completed before starting the course

Post-course assignments: students are asked to complete their personalized travel guides once the course is complete

ECTS credits: The Innovation Bootcamp is worth five ECTS credits.