Do you have what it takes?

Are you ready to pursue your ambitions? To think outside the box? Impact sustainable innovation? If you’re up for a challenge, this traineeship is for you.

picture of a trainee


MS Aerospace Engineering

Innovation Consultant

picture 2 of a trainee


MS Management of Technology

Data Analytics Translator

picture 3 of a trainee

This could
be you…

picture 5 of a trainee


MS Metropolitan Analysis & Design

Sustainability Designer

picture 4 of a trainee


MS Environmental Engineering

Research Engineer

Develop your innovation skills…

During the X!LEAD 1.5-year innovation programme, your professional and personal development are interwined. You will rotate on three strategic projects for six months at a fast-growing start-up and two corporates in different industries. In addition, you will further develop your skillset with our tailor-made personal development programme.

Discover your talents and learn how to create impact

Gain insight into your energy givers and energy takers

Become aware of different contexts and learn to act accordingly

Build an exclusive network of innovative thinkers

Experience what is needed for successful project implementation

Learn from your fellow trainees and experience the X!LEAD journey together

… and focus on your personal growth

Inspiring workshops organized in cooperation with the TU Delft, The Rookie Minds and partners

Personal coaching throughout the entire programme

Training on key tech developments such as robotics, AI and ethics in design

Workshops on personal leadership to enlarge your impact

Training to broaden your skillset on themes such as storytelling, creative and design thinking

Mentorship during the projects with a focus on achieving impactful results

“Experiencing innovation in three different contexts in a year and a half gave me the opportunity to explore what I find important in work. Fast paced learning and high quality trainings.”

small picture of a trainee

Data Analyst

“X!LEAD is an extraordinary opportunity that supports transitioning from academic to working life, which stimulates the development of new skills and competencies. To grow personally and professionally while learning directly from experts in the fields and bonding with people whose friendship will last for life.”

Innovation Designer

“The X!LEAD traineeship taught me so much about myself, my values and strengths, and how to apply them in an ever-changing context and pace of work. It was a great accelerator for my career, a step I would take again and again.”

Business Analyst
Detecon International

X!LEAD experiences

Over 1.5 years, we facilitate various (informal) events, where mentors and innovation managers of all partner companies are also present. It’s a great way to get to know them and your fellow trainees outside the workplace and to build your network.

You follow the Innovation Programme with your fellow trainees. You learn together, share experiences and form a close bond. At the end of the program, you (just like your predecessors) will become part of the X!LEAD Community.

Projects and partner companies

As X!LEAD Talent, you rotate on strategic, innovative projects at a fast-growing start-up and two corporates. The combination of working in both a start-up and corporate environment increases your agility and strengthens your skills required for disruptive innovation. The matching of the projects and companies takes place before the start of each phase through a thorough and carefully designed process, and is based on the preferences of all Talents and partners.

Our Talents innovate on sustainable innovation challenges in the energy transition, food, health and the future of work. In an X!LEAD project, you can research and implement new (deep) tech solutions, develop new products and business models or accelerate innovation by developing the strategy and design. Below you can find various examples of strategic innovation projects all over the Netherlands.


Research, develop and program (deep) tech solutions
Build new platforms, products and services

Code and program to import and process data effectively

Research and implement the newest technologies

Projects successfully completed:

  • Testing the stability of a new Megawatt Charging System of ABB to avoid early degradation of materials and reducing material wastage.

  • Developing a lightweight bicycle frame at Gazelle.

  • Improving the usability of the ultra-rapid test kit of Nostics for instantly detecting diseases and infections in patients by applying machine learning and nanotechnology.

  • Examples of the roles our talents take on in the projects are: Product Owner, Data Scientist, and Solutions or Research Engineer.


Develop dashboards, applications or improve the IT architecture
Digitalize various processes for companies

Analyze valuable data and translate it into useful and accessible insights

Front- and web-end development

Projects successfully completed:

  • Reducing the energy consumption of IT at ABN AMRO with Green coding.

  • Developing and implementing a monitoring and maintenance dashboard for internal use and clients of FieldFactors.

  • Building a sustainability KPI dashboard at COFRA Holding

  • Examples of the roles our talents take on in the projects are: Data Migration Consultant, Power BI Specialist or Data Analyst.


Strategize and implement or design new products and services
Develop new business models and products with the end-user in mind

Design roadmaps to effectively reach (sustainability) goals

Accelerate innovation by developing or improving the innovation process

Projects successfully completed:

  • Developing and implementing a business model for timber construction at Nationale Nederlanden.

  • Designing the strategy and roadmap to make aviation more sustainable at Schiphol.

  • Developing a satellite-as-a-service for emission monitoring at ISISPACE from existing data sources into a proof-of-concept algorithm.

  • Examples of the roles our talents take on in the projects are: Business or Innovation Consultant, Strategic or Product Designer.

Our Partners

Currently, our Talents have impacted innovation within 25 different companies with a variety of roles. X!LEAD accelerates your professional growth and personal development. Upon successful completion of the programme, you are equipped with the necessary skillset and work experience to further your career and impact technological innovation. All our Talents secure a job before their X!LEAD journey ends. The majority receive multiple job offers from different companies.

abb logo
ABN Amro logo
DSM logo
Gazelle logo
Schiphol ogo
Pon logo
cofra logo
Capturam logo
Nostics logo
The Green Village logo
Gradyent logo
Robohouse Logo
FieldFactors logo
Nationale Nederlanden logo

“X!LEAD has selected the best students from the technical universities all over the Netherlands. The match with our trainee was fantastic!”

small picture of a partner

Daan Luining

Founder & CTO

“The experiences we’ve had thus far brought our Sustainable IT initiative to the next level. The last trainee received multiple separate offers to start a job at ABN AMRO.”

Peter Breukels

Senior consultant

Contact us if you have any questions!