FasTrackathon 2020

If you’re interested in joining a deep-tech venture, you’re driven by innovation and have a deep love for deep tech,
we invite you to consider joining a venture team at HighTechXL.

We give co-founders (CEOs, CTOs and CBOs) a unique opportunity to build deep-tech ventures from the ground up,
starting with selected advanced technologies from world renowned research institutions and
tech companies such as CERN, European Space Agency (ESA), TNO,Philips, PhotonFirst and other global innovators. 

To build deep-tech ventures, we use our network of experienced tech and businesspeople who are ready to start a venture.
To grow the ventures, we leverage our pool of industry experts and mentors who are ready to support the teams
during our proven nine-month program, where we provide all the building blocks needed to launch a viable business.

As ventures launch and beyond, we connect them with our investors,
who share our mission to build deep-tech ventures with a purpose.

What's in it for you?
• Co-founders get 60% equity in the company.
• Pre-seed investment if the startup passes the first 3-month phase successfully
• Proven nine-month program (at no cost to the team) which includes workshops,
experience labs, team and business coaching, legal support, pitch training,
marketing communications (including graphic design/branding,
video production and content creators) and more.
• Proprietary tools such as the Venture Journey to give real-time information on the venture’s maturity.
• When time is right, we will support you in deal making and investor connections.

What is needed to be a successful co-founder?
• Full-time commitment and dedication to the startup
• Understanding the process is uncertain, setbacks may and will happen
and you must deal with changing insights
• The skills and capabilities to prove the business case
you developed is viable after the first phase of 3 months
• The right amount of energy and ability to build relationships
• Eager to take ownership and be in the lead.

We provide your team with all the building blocks you need to create a successful company as well
as entrée in the Eindhoven innovative ecosystem and connections to our corporate partners. 
By completing the HighTechXL venture building program, you are significantly more likely
to reach the funding stage than if you didn’t join the program.  

But most importantly, this is your opportunity to take advanced technologies to market and
tackle grand societal challenges we face today. 

We will launch our next cohort of deep-tech ventures March 22, 2022.

Hosted by
Info Session
Building 27,
High Tech Campus, Eindhoven


Funding raised


Startups accelerated


Survival rate


Jobs created


Ventures with female founders


Expert community

Introducing HighTechXL



HighTechXL begins the venture-building process by sourcing technologies from research institutions such as European Space Agency, CERN, TNO, PhotonFirst and Philips.

We meet with the technology transfer officers and identify advanced technologies around which we can build teams and form a business.

2. tech


After a thorough assessment of each advanced technology, during which experts score the technology from the institution on patent position, novelty, manufacturability and knowledge transfer, we are ready to explore applications for each technology.

3. Attend tech BRIEFING

The first step to becoming a co-founder is to fill out the entrepreneur questionnaire so we can determine if startup life is for you. We then invite you to an interview so we get to know each other a bit better. Next, you will attend a Tech Briefing to learn more about the technologies which interest you. All Tech Briefings are held on the same day (Feb. 15), giving co-founders the opportunity to attend more than one session before joining a team.


During the mini-hackathon, co-founder teams join entrepreneurs, technical experts and mentors and use their brainpower to generate creative and bright ideas around each technology. They consider the question: Where can this technology really add value or solve problems? 

5. pREP WEEK & Final Selection Day

Teams continue to work on their business propositions during Prep Week. On Final Selection Day, teams will pitch their deep-tech startup ideas, and our team of experts invites them to start the nine-month venture building program.

You can start by looking at the co-founder presentation

Check it out here


Below we announce the advanced technologies we will present at FasTrackathon. Other technologies may be added, so check this page for more information and follow HighTechXL on social media.

coaxial pulse conditioner


Scientists at CERN developed the coaxial pulse conditioner technology to generate extremely precise (nanosecond scale) electrical pulses at high voltage (more than 10.000 V) and high currents (up to 5.000 amperes).One of the key benefits of this technology lies in its ability to generate extremely repeatable pulses, down to only a few volts of accuracy for a pulse of more than 10.000 V.

It is currently being used to drive the damping ring magnet kickers of the Compact Linear Collider at CERN. High-power nanosecond-scale pulses have applications in numerous domains beyond linear accelerators. For instance, they can be used to provide better control of radiations in medical imaging and treatment, to generate clean energy efficiently or to provide clean air and water.

download one pager

Stimulated Depletion Emission Lithography (STED)


This novel, maskless lithography technology enables the printing of 3D structures with nanometer resolution in polymer resins. Although the technology itself has existed for some time, the printing process was a slow one.  

TNO has developed technology to speed up the printing process, enabling industrial applications without sacrificing superior resolution. The technology involves a multi-laser-based, precision exposure machine as well as patented polymer chemistry. 

Potential applications include maskless lithography and very precise 3D printing of optical structures for optical instruments and photonics chips.

download one pager



Philips is opening its extensive portfolio of knowledge and intellectual property on electro-active polymers to explore cool, new applications for this emerging technology.

Electro-active polymers change when stimulated with electricity. When electrical current is applied, it is possible to induce a small deformation of a very thin polymer layer.

The deformation is almost instantaneous and ceases just as quickly when the applied voltage is removed. Various actuators can be realized this way, from microscopic pliers to micro-engines or even passive displays. Since the principle is reversible, it’s also possible to apply this technology to design sensors reacting to pressure, temperature and mechanical deformation.

