Where co-founders meet to build new companies and get early investment.

Firmhouse Venture Lab offers you the space, expertise and opportunity to meet skilled entrepreneurs like yourself who are all looking for a co-founder. We invest 50.000 Euro in two startups that emerge from the program. Applications close October 31st.

In partnership with
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Program Highlights

Designed to be lightweight and have you actually work on building a business.

Selection event

Win a spot in our intensive 3.5-month program! We’ll allow up to 60 applicants to participate in a free selection weekend the 2nd through 4th of November. During this weekend you can meet fellow applicants and explore each other’s skills and ideas. You must apply to the program to participate in the weekend.

A crash course in building healthy companies

Venture Lab kicks off on November 26th, with two weeks of workshops and activities which will teach you all the basic knowledge you need for setting up a modern venture (lean startup, business modelling, experimentation and similar subjects).


Venture Lab will finish with a Demo Day event in the middle of March, by which Firmhouse will decide which two teams that emerged during the program, will receive the 50.000 Euro investment. Numerous other investors will also attend Demo Day to listen to each team share their learnings and progress and decide whether they’re interested in investing.

Tailored Mentoring

Learn from our hand-selected mentors with the right skills and background to teach you how to learn from customers, build products, form teams and set up a business. With Brain Trusts, fixer sessions, and Lean Coffees, expertise will always be at your fingertips.

Investor lunches and Speaker dinners

Access to exclusive, invite-only lunches and dinners with pre-selected investors and experienced entrepreneurs.

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What we offer

3.5-months of intensive workshops, coaching, knowledge and our network to help you find your co-founder and build the right team around the right venture. At the end, two of the best teams that have gained some traction with customers around a new idea, will receive an investment of 50.000 Euro. In return for the investment, our investors will take a minority share in the company.

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What we expect

We expect participants to work in our offices based in Rotterdam and be present full time for the duration of the program. The program kicks off on November 26th and finishes mid-March 2019.

What you can expect

Eight cycles of two weeks each.

  1. 26.11.2018 - 07.12.2018

    Crash Course into building a Healthy Business

    Together with your peers learn how to work iteratively, learn how to talk to customers and learn how to test your ideas.

  2. 10.12.2018 - 14.12.2018

    Focus & Iterate #1

    One week sprint with coaching sessions and progress reports. Create accountability and focus. Build relationships with mentors and and experience entrepreneurs with learned lessons to share in an intimate dinner environment.

  3. 17.12.2018 - 21.12.2018

    Focus & Iterate #2

    Another one week sprint with coaching sessions and progress reports. Create accountability and focus. Build relationships with mentors and and experience entrepreneurs with learned lessons to share in an intimate dinner environment.

  4. 07.01.2019 - 18.01.2019

    Form your team!

    Consider who you will collaborate with. Pitch your idea, plans and progress for mentor evaluation and feedback.

  5. 21.01.2019 - 01.02.2019

    Peer-to-Peer Activities

    Discuss personal learning and development goals. Form teams to fix challenges, seek hands-on advice and nominate questions around a topic.

  6. 04.02.2019 - 15.02.2019

    Show and Tell

    Present your progress and learnings to the Rotterdam community.

  7. 18.02.2019 - 01.03.2019

    Founder Hotseat & Investor Readiness

    Open Q & A sessions between founders and mentors. Founders and investors share best practices in an informal lunch setting.

  8. 04.03.2019 - 15.03.2019

    It’s Demo Day!

    Pitch your winning idea to investors!

Venture lab content

Why do we run this program?

After years of startup coaching, we know the right team is essential to the success of a company. But finding a co-founder can be hard. Let us do the initial vetting for you. Venture Lab is highly competitive and we spend serious time screening applicants to put together the right cohort.
If newly formed teams gain traction, the road to early investment is already paved. Whereas startup teams usually spend months raising their first round, we commit two tickets of 50.000 Euro, each, at the start of the program.

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We put founders first

Together we’ll lay the foundation for your journey as a founder. Before you become part of a great team, we train you to become a great founder.

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Team up in the program

Great teams form when the right people are put together. During the program, you get to work with multiple other founders to try new ideas and test whether you work well together.

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By experienced founders

Venture Lab is not only run by experienced entrepreneurs that provide their knowledge on how to start a company, but also includes coaching by a strictly curated group of experienced founders & alumni.

Apply for Venture Lab 2018

Applications close 31st of October.

Get started today with Signal to Evidence, our book on Entrepeneurship.

We have compressed our experience as founders into a concise book. The book will cover how to go from initial idea to getting your first customers. We help you apply popular concepts like Business Modelling and Lean Startup.

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The manifesto behind Venture Lab that initiated this program

In 2017 we ran the first Venture Lab program as a pilot. We felt a need existed for a founder friendly program in The Netherlands and launched our pilot in October 2017.

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