The executive body of E.U, the European Commission is in the process of elevating the startup scenario in an attempt to take on the much-celebrated Silicon Valley. In order to cultivate the markets and raise its profile across the globe, they need to have more than just a startup like an entire ecosystem with a constant stream of entrepreneurs, companies and capitals, etc.
One such city that’s making a difference in Europe is undoubtedly Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This dynamic city with lots of creative people is heading in the appropriate direction in a bid to become a startup hub and community. The reason behind startups going big in the Netherlands and Amsterdam is that Dutch people are direct and are not afraid to provide honest feedback and happy to try out new services. Having said that, this is the right place to test the market for any startups.
Notably, Amsterdam is one of the very few places where founders are embraced with comfortably low tax rates and are easily connected with collaborators, incubators and investors. Furthermore, the Netherlands enjoys the sixth-fastest internet speeds in the world as well. To make it a better place for startups, the government scouting out policies and have appointed Prince Constantijn, as the country’s startup envoy named Startup Delta.
There are other things like technical infrastructure, access to talent, closeness to markets, and ease of communication which makes Amsterdam a dream place for startups. With that being said, the best way to start exploring the Dutch startup community is via co-working spaces, accelerators and events. Just like any other countries, Crowdfunding is the most popular way to fund startups here as well.
Being a startup, it is indeed challenging to attract traditional bank financing because in many cases you don’t have sufficient equity or collateral to secure a loan. However, it’s better to focus on the funding amount initially rather that funding strategy.
In this article, we have listed nine most active accelerators and incubators in the Netherlands right now.
1. Rockstart Accelerator
Based out of Amsterdam, Rockstart was founded by Bjorn Brekel, Don Ritzen, James Digby, Koen Wagemakers, Oscar Kneppers, and Rune Theill in 2011. This accelerator supports startups in becoming scalable by providing them with access to the market, capital, expertise, and community.
The company also help the startups enrol in 30+ workshops on Lean Startup, Growth Strategies, Fundraising, Sales, PR & Marketing, Team & Personal development, Legal & Finance and more. Rockstart Accelerator made 124 investments. Their most previous investment is Pre Seed Round – BBoxSports on Jun 2, 2018.
2. Utrecht Inc
Founded by Bart Verhulst in 2009, Utrecht Inc is a business incubator that specializes in growing (tech) startups during their first years of existence. It provides an environment and program for startups to build innovative products, develop teams, meet experts and like-minded entrepreneurs, attract funding and grow a successful business. It’s worth mentioning here that Ultrecht Inc has supported over 100 startups.
Based out of Delft, YES! Delft is a tech incubator that helps entrepreneurs to build leading technology companies. They help in turning promising technology ideas and teams into solid startups and grow them to successful companies.Moreover, YES! Delft offers access to mentors, experts, investors and partners who share their know-how and experience with entrepreneurs.
4. EIT Digital
Founded in 2012, EIT Digital Accelerator supports European digital technology ventures to scale up their business in Europe and beyond. They offer tailor-made support, mainly focused on acquiring new customers and raising capital.
Notably, since 2012, the EIT Digital Accelerator has helped over 275 scaleups from different European countries access new markets and raise more than €90M in investment. This month they facilitated €8M Series A investment in French scaleup Metron.
HightechXL is a prime hub for high-tech startups founded by Guus Frericks, Patrick Gabriels in 2016. They help hardware startup founder all the way from idea to prototype to scale-up by connecting them to a top-tier community of entrepreneurs, corporates, and investors. Their latest investment is Seed Round – TicTag on Dec 19, 2017, with €300K.
6. Holland startup
The Holland Startup based out of Utrecht funds companies with reliable business fundamentals that maintain a long-term approach to value creation. Founded by Maurice Bakker, and Robbert Jan Hanse, the team has over 50 years of experience in building companies. Their latest investment is Seed Round – Eterne on Mar 5, 2018, around €250K.
7. World Startup Factory
World Startup Factory, a.k.a. WSF offers acceleration programs to startups with impact-driven solutions and convincing business models. The company helps in accelerating the growth of startups by providing access to funding, mentorship, an extensive international network and expert support. Their latest investment is Seed Round – ByCycling on Feb 1, 2017.
8. ING Innovation Studio
ING Innovation Studio was founded by Adam Ayers, Daniele Dondi, and Willem Schellekens in 2015. This company provides startups with capital, workspaces, advisory services, and mentorship to develop their business ideas and businesses. Their latest investment is Convertible Note – Axyon AI SRL on Dec 7, 2016, with €50K.
It is a global network of industry-focused startup accelerators that provides investment and mentorship services. Founded by Aldo de Jong, Alex Farcet, Carsten Kolbek, Patrick Zeeuw, and Ruud Hendriks, Startupbootcamp facilitates the mentorship-driven model by providing startups with essential tools during a 3-month accelerator program.
To be specific, they provide €15,000 towards living expenses for the team during the program, 6 months co-working space, over €450,000 in sponsored services and the platform to pitch to over 400 investors at Investor Demo Day.
With headquarters in London, they operate in cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Miami, New York, Cape Town, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Chengdu, Rome and Mumbai. Their latest investment is Seed Round – Tradler on Sep 12, 2018.
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