Innofest offers impact start-ups the opportunity to test their prototype at 11 festivals to give a kick start to their success.
Innofest not only wants to help entrepreneurs and contribute to a better world. That is why impact start-ups are needed. There are only a limited number of places available every year, start-ups can go there with a call. A prototype must be innovative, testing at a festival should have added value and the innovation is expected to have a business case and contribute to a better world (now or in the near future) . A major bottleneck for innovations is that too much money is invested in testing of prototypes in labs. Goal is to go faster through the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). It is a cost-effectiveness of the start-up support mechanism by helping them with an integral public service that is organized at existing. No loan or funds are given to the start-ups. Only advices of the inhabitant of the temporary village: the final consumers! Innofest specializes in making validation as practical as possible. Every entrepreneur is supported by an innovation scout who helps compile the right conditions to devise an innovation pilot at one our festivals. This also involves the support of the festival producer who ensures a seamless fit between test and festival. In addition, the Innofest team has a gigantic network which we are more than happy to share with our entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who test with Innofest can also count on increased brand awareness thanks to all the media attention it generates. National/regional/trade media cover Innofest and participating innovations.

Resources needed

The budget for the period of 2016-2026 is 2,1 million funded by OP EFRO and regional stakeholders.
The crew is described on their website:
Innofest is funded by OP EFRO till September 2020. After this own resources are needed.

Evidence of success

* Innofest has helped well over 150 entrepreneurs further develop their innovations.
Some exemples:
* A fully circular toilet unit (it only took one year to get its circular toilet unit ready for market)
* Megabattery-powered main stage (megabattery up to the temp.power grid to test the battery could absorb peak loads)
* Integrating newcomers into organization (festivals make a good place to facilitate the integration of newcomers to society)

Difficulties encountered

Due to Covid no festivals were organized. Despite this, Innofest tested on line goods. Thanks to this start-ups could get their input to go further with development of their products.

Potential for learning or transfer

Innofest was mentioned by several partners in the Islands of Innovation project in their approved action plans.
Innofest motivated countries around the North Sea (Interreg NSR) to develop a by Innofest Inspired project called Inno-Quarter.
Talking about Innofest it inspired in the Islands of Innovation project a lot of partners.
The Innofest can be transfered in all regions all over the world, because festivals and start-ups are everywhere.
The help with speeding up the innovations through TRL's is easy to apply on several festivals.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Province of Fryslan
Friesland (NL), Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
January 2016
End Date
September 2020


Albert Ruiter Please login to contact the author.