Key benefits of the technology:
• Can be used as both sensors and actuators
• Soft
• Small
• Silent
• Safe and bio-compatible
• Low power

Potential application areas:
•  Medical wearable and implantable devices, such as sleep monitoring
•  Industrial sensors
•  Micro- and nano-robotics
•  Haptic feedback: sensors and actuators for sports, motion capture
•  Smart clothing, wellness

download one pager

fiber optics microscope


Philips researchers have developed a unique, miniature, fiber-optics-based microscope which provides a wide field of view of approximately 200 microns with sub-micron accuracy.
The microscope fits in a probe smaller than three millimeters in diameter and four centimeters long. The technology supports advanced imaging techniques, such as reflectance, fluorescence, 2-photon, Raman spectroscopy or 3D-computed tomography.

Potential application areas:
• Biomedical & pharmaceutical fields for cancer diagnosis
• Pre-clinical trials
• Development of new medicine
• Versatile and cost-effective in-vivo inspection capabilities

In addition to obvious medical application areas, there are other applications beyond the use of simple camera endoscopes. The sub-micron accuracy of this technology enables inspection of hard-to-reach areas with no need for disassembly and enables advanced capabilities such as 3D or hyper-spectral imaging.

The technology is covered by 11 patents.

download one pager

Optical Displacement Encoder


PhotonFirst has developed an optical displacement encoder in the form of a multi-wavelength common path interferometer. The sensor exists in different grades and is able to measure sub-μm or even sub-nm target displacement even at longer ranges of tens of meters.

It is designed to be integrated in high-tech control systems such as electron microscopes to improve stage position accuracy and stability.

Additionally, the lightweight and compact size of the sensor head enables low footprint mechanical integration. The potential customer base for the optical displacement encoder is the high-tech equipment manufacturing industry.

During the design of systems, machine, production processes, etc. the engineer may realize he or she will need accurate position feedback from a specific object.

Multiple sensors can be integrated with a single light source, further reducing the footprint and cost of the solution.

download one pager

Ultra-thin Printed Temperature Sensors


TNO Holst Centre gives new form factors and design freedom to electronics by printing and enables new applications by combining traditional components. New technology includes ultra-thin printed temperature sensors.  

The advantages of an all printed solution:
-Fabrication Process (no pick & place)
-Flexibility (strains of >1%)
-Footprint (1 cm2)
-Thickness (< 50 µm)
-Scaling (arrays)

Potential applications are broad and include:

-Battery Management Systems
-Mobile Communication Devices
-Consumer Electronics
-Household Appliances
-Heating & Air Conditioning
-Industrial Electronics
-Automotive Electronics
-Heating Elements
-Temperature Limiter

The Ultra-thin Printed Sensor team will collaborate withTNO Holst Center to:
-Optimize the current proprietary printed temperature sensing ink
- Optimize the design of printed temperature sensing systems depending on application needs (e.g., battery management system, consumer electronics,…)
-Work with ink manufacturers to scale-up our ink formulation
-Leverage our manufacturing ecosystem to produce and deliver unique printed temperature sensors to B2B customers

download one pager

Multi-sensor integration for security



Leveraging a combination of techniques, the Fiber Optics Sensing solution of PhotonFirst can measure up to 2,000 sensors over hundreds or thousands of meters of a single optical fiber. The sensors can be scanned continuously with a high refresh rate.

Fiber Optic Sensing Solution could provide a very effective solution for monitoring the physical security of large critical infrastructures such as data centers.

The Netherlands is a top location for data centers. In 2019, the Dutch multi-tenant data center market grew by 18% in MW, and 91% of data center operators expect their data center to grow in the next year.

The Fiber Optics Sensing Solution can be used in robust and easily scalable monitoring systems for securing server cabinets, hatch covers, etc. Permanent monitoring of additional parameters such as temperature, unwanted vibrations, etc. can also be done with Fiber Optic Sensing.

download one pager

Co-founder Profiles

The C-profiles in a startup are able to deal with uncertainty, setbacks and changing insights. They are resilient and able to adapt. They are dedicated to making the startup a success, benefitting from the support and coaching offered during the program and from the network of the
Eindhoven Startup Alliance.

Here is an overview of important characteristics of each profile. We believe startup teams should consist of – at least – a CEO, CTO and CBO (Chief Business Officer).

Our deep-tech startups turn advanced technologies from institutions such as European Space Agency, CERN, TNO, PhotonFirst and Philips into solutions the market – and humanity – are waiting for.


Chief Executive Officer

You have a keen business mind and are able to translate your vision into actions. You collaborate with your team and, together, develop a business proposition to take the tech to market. You respect your team members for their individual qualities and make sure each of them is able to use those qualities in their respective roles. You are not afraid to address difficult issues and not afraid to ask for help. Taking ownership comes to you naturally and involving others is second nature. You have led small teams before and are confident when facing the challenge of building a company with little budget from the ground up. You get things done and don’t dwell on what is not possible.

Create account &
fill out questionnaire


Chief Business Officer

You are business-minded, and you are able to clearly see the opportunities in your market. You connect with others to help them see the possibilities as well. You are customer-centered and market-focused, aware of how and where your startup can add value. You love to engage with customers, validating the assumptions of your team and building a relationship for the future. You have had a commercial role before and love to talk to others about your solution. You understand that translating the technology into a solution takes time, but you are not afraid to engage with potential customers at an early stage.

Create account &
fill out questionnaire


Chief Technology Officer

You have a technical background and because of your knowledge, you are the main contact person for the knowledge institution. You are able to ask the right questions, to get the information you need from the knowledge institution and ensure your team can progress. You work closely together with your team to turn technology into solutions or applications.
Using technologies and applying them to solve issues or problems makes you happy. You work fast. You don’t lose yourself in the details, and you can zoom out to see the big picture when necessary.

Create account &
fill out questionnaire

You can start by looking at the co-founder presentation

Check it out here



March 22, 2022

  • More information coming soon

co-founder success stories

ImPortant dates!






MARCH 7-11


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