Having a startup is all about the drive and ambition to solve a real-world problem. Thinking of a solution and creating a product to go with it might be the easy part. But there is a long road leading to actual market launch. Thankfully there are lots of programmes out there ready to accelerate your startup on its way to success. We’ve got five reasons why your startup should consider applying for an accelerator, like the Startup in Residence Zuid-Holland programme that is about to kick off for the second time.
1: You’re looking for a challenge
Who’s up for a challenge? When you’re full of bright ideas to change the world, you’re halfway there. Now you need to find the demand to suit the supply for your brilliant product. Accelerators often offer challenges that you can take on if you feel ready for it. The Startup in Residence programme has 10 challenges waiting for your ingenuity. The province of Zuid-Holland in The Netherlands currently has many problems for you to solve. These are some examples: Do you have the solution to renovate bridges in a circular way? Does your startup provide the training tools to give workers the skills they need in the 21st century? Can you make cycling safer? Or stimulate young drivers to drive safer? Can you make a CO2-neutral highway? There is even a wildcard challenge. So if your solution is not listed, but would be a perfect fit for Zuid-Holland, there might still be a place for your startup.
2: You could use some guidance
Joining an accelerator is not a one-way street, where you provide a solution to a problem and that’s that. You’ll also get a lot in return. A proper accelerator will give you the guidance you need from seasoned experts in their relevant fields. They will help you navigate the business world as they have already dealt with challenges your startup will inevitably face at some point. At Startup in Residence, you’ll get a lead and challenge mentor. Between them, they’ll have decades of relevant experience to guide you through the process. Besides that, partners from Starthubs and World Startup Factory are always available whenever you’re struggling. This way you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and you can concentrate on developing the things that matter.
3: You want to focus
When you’re building a startup, you’ll have to take many things into account. It’s not only about creating a great product. Suddenly you have to think about the legal implications of your product or your business. You have to know how to do market research, and you’ll need to be well versed in the basics of entrepreneurship. How are you going to learn all that? An accelerator will offer relevant training on the most important subjects. Startup in Residence will not only put you through the business essentials, they also offer workshops on how the province works, and how you can work with them. You don’t even have to spend time looking for office space, it’s included in the programme. So you can focus all your energy on getting your product just right.
4: You want to follow in the footsteps of some great names
Maybe you’ve heard of 10XL, the startup that uses recycled plastic to 3D-print brand new park benches? Or from uHoo, which measured the air quality in the town of Alblasserdam with the help of its citizens? Maybe you’ll come across a modular, solar-powered bus stop of the future, developed by EVAnet. All these startups got the opportunity to develop their ideas during the Startup in Residence programme in Zuid-Holland. Together with the province, they took some really cool ideas and made them reality. Yours could be next.
5: You’re looking for a launching customer
One of the most challenging aspects of launching a product is building a network to actually make it happen. By joining an accelerator, you can make use of, or become part of, an existing network. This will not only save you a lot of time, but it will also make it a lot easier to meet the decision makers you need. In case of Startup in Residence, you just might end up with your first customer this way. “The startup in residence programme is a programme where we welcome startups from outside our organisation, to contribute within it so we can work together on the big challenges we see as a province”, says Adri Bom-Lemstra, Region Minister Economic Affairs of Zuid-Holland. “We can be a launching customer. So, if good solutions emerge, we can implement them in our policy. I think that offers good possibilities for startups.”
Convinced? Apply for Startup in Residence now!
Does this sound like something your startup needs? The Startup in Residence Zuid-Holland accelerator is open for all startups and scale-ups, from all countries as long as you’re able to (temporarily) work from Zuid-Holland. Startups with an idea they want to develop and bring to the market, can apply now to become a Startup in Residence. After a short selection period to see which startups can participate, the six-month programme kicks off on May 2nd. Deadline for registration is April 1st, so don’t wait too long!