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Sustainability is a hot topic. Creating a sustainable world requires innovation, out-of-the-box thinking, clever entrepreneurship and some good old hard work. For startups that operate in this field, Amsterdam is rolling out the red carpet. For the first time their Startup in Residence Amsterdam programme is focused solely on sustainability. It offers startups a unique chance to fully develop and test their product in one of the most forward-thinking cities that is eager to turn green. Registration for startups is now open.
Take the challenge or pitch your own
This is the fifth edition of the Startup in Residence accelerator programme from the City of Amsterdam. This time it is all about sustainability. There’s eighteen set challenges around social issues for startups to sink their teeth in and they are all about making Amsterdam a greener and better place. The challenges range from finding an innovative purpose for parking places to helping Amsterdam households to go zero-waste or getting the entire city to go gas-free. But the municipality also challenges startups to reuse sewer waste or bring urine back into the circular economy. There is even a wildcard, offering a spot to a startup with a sustainable idea that doesn’t fit one of the challenges. As long as startups are working towards a greener future, the City of Amsterdam will help them to hit the ground running.
“I’m very excited to see what creative and smart solutions and new technologies the startups can come up with” – Udo Kock, Deputy Mayor, responsible for Economic Affairs.
Gain access to the cities resources
The Startup in Residence programme is organized every year by the City of Amsterdam to accelerate the growth of young, new companies. It’s a six-month programme that offers startups a unique opportunity to run pilots in one of the most innovative city. They’ll get access to the network of the municipality and get the opportunity to attend events organized in the city. If all goes well, they’ll end up with a launching customer or other partnership at the end of the programme.
Selected startups will also receive intensive training with lessons ranging from value proposition building to growth hacking and from intellectual property to financial administration. There’s also a series of workshops to teach startups how the municipality exactly works and how decisions are made. The startups will be provided with working space in the city. On top of that, there are professional mentors offering advice and guidance.
Cooperate with one of the most innovative cities
The City of Amsterdam embraces innovation and the programme offers a chance to test out innovative solutions for modern problems. “The challenges we face in the area of for example sustainability is not something the municipality can solve on its own”, says Deputy Mayor, responsible for Economic Affairs Udo Kock. “So we’re looking for a cooperation with startups and entrepreneurs. I’m very excited to see what creative and smart solutions and new technologies the startups can come up with.”
“With the help of the people of Amsterdam, we can take plastic waste and turn it into something this neighbourhood needs” – Nout Kooij, founder Van Plestik
For the past four years, 34 startups already benefited from the knowledge and resources they received as a startup in residence in Amsterdam. The municipality even continues to work with 30 of those. Even though this is the first time sustainability is the main theme of the programme, several other startups that participated already worked towards that goal. The Great Bubble Barrier for instance, which was able to blow bubbles in the Amsterdam canals to prevent plastic waste from floating to the sea. Startup RecyQ managed to set up pop-up recycling banks in Amsterdam and Van Plestik is now able to roll out their 3D-printing process using plastic waste. All of their ideas came to fruition while they were a Startup in Residence in Amsterdam.
Apply now to become a Startup in Residence in Amsterdam
The programme is open for all startups and scale-ups, not only from the Netherlands, that work in the area of sustainability and green cities. Startups cannot be older than 6 years and must be willing to temporarily operate from Amsterdam. After a short selection period to see which startups can participate, the programme kicks off on May 16th. It continues well into November 2019 and “ends” with a pitch event. However, the idea is to maintain a long term collaboration with the startups and the municipality. Startups with a golden – or green- idea to make Amsterdam more sustainable can apply now, the deadline is March 24th.
“We have the knowledge and the data. The startup in residence Transformcity learned us how to use this data in a different way” – Annoesjka Nienhuis, challenge owner Startup in Residence programme