FasTrackathon 2020

HighTechXL is a deep-tech venture builder. We start with advanced technologies, then reach out to entrepreneurs, supporting team members and mentors and create ventures to take the tech to market. 

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. You’ll be immersed in the startup world from day one and learn about entrepreneurship from the ground up! 

We will launch our next cohort of deep-tech startups April 6.

Here, you’ll find all the information you need to start your journey as a co-founder of a deep-tech startup in our next cohort. 

You can request a link to watch the Info Session video, sign up for the Info Session Q&A event March 4and hear success stories from other co-founders.

Request link to Info Session video
Sign up for Info Session Q&A
Hosted by
March 4, 2021
16:00 - 17:00
Date Time
Online Event

We are deep-tech venture builders. We scout advanced technologies from world-renowned research institutions and tech companies, then add cofounders, supporting team members and mentors and take the tech to market. 

We have accelerated 61 high-tech startups and 20 deep-tech ventures. We’ve raised 122 million euros for companies in our portfolio and created 2130 jobs. We have more than 400 in our community of experts, a vast network of corporate partners and community stakeholders willing to help our ventures launch and scale their businesses. 

We guide teams through our nine-month venture builder program and give them all the building blocks they need to emerge as viable deep-tech companies solving grand societal challenges we face today.



HighTechXL begins the venture-building process by sourcing technologies from research institutions such as European Space Agency, CERN, TNO 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 Info Session Q&A online event
march 4

First steps for talent on their way to becoming co-founder:
➔ Request link to watch Info Session video
➔ Attend Info Session Q&A online event (March 4)
➔ Fill out entrepreneur assessment tool/questionnaire
➔ Interview invitation
➔ Co-founder meet & greet


During the hackathon, a gathering of entrepreneurs, technical experts, co-founders and mentors use their brainpower to generate creative and bright ideas. They consider the question: Where can this technology really add value or solve problems? 

5. pre-program & Final Selection Day

Teams that formed during FasTrackathon continue to work on their business proposition in structured pre-program sessions. Pre-program ends with Final Selection Day, where teams pitch their deep-tech startup ideas and our team of experts invites them to start the venture-building program.


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.

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.

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ESA Additive Manufacturing

European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed an additive manufacturing solution to circumvent the limitations of traditional metallic powder-based approaches in a zero-gravity environment. 

Powder-based solutions require an inert atmosphere chamber and inefficient energy sources such as lasers or e-beams, making them unsuitable for use outside of a very controlled manufacturing environment. 

ESA combines conventional light-based heating with a wire feed, enabling a compact and low-complexity approach to manufacturing preforms of parts on demand. This makes the system lightweight and easy to transport and operate in the field with minimum pre-requisites.

This invention could also open the door to new applications of additive manufacturing for bigger or more complex parts using a variety of materials.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Co-founder Profiles

We believe startup co-founder teams should consist of – at least – a CEO, CTO and CBO (Chief Business Officer). The startups turn advanced technologies from institutions such as European Space Agency, CERN, TNO and Philips into solutions the market – and humanity – are waiting for.

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.

The co-founder positions are unpaid until the company meets the required deliverables and secures funding from an investment round and/or subsidies. The co-founder positions may not be paid, but entrepreneurs see real startup life, real close.

We provide your team with workshops, expert sessions, experience labs, network connections, pitch opportunities and all the building blocks you need to create a successful company. By being part of the HighTechXL venture building program, you are likely to reach the funding stage with a significantly higher chance of success than if you didn’t complete the program.

After the first three months of the venture building program, your team should be able to prove the business case you have developed is available and that your startup should advance to the next phase, becoming co-founders of the startup and owning 60% of the company.

Here is an overview of important characteristics of each profile:


Chief Executive Officer

You have a keen business mind and are able to translate your vision into actions. You love to lead your team in the right direction. 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 are also 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 love to 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 see the opportunities in your market. You engage 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 needed from the knowledge institution and ensure your team can progress. You are able to work together with your team members to turn technology into solutions or applications.

Using technologies and applying them to solve issues or problems makes you happy. You are able to 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


  • Request a link to see the Info Session video. If you’re curious to know more about the program and ask HighTechXL specific questions, we invite you to the Info Session Q&A on March 4.
    Online Event


  • WHEN

Entrepreneur success stories

ImPortant dates!

Info Session Q&A
march 4

FasTrackathon (online)
March 17, 2021

Final SelectionDay
April 2, 2021 

Start program
April 6, 2021
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