Innovative solutions are central to Startup in Residence. But the program itself is also a cutting-edge by offers participating startups an innovative training program that helps scale their product and company.
After the coronavirus outbreak, it was necessary to adapt quickly. The Startup in Residence training program, which normally takes place physically, is now online. No challenge is too big!
One of the participants of Startup in Residence is Martijn de Vlam from the startup Suitless: an initiative that originated from Stichting Eindhoven LINC. Suitless won a challenge from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate specifically for the Netherlands Patent Office. Suitless will develop a solution that enables entrepreneurs to gain knowledge about patent law through automated questions and answers. Martijn: “We have received advice and guidance to develop ourselves as a company. During the training program they guided us to tailor our solution for the customer and also look at the solution that fits the entire market. This way we get to work on our own business model.”
Customized training program
During the training program, supervised by mentors of companies such as Ideahackers, the chosen startups are guided and trained in all kinds of areas. The five month program starts with a month of intensive training. Every month is evaluated to see what you encounter during the process and what is needed to move forward. There are fixed training courses, but there is also space to adjust the training program to the needs and liking of the individual startup.
Martijn: “It is especially valuable that Ideahackers has such a large network and that we can get access to it. By means of a 10-hour stamp card, you can get advice from various experts. For example, we were introduced to both specialists and experienced entrepreneurs who were relevant for us.” This includes sessions on finance, privacy, intellectual property, communication and problem-solution fit.
Cooperation with civil servants
In addition, the role of the mentors is also to guide the cooperation between the civil servants and the startups. The civil servants are trained by the mentors to learn what the “startup way of working” means. This helps to ensure that the cooperation runs smoothly and that the solutions that startups propose match the demand.
The great thing about Startup in Residence is that startups engage with each other. This is developing into a community that will continue to exist after the training program. It sometimes happens that startups inspire each other during the process and even help with each other’s challenges. Besides hard work, there is also time for fun and laughter, through “icebreakers” and online games. Resulting in not just laughs but also learning from each other.
Normally, the training courses are held at various locations, including Apollo 14 in The Hague. This time, the program is mainly online. Martijn: “We worked online from the beginning and that went very well. The first month was very intensive with sometimes three online sessions a week. For us, working online was great, because we are from Eindhoven. It makes a huge difference to not having to travel that much.”
At the end of the process, the solutions prototype will be presented to a wider audience on demo day. Each startup presents what they have developed and what the solution is for the challenge. After the demo day, it is decided whether the organization will purchase the product, further develop it or whether a pilot can be carried out. In addition, it is possible that there are other organizations in the public who want to invest in the product.
Are you an innovative startup? Join Startup in Residence!
You can participate in 18 different challenges. The registration deadline is July 24 or 28. Register here!
This blog was written by The Young Digitals, under assignment of Startup in Residence InterGov.