DO!, the centre for entrepreneurship at Ghent University, yearly launches Expedition DO!, a unique 7 month startup programme for entrepreneurial talent.
The mission of the expedition is to support and stimulate Ghent University students and researchers to develop critical entrepreneurial skills to start, build and grow their business idea into a successful startup.
On top of that, the expedition rewards participating teams throughout the track with encouragement funding. Cherry on top is the starting capital of 5.000 euros that goes to the 2 winning teams to further boost their businesses.
Thanks to the help of an extensive network of experts and existing industry accelerator programmes early ideas will be developed into scalable business models. The sponsors and partners of Expedition DO! will be part of our experts network, workshops and/or jury team throughout the track.
Expedition DO! also prepares its participants for accelerator and incubator programmes outside of the university.
Applications for the 2023 edition are closed.
Want to be the first to know when applications for the 2024 edition open?
A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
(John A. Shedd)
Chapter 1: March– July (16 teams)
This chapter is all about validating your idea. We start with a jam-packed bootcamp weekend to kickstart your business. We continue with intensive coaching sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and help you find the best route to get started. The chapter ends with a summer pitch in which you present your progress. Only the teams that prove themselves in this chapter receive protyping funding and can continue the expedition.
Chapter 2: July – September
In this chapter we focus on developing your business concept and preparing your actual startup. We continue with intensive coaching and you also get access to thematic online content. This will help you define the right business model, find a way to finance your idea and to bring it to the market. We end with another uplifting bootcamp weekend in which all teams will present their progress. Based on these pitches, we select the 8 finalist teams. They receive a spot on stage during Expedition DO!’s live closing event, ‘Final Destination Pitch Night’ and receive 500 euros to boost their businesses.
Chapter 3: September – October (8 teams)
We focus on pitching and help you create your ultimate presentation. For both the students and researchers track a winner is elected. The 2 winning teams will receive 5.000 euros of starting capital during the closing event of the expedition.
Prepare for lots of pitching, coaching, feedback and on stage rehearsals.
Throughout the track participating teams can collect a nice sum of prize money. Each participating team that makes it to chapter 2 in July, receives a prototyping budget of 250 euros. The 8 finalist teams that are selected for chapter 3 in September, can add 500 euros to the sum. The cherry on top is the prize money of 5.000 euros that is awarded to the winners of both tracks (students and researchers) at the closing event on 5 October.
This brings the total prize money to:
- 250 euros for each team that participates in the expedition until chapter 2
- 750 euros for each team that participates in the expedition until chapter 3
- 5.750 euros for both winners of Expedition DO! 2023
Any (team of) student(s) / researcher(s) at Ghent University that:
- want(s) to validate an innovative idea and verify whether it is, or could be, market-ready
- want(s) to explore the bigger potential of an existing business and scale it up
At least 1 team member should be a Ghent University student (with a minimum of 27 credits) or researcher. If you are graduating this academic year, you are still eligible to apply and partake in Expedition DO!
Teams can enroll up to 3 active members in the programme. If you are part of a large team (with more than 3 team members), the remaining team members are restricted to joining online sessions and the online content on Ufora only. They cannot participate in offline activities. If selected for Expedition DO!, it is expected that all active team members take part in the entire Expedition DO! programme. At least 1 active team member needs to be present during each Expedition DO! activity.
Participants can apply for 2 tracks:
- a student track
- a research track (PhDs, postdocs, research and academic staff)
If a team consists of students as well as researchers, the category is determined based on the nature of the business idea.
During the closing event, one winner is selected for each track. Both winners receive a starting capital of 5.000 euros.
- For the teams that are selected for the programme, there is a subscription fee of € 100 per active team member for the entire programme. This fee includes all sessions/events, weekends, 1 Expedition DO! Hoodie, expert advice / mentoring / coaching / keynote sessions, coworking facilities and course materials. If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The timing of the 2023 track will be as follows (individual monthly coaching sessions still to be added):
- 1 February: opening of the applications
- 1 March: closing of the applications
- 9-10 March: Selection Pitches
- 21 March: Welcome Event
- 31 March-2 April: Kickoff Bootcamp
- 20 April, 25 April, 4 May, 11 May & 15 May: Thematical Workshops
- 17 May, 12 July, 6 September: Online Thematical Workshops
- 04 July: Summer Pitch
- 31 August: Progress Presentation
- 07 September: workshop
- 16-17 September: Finalist Pre-selection Bootcamp
- 05 October: Final Destination Pitch Night
At least 1 active team member needs to be present during each event.
Consider the intensive Expedition DO! schedule a small step for you but a huge leap forward for your startup.
Please be aware that this list of activities is not exhaustive and that the timings are subject to change.
To make a valid application as a team, you fill out:
- 1 concept subscription
- an individual subscription for every active team member
You’re a solo team? Then fill out 1 concept subscription and 1 individual subscription.
You’re a team consisting of 3 active team members? Then fill out 1 concept subscription and 3 individual subscriptions (team members fill out their own individual subscriptions).
Part of the individual subscription is the Hunchup Test. Filling out this test takes about 46 minutes.