Profile Introduction

Science-based entrepreneurship (SBE) is a foundational source of innovation and thereby for economic growth. Academic institutions are excellent breeding grounds for startups and there is international recognition for the need of education on science-based entrepreneurship. Science-based entrepreneurship is described as the ways in which scientific knowledge drives economic activity and underpins societal impact. It encapsulates the study of how scientific innovations can be validated and brought to market.

There are many routes towards entrepreneurship; whether it is finding a science-based product while working at a large company or performing research in an incubator. The SBE profile has been created with the goal of providing such a path in entrepeneurship for students in all science programs.


The profile consists of two parts. First you follow the course of Science-based Entrepreneurship (7.5 EC) as a jumping board towards launching a startup. Secondly, you can follow electives from a selection of entrepreneurship oriented courses within Utrecht University (22.5 EC). It is also possible to replace one or two electives with a project, but under very strict conditions.

Part 1: Science-based Entrepreneurship (7.5 EC)

In the compulsory course of science-based Entrepreneurship you develop a business plan and a prototype of a science-based innovation, with an ICT component. (Please note that this course was previously known as ICT Entrepreneurship.)

Part 2: Approved Electives (22.5 EC)

Approved electives are master courses that have been pre-approved by the profile coordinator (list of electives: next drop down menu on this page). Other courses may be proposed but can only be approved by the profile coordinator. Please note that some combinations are prohibited, as some of the courses have overlap. You will be informed of this overlap, as it may differ from year to year, after application to the profile.

Part 2b: Entrepreneurship Project (7.5-15 EC)

You can perform an optional project that fulfils the learning goals of the course, where you research an entrepreneurship topic in collaboration with a willing staff member, typically around the domain of the staff member. Projects can be done in teams and as an individual. 

Projects can be of roughly two types:

  1. An academic feasibility or validation study for an innovation product.
  2. An academic research project into the role of entrepreneurship in a particular science domain.

The end products of the project can consist of any deliverable that can be judged by the learning goals of the profile. The project is graded based on how well the set of predetermined learning goals have been met by the project. It is required that the project concerns an innovation from a particular science domain. 

The project must be embedded in an existing project format within the your master program under an existing project course code. This typically means that if you perform the project, you cannot perform another project under the same course code. The topic has to be approved by the profile coordinator, and by the programme coordinator of the master programme for which you are admitted. 

The student is responsible for finding a supervising staff member for the SBE aspects of the disciplinary project. This is done on a case-by-case basis depending on the research topic, but commitment from a staff member is required before the research project is allowed to commence. To enable project matching, projects are listed on Konjoin. Please go to the Konjoin website and then select 'entrepreneurship project' under 'Type project' to see the available projects. If no project is available that suits you, please consider contacting one of the staff members of the faculty about a project.

Example Profile and Constraints

A typical profile consists of 4 courses, but under strict conditions it is possible to replace one or two of the courses with a research project related to science-based entrepreneurship. An example of the profile, which closely resembles the study path of a recent student, could thus be:

  • Science-based Entrepreneurship (7.5 EC)
  • Innovation Systems and Processes (7.5 EC)
  • Theory for Technology (7.5 EC)
  • A capita selecta in the Dept. of Information and Computing Sciences into using artificial intelligence for fall detection in elderly people (7.5 EC)

It is encouraged that students also do part of their thesis on their startup product or entrepreneurship, but this is not a condition to fulfil the requirements of the Profile.


