The Netherlands is a choice location for businesses moving into the EU because of its great, central location, attractive business culture, and its favorable business and tax regulations. The Netherlands’ startup community is also growing in stride with some of the largest cities in Europe, including London, Berlin, and Paris. This startup growth has contributed to the influx of accelerator and incubator programs in the Netherlands.
Many people mistakenly believe accelerators and incubators are the same. The biggest difference between accelerators and incubators is that accelerators aim to accelerate an existing business, whereas, incubators aim to turn innovative ideas into a business. Thus, accelerators generally focus on scaling a business while incubators focus on innovation.
Accelerators generally offer guidance and capital in exchange for equity in the company. Accelerator programs are usually 3-4 month programs designed to help startups run and expand their business. Accelerator programs focus on training, including workshops and mentorships with industry experts. The culmination of most accelerator programs is “demo day,” an event where each startup showcases its business through a pitch.
Incubators tend to be less structured than accelerators. Incubators often contribute more time and money, but take a much larger share of ownership. Incubator generally bring in outside management teams to manage an idea that was developed internally. Incubators can be sponsored or run by VC firms, government entities, and even corporations. Below are some of our favorite accelerator and incubator programs in the Netherlands.
Collider launched its first program in Amsterdam after five successful programs in London. Collider specializes in the marketing and advertising technology (MadTech) businesses. Collider’s initial investment is sizable and meant to help you hire a great team and get your technology up to speed.
Rockstart Accelerator is a 150 to 180 day programs for startups to fine-tune their businesses and prepare to their business internationally. Rockstart offers three different programs for smart energy, web and mobile, and digital health. The program offers mentoring, workspace, and funding. It is the first digital health accelerator in the Netherlands and it has a 75% funding rate.
Present Your Startup is known for its accessible approach and live funding. Present Your Startup has locations in five regions in the Netherlands and are expanding to seven more regions in 2017. Its aim is to get startups funded by organizing events and to prepare startups for financing.
HighTechXL accelerator is an elite program designed exclusively for hardware entrepreneurs. The program operates out of Eindhoven and provides comprehensive mentoring, personal acceleration managers, workshops customized to fit specific needs, financial support and funding, and pitch training. HighTechXL also has an incubator program available.
Brightlands Innovation Factory is a successful startup guidance organization consisting of four campuses in Brightlands, each with its own focus area. Brightlands offers both an accelerator program and an incubator program. It has a network of 250 experts ready to work together with startups in their programs. Brightlands guides entrepreneurs through the entire startup lifecycle.
Ace Venture Lab supports science or tech-based business ideas. Experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts help take startups to the next level, validate business models, and teach entrepreneurial skills. Ace Venture Lab offers several different programs to startups, including a short, week-long bootcamp, a validation program that is very similar to a traditional accelerator, and 10-week startup launch classes.
ZorgInc supports digital health entrepreneurs in successfully building their businesses. ZorgInc helps with up-scaling of sales and marketing, company validation, contacts with health care insurance companies and investors, and international expansion.
15KM incubator and facilitator provides support for international startups and helps to grow businesses “from idea to success.” It provides the knowledge, experience, networks, and financing to support startups, as well as access to a physical business infrastructure, tailored business support services, and networking opportunities.
Crosspring is an incubator program focuses on those looking to start a business in the areas of internet, mobile applications, software, and games. Crosspring has developed an 18 month program to provide startups with valuable knowledge from coaches, investors, researchers, and more.
If you are considering an accelerator or incubator program, it is important to do your research so that you choose the best program for your company. For each program you consider, you should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of the particular program, which include the time commitment and the equity you give up.
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