Research: Start-up ecosystems around the world

A group of young and ambitious scholars from Utrecht University are currently studying start-up activities all over the globe.

The scholars are identifying international best practices for entrepreneurship acceleration and expand Climate-KIC’s network outside Europe.

The so-called “scouts” are Master or PhD students who have a background in innovation management and entrepreneurship. Current scouts are , , and . The programme is supervised by from Utrecht University.


The scouts map start-up ecosystems around the world. In doing so, they collaborate with and intern at local start-up support programs.

They interview entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, investors, and other key stakeholders in the start-up community. In addition the scouts attend business meetings, start-up conferences, and networking events.

They complement the data with surveys and existing data-sources when needed.  In each country the scouts focus on a different topic that is relevant to Climate KIC.

Studies that have been studied so far include: 

  • Resource requirements of incubated entrepreneurs in Europe (Marijn van Weele)
  • Entrepreneurial learning in Silicon Valley incubators (Marijn van Weele)
  • Building start-up communities in Australia (Henk Steinz)
  • Technology transfer barriers between the EU and China (Henk Steinz)
  • The financial start-up climate in the Netherlands (Chris Eveleens)
  • R&D collaboration of SMEs in the UK and Germany (Frank van Rijnsoever)
  • University-entrepreneurship interaction in the greater Boston area (Niels van Stijn).
  • A quick glance the start-up scene in Brazil (Pepijn Veling).

So far, over 300 interviews have been conducted. Future studies are planned for Israel, Sweden and South Korea.


The results of all projects are reported back to Climate-KIC and published online at, the Climate-KIC website and the newsletter.

Scientific reports are published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, and presented at conferences.