Elective Course* Course origin Osiris code Course size
Human Centered Machine Learning AINM INFOMHCML 7.5EC
Social Computing AINM INFOMSOC 7.5EC
Advanced Graphics AINM INFOMAGR 7.5EC
Multi-agent Systems AINM INFOMAS 7.5EC
Natural Language Processing AINM INFOMNLP 7.5EC
Global Design Challenge BII B-MBIGDC 7.5EC
Integrative Bio-inspired Design BII B-MIBID 7.5EC
Advanced Topics in Climate Dynamics CLPH NS-MO441M 7.5EC
Data Mining COSC INFOMDM 7.5EC
Pattern Recognition COSC INFOMPR 7.5EC
Network Science COSC INFOMNWSC 7.5EC
Experiment Design EXPH NS-EX422M 7.5EC
Modelling and Simulation EXPH NS-TP432M 7.5EC
Mobile Interaction GMT INFOMMOB 7.5EC
AI for Game Technology GMT INFOMAIGT 7.5EC
Innovation Management IN-SC GEO4-2268 7.5EC
Software Production MBI INFOMSPR 7.5EC
Software Ecosystems MBI INFOMSSE 7.5EC
Process Mining MBI INFOMPROM 7.5EC
Data Intensive Systems MBI INFOMDIS 7.5EC
Digital Transformation and Architecture MBI INFOEAR 7.5EC
Technology Related Venturing SBI GEO4-2268 7.5EC
Innovation Systems and Processes SBI GEO4-2257 7.5EC
Societal Challenges & Innovation Theory SBI GEO4-2258 7.5EC
Business & Sustainability Challenges SBI GEO4-2601 7.5EC
Technologies for Sustainability SBI GEO4-2608 7.5EC
Theory for Technology THPH NS-TP531M 7.5EC
Sustainable Entrepreneurship USE ECMSE 7.5EC
The Economics of Entrepreneurship USE ECRMECE 7.5EC
Entrepreneurial Marketing USE USEMEM 7.5EC
Data-driven Entrepreneurship USE USEMDDE 5 EC
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship USE USEMRP-BDE 7.5EC
Intrapreneurship USE USEMI 7.5EC

* Please note that many of the courses above have their own particular requirements for entering. Participating in the profile does not provide access automatically to each course in this list. The regular entry requirements need to be met.

After finishing the profile, students

  • Understand the entrepreneurial process.
  • Have an overview of methods that can be used to identify and verify science-based market opportunities in a scientific domain.
  • Understand and are able to identify innovation steps in the entrepreneurial process, such as idea generation, opportunity recognition, and evaluation.
  • Have an understanding of their own entrepreneurial skills and ambitions.
  • Have an overview of the research that is done about entrepreneurship.
  • Have the ability to integrate knowledge from various scientific domains and the own academic discipline for the development of a new business.
  • Have experience in the first steps of valorizing a science-based innovation.

After following the Profile you have had the possibility to discover to what extent you desire to become an entrepreneur. You are aware of your abilities and skills in this domain. 

To apply for the SBE profile, please fill out this admission form.
The SBE profile coordinator then assesses your profile. The coordinator looks for the following:

  • Currently admitted to one of the master programs in the GSNS.
  • Experience in an innovative science domain, shown by a relevant bachelor and if possible already completed master courses.
  • Explicit interest into the topic of entrepreneurship, through a short motivational text in the application form.
  • Experience in executing a research or development project, such as a bachelor project or software project.

The following people and organizations are involved in the development, administration, and management of the SBE Profile: 

  1. Nab, J., Bulte, A. M., & Pilot, A. (2013). Fostering the competence of science students in identifying business opportunities: a design research approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 5(1), 28-47.
  2. Henrekson, M., & Rosenberg, N. (2001). Designing efficient institutions for science-based entrepreneurship: Lesson from the US and Sweden. The journal of technology transfer, 26(3), 207-231.
  3. Blankesteijn, M., Bossink, B. & van der Sijde, P. (2020). Science-based entrepreneurship education as a means for university-industry technology transfer International Entrepreneurship Management Journal.
  4. S. Jansen, T. van de Zande, S. Brinkkemper, E. Stam, V. Varma (2015). How Education, Stimulation, and Incubation Encourage Student Entrepreneurship: Observations from MIT, IIIT, and Utrecht University  The International Journal of Management Education.