Are you (working at) a startup with a social conscience? Then listen up, as the City of Amsterdam’s Startup in Residence Program is looking for startups with creative solutions for current social issues. The City Council is inviting proactive startups to come up with innovative solutions to help them solve these issues. After testing the selected options on viability, the City of Amsterdam will invest in those startups that offer the most successful solutions.
Waterways, Walkways, Waste, Weekends and Wildcards
On the Startup in Residence-website the City of Amsterdam has listed 14 pressing social issues. Among the topics listed are questions such as how to regulate traffic flows on the city’s busy waterways, or how to ensure tourists getting off at the new Noord Zuidlijn Metro stations will use the designated routes to get to the Museum Quarter area. Other issues are how to encourage waste separation and how to make the messy Rembrandtplein area safer during weekends when the freaks come out. Any startup with a brilliant idea which relates to an issue that is not on the list can still apply: This year there is also a Wildcard category where startups can submit their own solutions.
Lessons Learned from Startup in Residence
Startup in Residence first took place in 2015. Minouche Cramer, startup Officer of the City of Amsterdam, explains why “Startup in Residence 2.0” should be even more successful:
“We learned a lot from the pilot program. For instance the fact that there is a big difference in use of vocabulary between startups and civil servants, which sometimes slows down the process and causes misconceptions”.
This year civil servants will receive an additional training program to get them more acquainted with the world of startups. At the same time startups will learn about b̶u̶r̶e̶a̶u̶c̶r̶a̶c̶y̶ municipal processes and decision making processes.
2015’s success stories
The City of Amsterdam is currently still working with five startups from last year’s inaugural Startup in Residence-program. One of which, MijnBuur, is currently testing out their solution for self-reliance and social cohesion in Amsterdam-Oost. MijnBuur’s app enables neighbours to call for eachother’s help with the push of a button. Another participant called City Makers is developing an app that will keep track of the countless bicycles in the city’s massive bike storage depot.
Other cities follow suit
Startup in Residence is organised by Startup Amsterdam. After the program’s successful start last year, other Dutch cities and provinces are now following in its footsteps. The cities of The Hague and Eindhoven as well as the province of Gelderland are all introducing their own versions of the program. The Startup in Residence concept originally hails from the city of San Francisco, which remains in close contact with the City of Amsterdam about the on-goings of Startup in Residence.
Open for applications
The 2016 Startup in Residence Program will run from November 2016 until April 2017. Startups have until the 18th of September to apply. On Thursday the 25th of August there will be an information meeting for all interested startups that have any questions prior to sending in their application. The meeting will take place from 16:30 to 18:00 at Jodenbreestraat 25.
[Disclosure: Silicon Canals is a partner of the StartupAmsterdam initiative]