Research costs time and money. Academic institutions and other research organisations aren’t always able to provide financing. In Utrecht there are several easily accessible research financing opportunities to support innovation and innovative researchers. Here you can find an overview.

Rabo Pre-seed Funds – for starters

In the first stages of a startup it can be hard to come by capital. That’s why Rabobank Utrecht and Utrecht Holdings have started the Rabo Pre-seed Funds, with help from UtrechtInc. These funds offer attractive loans up to €50.000 for starting companies.

 For who?

  • Companies that are a part of UtrechtInc
  • Companies located in the Utrecht Science Park
  • Companies that are a part of the Dutch Game Garden


  • The pre-seed loan is a loan to your company, not to you as an individual.
  • The interest rate is 8% per year if you finance 20% of the total pre-seed loan yourself. If not, the interest rate is 12,5%.
  • The payback period begins a maximum of two years after the loan has been disbursed.
  • The loan is paid back within three years in monthly terms. The loan can be paid back more quickly without incurring extra costs.
  • You inform the Rabo Pre-seed Funds about the developments in and financial status of your company.

Fill in the request form here.

Thuja Fonds – for medical startups

Thuja Capital is an independent venture capital investor specialized in startups and early stage medical companies in the Benelux. They invest in early stage private companies that develop and sell medical products focused on cure, care and prevention, such as:

  • Medical technology, medical equipment
  • Technology for diagnosis and monitoring
  • Therapies
  • Medical nutrition products and supplements
  • Cross-over products (combinations of hardware and software, for example)

Thuja Capital is interested in propositions that still require (clinical) validation to go to market with a health claim. Companies that only need capital to grow are not eligible. Furthermore, products must convincingly contribute to sustainable healthcare. Those are products that make it possible to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare. Product propositions in which Thuja Capital invest must be scalable so that they can also be used far outside of the borders of the Benelux.


  • Thuja Capital is the main investor and invests capital in exchange for shares of the company.
  • The investments are made in part. These parts are paid out when the agreed upon milestones have been reached.
  • In most cases Thuja Capital seeks a second investor who also contributes capital and brings in their own network.
  • Thuja Capital takes a place in the board of directors of the companies in which they invest.
  • Thuja Capital does not assume an operational role or responsibility therein, but does offer hands-on support.
  • Thuja Capital believes in a good working relationship based on trust and mutual respect.
  • Borderline products (for example equipment that has a medical application but is not a medical device).

Thuja Capital can be reached at +31(0)30 253 9898 or via email: – more information can be found at

Valorisation Pre-seed – for researchers

If you are a researcher with an idea or a discovery but don’t have the financing to investigate its technical feasibility, then the Valorisation Pre-seed is possibly something for you. Valorisation Pre-seed is co-financing up to €25.000 per project where the researchers test the feasibility and function of their discovery, invention or idea. This financing is intended only to conduct a (technical) feasibility study with concrete end results that contribute to the further development, application and market implementation of the discovery or idea. UtrechtVC, Utrecht Holdings, and the Rabo Pre-seed Funds make the Valorisation Pre-seed funds possible.

 For who? 

Researchers who work for or on behalf of Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht and the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences can request to receive Valorisation Pre-seed financing.


  • The researcher submits a request according to the required format. Therein the various steps, milestones and (financial) planning must be documented.
  • The researcher does a request in consultation with an employee of UtrechtVC or one of her organisational partners.
  • Mandatory with a request is a declaration from an authorised signatory individidual who represents the faculty or department, to begin the standard investment agreement.
  • The application will be evaluated by a Review Committee. On the basis of the judgment changes can be made to the submitted plan.
  • The Rabo Preseed Fonds BV invests the capital in the project on the basis of an agreement with the faculty/department of the researcher(s). An authorised signatory supervisor or head of department must be in agreement with the request, budget and the conditions of the agreement before the investment agreement is signed.
  • The faculty or department is requested to make a comparable, specific contribution (for example in hours, equipment or bench fee). This contribution may be done in kind.
  • When a project delivers transferable knowledge (intellectual property), Utrecht Holdings receives the authority to bring this IP to market.
  • With a successful market implementation the Rabo Preseed funds is the first to receive profits, up until the invested amount is paid back double by Utrecht Holdings. Thereafter the normal sharing model for IP applies, whereby researchers and faculty can also receive a portion of the profits.
  • The project must be realisable with a maximum of €25.000 from the funds. The total project can thus reach a scope of €50.000 including the contribution of the faculty or department.
  • The project is completed with a substantial end report and administration closure where the most important documentation (quotes, contracts, invoices) is added as copies.

General Conditions

  • Knowledge and intellectual property from the academic institutions is often but not always brought to market through Utrecht Holdings. Therefore there is a condition in the Valorisation Pre-seed Funds that the department and researcher hold the rights to be able market the knowhow and intellectual property, which are transferable to Utrecht Holdings.
  • All requests are processed in a strictly confidential manner. In specific cases a request may be discussed with academic experts or external experts in the network of the knowledge institutions.
  • Requests can be submitted in Dutch or English.