One of a kind
Deputy mayor of Amsterdam, Kajsa Ollongren, elaborates: “With Startup in Residence the City embraces young companies’ innovative solutions for the challenges in city development. In case of successful solutions, the City of Amsterdam will procure and act as launching customer. Hereby we illustrate that startups and bigger organisations can come to worthwhile collaborations.” A governmental accelerator programme such as Startup in Residence has not been done before in the Netherlands or Europe. It is modelled after a similar trajectory in San Francisco, called Entrepreneurship in Residence, which in the development process has shared their insights with Amsterdam.
Municipalities as launching customer
To have the local government act as launching customer is one of the measures in StartupAmsterdam’s action programme, to this end StartupAmsterdam worked together with Amsterdam’s CTO office to develop the governmental accelerator Startup in Residence. A unique feature of the programme is the demo-day, where the startups will present their innovation before other national and international municipalities, a new market. During the programme the companies will have learned about procurement procedures within Dutch local governments.
Who are the startups that have been selected for the programme and what challenge will they focus on? Startup &Thijs, that develops solution-oriented software in healthcare, will work on the social challenge of target group transportation. CrowdEffect will shed its light on the challenge of corporate social responsibility. This startup from Utrecht provides impact-driven entrepreneurs a unique sales channel by connecting them with cities’ residents. New-born startup Buur, aims to be a hyper local social network of 'familiar strangers' and will tackle the challenge of public space report. For the challenge of waste separation two startups have been selected. RecyQ works on circular waste management, recycling and job creation in Amsterdam. They will be joined by Gamatec SA, a startup from Switzerland, that uses carbon negative technologies to improve the environment. City Makers, startup that has created a platform for the development of smart cities will take on the challenge of abandoned bicycles in Amsterdam. Lastly there’s the challenge of traffic report for which startup Wander Technology has been selected.
Connected startup ecosystem
Amsterdam takes pride in its connected startup ecosystem. Numerous partners in the startup ecosystem play their part in making the accelerator an intensive learning experience. Trainings will be offered by, amongst others, Deloitte, Impact Hub and SOLV. Startups will work within the municipality’s offices, and, in addition, several co-working spaces such as TSO, WeWork and ACE open their doors to the startups. The mentor network offers expertise with mentors coming from leading corporates like Microsoft, KPN, Alliander and Rabobank. Google has offered a spot in its intensive one-week bootcamp.
The Startup in Residence pilot project will kick off in November and run for four months, until March 2016. During this time, the startups will work with the City of Amsterdam on a voluntary basis. With Startup in Residence the City takes a credential role and actively showcases success and opportunities to other partners, both public and private, offering a gateway to the participating startups to scale.