The 2017 edition of governmental startup accelerator program Startup in Residence The Hague is in full swing. It’s one of the many startup ignitions in ImpactCity, introduced via the city’s startup program Impact Economy to enhance the growth of startups. Six startups have been selected to become Startups in Residence and are now immersed in the co-development process, featuring also an intensive training program. Local startup acceleration expert, Gerrit Jan Van ‘t Veen, designed this year’s program. We checked in with him and the participating startups to hear their thoughts.
“The training program consists of several components,” Gerrit Jan, founder at the World Startup Factory, says. “There’s the workshops and training sessions. But, what’s more, each of the six startups has been assigned its own coach. Additionally, I fulfill the role of acceleration manager to the participating startups.”
When devising the program, Gerrit Jan explicitly incorporated the notion that Demo Day, that wraps up the training program on 19 December, should be the start of something, rather than the end of it. He says, “Demo Day symbolizes the start of the participating startups’ relationship with the municipality”. On Demo Day, the impact startups will take the stage, together with their civil servant counterparts, to present the results of their work during the program.
“The City of The Hague has demonstrated real courage by continuing to put funds and energy towards the Startup in Residence program. They have continued to push, despite the fact that many hurdles needed to be banned which wasn’t easy” – Gerrit Jan Van ’t Veen, founder at the World Startup Factory
The right recipe
“The collaboration between the municipality and the World Startup Factory was the right recipe for the Startup in Residence training program,” according to participant Sharat Sreekantan of startup The Next Green Thing. “During the program, our startup was trained and challenged to think beyond the status quo of normal businesses and other startups.”
“During our surveys we noticed that many people have a narrow view on municipal activities and their efforts to encourage startups. But in our experience government bodies and startups working together is the perfect mix to address citizens’ day-to-day issues. By way of connecting to startups, the municipality has extended its efforts to increase system efficiency,” Sharat adds.
Startup accelerator is ready to co-create
“The fact that this startup accelerator is owned and initiated by the municipality really excites me. I feel like it really shows that the municipality is in a stage where it’s ready to co-create, innovate, and collaborate with its residents,” Dennis Roopram, cofounder at startup Driven to Impact, says.
“The core insight we got is that it is all about collaboration,” Anke Kuipers of startup Eventpeak adds. “Connecting the knowledge and expertise of two different parties that work completely differently, like startups and local government, and combining those qualities of both parties in order to create innovative solutions works really well.”
Altogether new solutions
The startup accelerator program, Startup in Residence The Hague, aims to kickstart startups and connect them to the City of The Hague to encourage collaboration. The program is inspired by the notion that startups are perfectly positioned to come up with altogether new solutions to the problems the city faces.
Over the course of the spring, the municipality of The Hague called on startups to submit their creative ideas. After consideration by a professional jury, six startups were selected to participate in this year’s edition. In August, they started their four-month co-development track featuring also this intensive training program that will end on Demo Day, on 19 December, when they will present their prototypes.
Interested to stay informed? Keep an eye on Startup in Residence The Hague’s website, and hurry back here for the latest.