Pole Position

Pole Position connects you to peers, seasoned Deeptech entrepreneurs and Techleaps experienced and well-connected community. Together, we work on your challenges while developing a strong roadmap through the valley of death towards your dot on the horizon: a global scale company!

What is Pole Position?

Pole Position is an initiative for ambitious deeptech entrepreneurs who want to make an impact. In a safe environment, founders of pre-scale deeptech startups discuss their growth challenges during tailor-made sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and scaling experts. Are you a deeptech startup looking to get ahead of the race? Join our next batch!

Getting deeptech stars ahead of the race

Pole Position is a joint initiative of a group of Dutch incubators – ‘Incubators United’ – and Techleap. The programme will help a batch of 10 deeptech ventures grow and facilitate connections, peer-to-peer learning, and access to the best experts. Pole Position has a thematic approach, bringing together startups with similar focus areas from Health to Energy & Logistics.

Who is the programme for?

We select deeptech companies that are aiming to get product-market fit and are speeding up towards a series A funding. Their newly developed technology must have proof of concept and thorough market validation.

The criteria

Your company should:

  • Scientific or technological basis
  • Dedicated founder team
  • Found your problem solution fit
  • TRL 4+ (at least technical prototype)
  • Have initial funding (such as grants, pre-seed, seed, series A)

Main phases



In preparation of the programme, you will have to be selected by the committee, after which you will have an intake call with the Pole Position team.

Phase 1: Assess


This first part of the programme will consist out of assessing, getting to know and prepping you and your company by means of a scale scan, 1 on 1 sessions with our pitcrew and 2 kick-off days offsite.

Phase 2: Insight


In four group sessions together with scale founders, serial (deeptech) entrepreneurs and experts you will work on your challenges and get insights on where to focus on as a company and to define the critical focus for after the programme.

Phase 3: Boost & Connect

Boost & Connect

All the knowledge, tough love, shared learnings and insights will help you in your journey to global impact. In the period after the programme you will be supported by the Techleap platform and the Techleap for Scaleups community.

What our partners & participants say

Stefan Braam, Startup incubation lead at Utrechtinc

“When our startups reach growth-stage in their entrepreneurial journey the role of the founders changes and their needs become more specific. These startups need access to the right level of specific and nationwide support that local ecosystems just can’t offer on their own.”

Selina Tirtajana, CEO & Co-Founder at SOVN

“Best time investment of the year. Top-notch mentorship, networking and support from industry experts and veterans. The program inspires me to dream big and prepares us for the next stage of our startup journey.”

Patrick de Boer, Aiosyn (participant Health batch 2021)

“Pole Position has the power to build something that creates impact. Creating a movement that results in a greater community on a national level that I want to be part of.”

Meet the team

Peter Maarten Westerhout

Peter Maarten Westerhout

Director Deeptech
Lech Bakhuizen van den Brink

Lech Bakhuizen van den Brink

Programme Manager Deeptech
Abla Chaoui

Abla Chaoui

Venture Profiling Lead Deeptech
Iris Visser

Iris Visser

Batch Manager Pole Position


Pole Position is Techleap’s exclusive deeptech scaling programme crafted to challenge you and your team across critical dimensions including vision and ambition, market access, business model, leadership and team dynamics, and funding strategies. Exclusively for founders, it provides a platform to engage with peers and receive insightful feedback from experts and seasoned entrepreneurs who have already navigated successful paths.

We do not seek equity. There are no participation costs involved besides your full commitment. We aim to build a thriving (deeptech) startup and scale community and therefore we do ask you to give back. For both Pole Position and this community, we believe that the more effort you put in the more you will get out of it. Let’s make an impact together!

When you apply through getinpoleposition.nl, your application undergoes a meticulous evaluation by our panel of seasoned experts. Out of the pool of applicants, we carefully choose fifteen ventures for the opportunity to present their pitch and engage in a Q&A session with our selection committee.

Expect to receive a decision in the days following. Upon being chosen to join our cohort, you become an integral part of the extensive Techleap community, comprising serial entrepreneurs, investors, and other key players within the ecosystem.

For the latest updates on the dates of each step in the process, please visit getinpoleposition.nl

With the Pole Position Programme we will help you, as a deeptech venture, to bridge the so-called ‘valley of death’ with its complex obstacles. This includes expert support, peer-to-peer and role-model learning (with tough love) and access to an extensive and (sector specific) relevant network including great (intern)national exposure. Summarised:

  • The benefit of getting challenged by experts and experienced founders that are already ahead of the race.
  • The benefit of Techleap’s network of high quality experts, including policymakers, top-notch entrepreneurs and other ecosystem stakeholders.
  • You will gain (facilitated) exposure for your company on Techleap’s channels.
  • You’ll learn from like-minded entrepreneurs through our peer-to-peer sessions, ignited by theme specific role models.

Yes, however, we focus on specific themes to create added value among peers and address similar challenges.

In case you are interested in joining the initiative but do not fit our upcoming batch, please contact our Programme manager Lech at lech@techleap.nl or leave your contact details here.

We are happy to answer them! Please reach out to our programme manager at lech@techleap.nl

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