No less than 7 startups from Groningen ended up on the Deloitte Technology Fast50 list this year, putting the city in 2nd place as one of the hottest startup cities, after the capital of Amsterdam. The annual list consists of the 50 fastest growing tech companies in the Netherlands. To further stimulate the momentum of growth and innovation, Founded in Groningen will launch an online portal on the 20th of November.
Putting Groningen on the international map, that’s Founded in Groningen’s goal. With their own startup portal, entrepreneurs will get a platform to showcase themselves, share knowledge and expertise, and to easily get in contact with investors.
“We noticed a growing demand for local startups to have a collective platform to generate new ideas, build and connect networks, as well as finding better ways to work together”, says Koen Atema, one of the initiators. “And talking to StartupDelta’s Special Envoy and former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, all the more confirmed the need for such a platform.”
Neelie Kroes is also enthusiastic about the idea: “Groningen really understands the need to build a solid ecosystem and there are fascinating startups here with disruption branded in their DNA. But a strength like that has to be visible and the city should proudly show all the great things it has to offer to the world.” And the Founded in Groningen startup portal aims to do just that: giving startups international podium as well as a platform to connect and reinforce.
Rutger van Zuidam, one of the other initiators, expects an online portal will also be valuable for already established companies. “It’s a great economic opportunity for the northern part of the country. Young entrepreneurs can offer a fresh perspective, come up with new ways to solve existing problems and create new opportunities. Where problems used to cost money, they now create revenue and jobs for new companies”, van Zuidam continues. “Founded in Groningen is a great place for established businesses to discover the startup world. Finding better ways to let the old and new economy work together, that’s our motto.”
A growing reputation as a city of innovation
Groningen’s national and international reputation as a startup hub has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. With 7 startup companies listed in Deloitte’s Technology Fast50 the city is home to a number of fast growing startups like VoIPGRID, Belsimpel.nl, Experty, Senanga and Chordify.
As Deloitte representative Theo Vrieswijk puts it: “We’re impressed with just how dynamic the startup environment is. The city is the fastest growing startup location in the Netherlands, as shown by the Deloitte Technology Fast50 and the Rising Star Awards these past years. We wholeheartedly support the initiative of creating a startup portal.”
Founded in Groningen
The startup portal follows the already successful examples of cities like New York, London and Berlin. “An online platform is a really great way to showcase yourself as a collective, cooperate more effectively, as well as making it easier for investors to connect with startups”, says initiator Koen Atema. “And we’ve talked to a lot of different startups these past months to come up with the best features for our online portal.”
The first version of the portal is set to launch on the 20th of November, during the local innovation festival Let’s Gro. “We’re expecting to launch the fully finished portal before Spring next year, but we already have a solid foundation. And in the coming months, startups can use the basic features and give us feedback while we’re working towards a perfect final version.”
The launch party for Founded in Groningen portal will be on November 20, 6 pm in the Spiegeltent of the Let’s Gro Festival. Initiators Koen Atema and Rutger van Zuidam will give talks about Groningen’s startup ecosystem and the role of startups in today’s and tomorrow's economy.