ScaleNL, a public-private organisation offering a launch platform in the US to promising Dutch tech startups, has announced a new accelerator. Called ScaleNL Accelerator, the programme is being dubbed as a ‘fastpass’ to US market entry.
The Accelerator will help innovative and scalable tech businesses across verticals looking to expand to the US in 2022. The Dutch startup ecosystem is among the most vibrant in Europe right now. Startups operating in the Netherlands are focused on sustainability and this accelerator offers a path to enter the most advanced economy in the world.
ScaleNL Accelerator: what you need to know
ScaleNL Accelerator is being introduced as a 12-week US Accelerator programme. The programme is aimed to make scaling up internationally an easy process for Dutch tech pioneers. “We support Tech Pioneers with Dutch roots to successfully enter the US market,” ScaleNL said.
The US Accelerator programme from ScaleNL works by selecting digital-first businesses working on innovative and scalable tech across verticals. The Dutch tech businesses working with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in mind will be considered for the programme.
An ideal tech business entering the US Accelerator programme will have reached product-market fit in the Netherlands and are pre-Series A, which is generally a mid-round between seed and Series A. All funding before Series A can be considered as pre-Series A but ScaleNL is specifically looking for tech entrepreneurs who has raised up to $1.5M and are valued between $5M and $10 million.
The programme is also specifically looking for Dutch tech businesses that are planning to scale to the US in 2022 and have a team of around 10 full-time employees with revenue close to $1M. “Scaling to the US in 2022 should be a strategic and deliberate decision,” ScaleNL explains on its accelerator page.
While these prerequisites might seem daunting at first, ScaleNL is clear about the fact that any Dutch entrepreneur or business can apply. However, a business with significant steps being made in its effort to scale to the US will be favoured for the programme.
ScaleNL Accelerator: key dates to remember
ScaleNL has opened applications for its US Accelerator programme starting today, i.e., 10th January 2022. The applications will be accepted till 18th February 2022. The selection days will be held from 25th February to 28th February 2022.
ScaleNL’s Accelerator programme: What do Dutch entrepreneurs learn
ScaleNL was initiated by the Dutch Consulate General in San Francisco and The Startup Liaison Network to help Dutch companies scale to the US. It has focussed on helping companies that offer the best solutions to make our planet “healthier, safer, more sustainable, and more accessible”. One of the strengths of ScaleNL is the ability to combine its innovation-driven approach with coast-to-coast network, an online platform, programmes and events. Now, joining its community, academy, events and programmes as the fifth pillar is an accelerator.
ScaleNL says the US Accelerator programme will select the ten most promising founders via an intensive scouting process. These founders will receive three months of sessions, coaching and mentoring. The programme will include business sessions and funding sessions, along with a trip to the United States. During this trip, the participants will meet stakeholders and put their learning into practice.
Business strategy: The first and most important learning from the US Accelerator programme for Dutch founders will be adapting their business strategy for the US market. After two weeks of introductions, the programme will see four weeks of business strategy sessions where Dutch tech pioneers will be helped with developing local product-market fit and to sell their services in the US. ScaleNL will focus on your team, your story, and your market knowledge to discover US potential.
Funding: The four weeks of business strategy will be followed by a two-week session on funding. This second part of the Accelerator programme will kick off with a 5-day in-residence bootcamp. The focus of these sessions will be to study financial dynamics, runway, funding needs, and investor readiness. ScaleNL will also work on your deck, your pitch, investor introductions, and your exit strategy during the two week session.
West Coast mindset: Another vital thing for Dutch businesses scaling to the US will be to understand and adapt to the West Coast mindset. ScaleNL will offer each founder one-on-one coaching and will assign a lead mentor from the US. Beyond the formal meetings, the Dutch founders will also have opportunities for fireside chats and networking sessions.
ScaleNL Accelerator: Timeline of the 12-week programme
- 2 weeks: Introduction
- 4 weeks: Business Strategy
- 2 weeks: Funding
- 2 weeks: Visit preparation
- 2+ weeks: US visit
ScaleNL Accelerator: how to apply
As mentioned above, the ScaleNL Accelerator programme has begun accepting applications. The last date for submission of your application is 18th February 2022. Dutch founders and entrepreneurs looking to scale to the US can apply by clicking here.