Every startup begins with an idea of revolutionising or creating something completely new. However, that idea alone doesn’t always attract investors or supporters, and what they essentially need is a proof-of-concept to succeed and to mitigate the risks for the investors. A large number of startups bootstrap their way to the point of building their proof-of-concept and then either raise funding or sell their product.
However, if you are a Dutch startup with an idea and looking for funding to turn that idea into a proof-of-concept, then you are in luck. Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (Netherlands Enterprise Agency or RVO) has a programme that aims to elevate bright ideas from the planning phase into the startup phase.
Proof-of-concept funding: what you need to know?
There is no dearth of startup stories where an interesting idea failed to take off because the core team failed to raise funds necessary to turn that idea into a commercially viable product. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy doesn’t want ambitious Dutch entrepreneurs to fail because they didn’t have the funds necessary to turn their idea into a proof-of-concept.
Aptly called proof-of-concept funding or Vroegefasefinanciering in Dutch, the funding is a loan offered by the RVO, a government agency and part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The aim of this funding scheme is to help startups and SMEs with a loan necessary to examine whether their idea is potentially feasible in the market to become a growth company.