Initiatives and Networking Events in Utrecht

As discussed in our last post on startups in Utrecht, Utrecht is becoming one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial hubs in the Netherlands. New startups are seemingly created every day. 

This development led to an increase in networking initiatives as well. Especially over the last few years, more and more events focussed on the growing (international) entrepreneurial community have been organized. Some of these are very professional, some laidback and a lot can be found somewhere in the middle. You can find a number of them on Eventbrite and Meetup. But you may wonder: What do these events even look like? Are they in English or in Dutch? And which one should you attend?

Considering the large number of such meetups, it is simply not easy to find the ones that suit your preferences. To help you navigate all these different initiatives, we created an overview of the top 10 networking events in Utrecht. Let’s begin!

  1. Social Impact Factory ¨Meet and Greet¨
  • Where? Social Impact Factory, Vredenburg 40
  • When? One Thursday per every ten weeks
  • Language? English

The first networking initiative on the list is Social Impact Factory’s Meet and Greet. Located at probably one of the most central locations in Utrecht, the Social Impact Factory was founded in 2017 and has established itself as one of the more popular co-working spaces in Utrecht — with a particular focus on social startups. Every 10 weeks, the social impact factory is welcoming everyone interested in social entrepreneurship, which is also a great chance to meet other entrepreneurs!

 

  1. Utrecht Business Breakfast 
  • Where? Maliebaan 45
  • When? Once a month, Fridays from 8:30 till 10:30 (Check the schedule)
  • Language? English

A rather young initiative, Utrecht Business Breakfast was created by Lara Wilkens at the end of 2018. Since then, it has been established as a very popular networking event for international people in the Domstad. 

Every month, an expert offers specific insights about topics such as Social Media Marketing, Brainstorming and Increasing Success as an Expat. The events are in English and as such are attended mostly by international entrepreneurs and other professionals. In this way, the events offer a regular and affordable way to network and learn something new. Tickets are around €15, which have to be purchased through Eventbrite.

 

  1. Meet your Co-Founder by UtrechtInc

UtrechtInc has established itself as one of the driving forces of Utrecht’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and was voted one of the top 10 incubators (affiliated with Universities) globally. UtrechtInc organises a Meet Your Co-Founder event a few times per year. Everyone, from investors to founders to employees, is welcome and encouraged to join. 

As the incubator is located on the Uithof campus, you will find many scientific  startups here and at the event. You can join for free (you have to sign in through Meetup though), and food and drinks are provided. 

 

  1. Enter Network 
  • Where? Multiple Locations, such as Dotslash Utrecht and Utrecht Community (UCo)
  • When? Once a month (Check the schedule)
  • Language? English

Even though we might be a bit biased, this list couldn’t be completed without mentioning Enter Network’s events. We started Enter Network in 2018 to provide an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Utrecht through which entrepreneurs can connect, get inspired and build successful businesses.

Enter Network caters specifically to starting entrepreneurs. We host a monthly event around a specific topic, such as B2B sales or Startup Funding. At these meetups, two expert speakers share their experience with the topic. Afterwards, there is ample opportunity for networking drinks and for you to meet like-minded people from and around Utrecht.  

The events are free to attend and usually between 30 and 40 entrepreneurs are present to learn from one another. The Enter Network community is incredibly supportive and has grown from 0 to around 650 members in just 10 months. Whether you’re a starting or experienced entrepreneur, we are sure that our events – and community –  can be of great value to you! Check out our next event here.

 

  1. Economic Board Utrecht 
  • Where? Multiple locations around Utrecht
  • When? Depends, a few times per month (Check the schedule)
  • Language? Dutch

One of the goals of The Economic Board Utrecht is to connect entrepreneurs, employees and anyone interested in entrepreneurship in Utrecht. They do so by organizing various events on topics like health, the environment but also smart business and finance. Apart from that, they also publish the Get Connected Magazine and host the Get Connected Jaarcongres event once a year. 

 

  1. Open Coffee Utrecht 

Just like Enter Network and Economic Board Utrecht, Open Coffee Utrecht aims to connect entrepreneurs in Utrecht.  On their website you can find news, interviews and also events, focussed on local entrepreneurship. The events themselves range from lectures and workshops to an evening drink, and are organised once a month. 

 

  1. Utrecht Ondernemers Netwerk
  • Where? HNK Utrecht Central Station
  • When?  Every second Tuesday of the month at 9:00 in the morning (Check the schedule)
  • Language? Dutch

Utrecht Ondernemers Netwerk is one of the biggest Meetup networking groups in Utrecht with over 1500 members. They already organised over 70 events, which fit particularly well with Dutch freelancers. Usually the meetups see around 5-15 people attending and there is an attendance fee of €10. 

 

  1. Entre Femmes 
  • Where? Different locations in and around Utrecht, such as Stay Okay, Neude 5
  • When? Once a month (Check the schedule)
  • Language? Dutch

Entre Femmes is Utrecht’s only entrepreneurial initiative specifically aimed at women. They organise meetups ten times per year, and offer a community for the female entrepreneurs of Utrecht. Entre Femmes also offers a newsletter, and the community members have a strong bond with one another. In order to join the events, you have to sign in via their website. 

 

  1. Toastmasters Utrecht (U-Speak)
  • Where? Florin Utrecht
  • When?  1 – 3 times a month (Check the schedule)
  • Language?  English (there is also a Toastmasters in Dutch)

Toastmasters is a great initiative that is held worldwide.  At every event, a group of 10 to 25 people get together and practice public speaking, by telling stories and teaching various skills (among public speaking itself) to each other. In this way, you can not only make yourself feel comfortable with public speaking, but also learn from the skills and experiences of others. This all leads to a great evening and even better connections and friends. It is free to join an event but becoming a member requires a fee of around €75 per year. 

 

  1. Centre for Entrepreneurship Utrecht
  • Where? Uithof Campus
  • When? 1 – 3 times a month (Check the schedule)
  • Language? English & Dutch

Although the center of Entrepreneurship Utrecht does not organise any events itself, it does give regular updates about interesting events happening for entrepreneurs in Utrecht.

Originated at the University of Utrecht, the Centre of Entrepreneurship aims to give an environment and guidance for entrepreneurial-interested students. It provides information about entrepreneurial initiatives and events in Utrecht. Apart from that it also gives information about entrepreneurial courses on the university and organises activities like a winter-school, co-creation challenge or interesting talks. This video gives more insight about the Centre of Entrepreneurship.

Conclusion

All in all, you can say that there are a great variety of initiatives and network events in Utrecht, which offer multiple possibilities to network — no matter your preference, age, sector or schedule. It is great to see the evolution of these, with more and more events being organized every year. So whether you prefer a professional or more relaxed setting, want to have breakfast or practice your public speaking, there’s an event for everyone looking to network. And if you want to find out when and where Enter Network’s next event is, simply check out our meetup page.

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