Seed a green idea, grow a business; apply for world’s first floricultural incubator

Seed a green idea, grow a business; apply for world’s first floricultural incubator

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The Netherlands are famous for many things, and flowers and plants are definitely amongst them. So it only makes sense that innovations with flowers and plants would sprout up here. That’s exactly what Let it Grow was founded for. The new incubator in Amsterdam is the first of its kind, focusing on startups with innovative ways to bring the plants and flowers to the people and thus improve urban life. So if you have a passion for plants and flowers, a great idea and the entrepreneurial spirit to match, this is your best chance to make it happen. Let it Grow Lab is now open for your application, so get in while you can.

Let it Grow: only one in the world

Let it Grow is the first and only startup incubator that helps startups with new and innovative business models that involve flowers and plants for consumers. This incubator is based in one of the best startup cities of Europe and also in the best plant and flower country in the world. “The B2B side of the floricultural world is already very innovative”, says Let it Grow founder Silke Tijkotte. “We are looking for ideas that bring the same innovation to consumer products. Ideas that use plants and flowers to have a positive effect on health and wellbeing in the lives of modern, urban people.”

€100,000 to share

Let it Grow offers five to ten selected teams a place in the program, which lasts for five months. The program offers intense coaching, workshops and lots of important network opportunities, as well as a place to work in brand new startup offices. After six weeks into the program there’s €100,000 waiting for the startups to share. This is a gift to help kick start your business, no need to share equity.

Stepping stone to the global market

The incubator can offer this gift because they are backed by Royal FloraHolland. They serve about 95% of the Dutch flower an plant market and sell 20 million flowers and plants daily. The partnership with Royal FloraHolland offers another important advantage for participating teams, as Let it Grow Lab lead Irene Rompa explains. “There is an incredible amount of knowledge regarding the floricultural trade in Royal FloraHolland and they have an impressive network. It is hard for new startups to find their way in the floricultural sector, but together with Royal FloraHolland we can get you where you need to be.

Tailored workshops

Royal FloraHolland also brings in a wealth of knowledge, says Rompa: “We want to let startups benefit from their years of global experience.”  During the program the teams will get to attend workshops on a wide range of relevant topics. “This ranges from startup philosophies and marketing strategies, to workshops tailored specifically to the selected startups. Our lead mentor Ruben Nieuwenhuis, director of StartupAmsterdam, will make sure the startups are partnered with the right mentors and gurus.”

Plug into the ecosystem

The selected startups will be offered a place to work in the brand new B2 offices of B.Amsterdam. For Rompa, there is no better place to be if you’re building a startup involving anything green. “We have the ambition to make it the prime hub for flower and plant startups in the world, not only the location and the existing network of startups and mentors already working there. You can plug right into the ecosystem there, while at the same time being a great place to experiment.”

let it grow

Suzanne van Straaten from floricultural startup Sprinklr, in between the green. Photo by: Catharina Gerritsen

Going for green offices and rooftop jungles

This is the first time Let it Grow has a program, and they are currently running pilots with promising startups. For instance with Healthy Workers, who combine knowledge about plants and cutting edge technology to change the way we experience office spaces. Tijkotte: “They are currently installing a green wall in offices, and measuring the difference in air quality to see what the effect is on the productivity of the employees. Plants can create more healthy workers, which is a win-win for everyone.” Another pilot turns the rooftops of Amsterdam into an urban jungle. The startup Rooftop Revolution is using crowdfunding to help inhabitants of the city to finance a  lush, green rooftop garden.

Get feedback from the best

Startups and entrepreneurs can apply for a place in the incubator. The registration is open until 10th of September. A professional panel of the best judges will then look over the applications and select the best startups. Seasoned founders, influencers and managers as Ruben Nieuwenhuis, Frans Nauta and Albert Haasnoot will scrutinize the business model, customer discovery and viability within the flower and plant sector. If you’re in, then you’ll start the program on the 21st of October. It will last for five months.

What are you waiting for? Apply now!

So do you have an idea that improves urban life and which can change the way consumers experience plants and flowers in the near future? Let it Grow has the network, the knowledge and the ecosystem to turn them from ideas into businesses. All you need is a green thumb and the ambition to make your idea grow into something real and successful. Apply now!

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