EarlyCash is a grant for Aarhus University startups in the early stages. Thanks to Grundfos for making EarlyCash possible.

Grundfos EarlyCash is a grant of DKK 25,000 for students and PhD students at Aarhus University.

The objective of Grundfos Early Cash is to bring your startup closer to market. In this process you need to (amongst many other things) gain deep customer insight and develop a product or a service that customers/users are willing to pay for.

Grundfos Early Cash can help you in the process, and learning is key for you to develop in the right direction. Consider EarlyCash a “project” that helps you gain more knowledge on a crucial point for your startup. This could typically be deeper customer/user insights, test for demand or test your product/MVP, but it is not limited to these. It could be anything that helps you gain an understanding that will bring you closer to a successful startup.

The grant can be used for

  • Technology development
  • Study tours
  • Participating in relevant fairs
  • Travel expenses for visiting customers or partners
  • Developing pretotypes/prototypes
  • Finalising product before initial launch

The grant cannot be used for

  • Operating expenses
  • Marketing
  • Office equipment*
  • Expansion of existing product line

The grant is targeted at early stage startups. This typically implies that the startup is in the process of validating the idea, considerable sale has not taken place yet, and the startup has not received major financial support/investment yet.

How and when to apply

There are two requirements you have to fulfill when applying for EarlyCash:

  1. You have participated in Startup Essentials, The Kitchen’s intro program to all entrepreneurs who join The Kitchen. We expect a significant part of the founder team to participate in all 3 workshops. Read more about Startup Essentials here
  2. You have signed up for Ignite and met with your Ignite Buddy twice. Ignite is The Kitchen’s buddy program that matches you with experienced student entrepreneurs. Read more about and contact our Ignite Program here

There is a limited number of grants and your pitch and concept need to be spot on.

EarlyCash has four annual deadlines. For all below dates, the deadline is at 12:00 noon:

  • 1 March
  • 1 June (Presentation date: June 28th)
  • 1 September (Presentation date: September 27th)
  • 1 November

Selected applicants are invited to a ten minute pitch/presentation, followed by a 7 minute Q&A session. Applicants will be notified, whether they are selected for presentation or not, no later than 10 workdays after the application deadline.

The pitch/presentation must show the following


  • You have already started a dialogue with potential customers/users.
  • You can convincingly argue that the grant will contribute to your learning and therefore brings you closer to being a sustainable startup.
  • A well prepared and consistent pitch, which includes a budget for the spending of the EarlyCash grant.

At the presentation, there will be a panel of three judges. The final decision is communicated by email after the presentation. Declined applicants are welcome to re-apply at the next deadline with an updated application.

In early spring the following year, we will reach out to all applicants to formulate a short final report that explains how the grant has been used and whether the milestones have been met or not. Pictures in the report are welcome. The final report is sent to thund@au.dk.

The Kitchen emphasises that the applicant is responsible for examining whether the award is taxable or not. The applicant must be either one person/project lead (CPR) or one company (CVR). In the case where several people are involved in the idea, and the applicant is not a company, the team must choose one project lead as applicant.

*Office equipment includes, but is not limited to: electronic equipment (desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, monitors, printers, scanners, copiers, phones), any furniture