Governmental accelerator program, Startup in Residence The Hague, kicked off its training program last week. The program incorporates six startups that were carefully selected over the last months. We checked in with all of them to hear about their plans.
Over the course of the spring, the municipality of The Hague called on startups to submit creative ideas to tackle some of the city’s complex challenges. After thorough consideration by a professional jury, six startups were selected to participate in this year’s edition of the program.
Startup in Residence The Hague 2017 has kicked off
Last week, the startups started their four-month training program. While training, they will enter into contact with their municipal counterparts and jointly develop a prototype.
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. Last year’s pilot edition of the program demonstrated the added value of collaboration with startups.
Ultimately, the municipality hopes to open up its system of public tendering to startups. “We’re eager to make an effort to bring in young entrepreneurs,” Deputy Mayor Karsten Klein explains, “their fresh ideas and perspectives can help us to adopt a new outlook on our work.”
One Day The Hague
Startup One Day The Hague will be designing a service that simplifies planning a visit to the City of The Hague. “Our service should make it far easier for international visitors to have a truly local experience in our beautiful city,” founder Daan Meily explains.
Daan was excited about the Startup in Residence The Hague program right away. “The program attracted me because of the collaboration between startups and the municipality,” he says. “In addition, it’s great that a number of startups will come together in the program, under the supervision of experts in the field of business. This way, we can level and discuss the program amongst each other.”
Startup Avenieuw will work on a platform for traffic management, with an explicit focus on the Scheveningen beach area. The platform aims to predict the traffic situation around big public events. “Based on valuation data input, the platform will predict the parking capacity,” founder John Bilay explains. “People responsible at the municipal level will be informed ahead of time so that they can take preventive measures.”
John is looking forward to taking part in the Startup in Residence The Hague program, because he feels motivated to apply his technological expertise to problems that affect the city. “We feel that participating in the program offers a good entry point to addressing challenges that currently matter to the municipality, and society at large. What’s more, it will give us direct access to the stakeholders involved,” he says.
The Next Green Thing
Startup The Next Green Thing plans to provide green and solar roof designs that by-pass current issues of costliness, involvement of middlemen, lack of scientific knowledge, and esthetics. “Green and solar roofing is one of the major untapped environmental sustainability solutions of our day and age,” founder Sharat Sreekantan explains.
“We aim to empower the customers to design their own roofs, not only maximizing utility, but also matching their esthetics and taste. In this way, we envision our innovative roofing solution to enable green technology to become accessible to the public in a big way,” he adds.
Sharat is excited about participating. “The Startup in Residence The Hague program supports my proposal in the best possible and most holistic way,” he says. “Since my startup idea directly impacts society, I consider a municipality-initiated program like Startup in Residence to me the most ideal platform.”
Startup Scoop Expert is developing an application that will help the Beatrixkwartier thrive. “Our application aims to connect the existing hubs and increase visibility of events and activities that are already taking place in the area,” founder Anke Kuipers explains. “We know the area well and also know what’s missing. That’s why this is the perfect project for us.”
“We hope that, due to the implementation of our concept, the Beatrixkwartier will change into a vibrant place, so that people will have more opportunities to engage, learn, and connect. We aim to make the Beatrixkwartier a happier and more interesting place to work and do business,” she adds.
Anke is looking forward to the program. “The fact that the training program brings all participating startups together in one place is exciting. Also, the fact that the program will mediate between how local government thinks and operates versus how startups work and operate will be invaluable,” she says.
Startup Work4water will design an application that helps house owners to assess the need for energy efficiency measures in their homes. “The app simplifies the process of energy efficiency assessment for houses that were built before 1985,” founder Hala Alhamed explains. “Ultimately, the application will offer a full-package service for a number of measures. It will also indicate possibilities for subsidies by different organizations.”
“Our homes have great meaning to us. Home is where we belong,” she adds. “Losing my home in Damascus due to the war in Syria has made me realize that ‘home’ has such great meaning. I had no home to go to until I arrived in The Hague. I arrived uprooted and tired from the losses of war. Looking after our homes gives meaning to our lives. It is not a business, but my passion.”
Driven to Impact
Startup Driven to Impact is looking to solve the complex puzzle that surrounds healthcare in the Netherlands. “Thanks to our excellent healthcare system, we have a tremendous amount of resources. Unfortunately, the people that truly need it, often don’t know how to find them,” founder Dennis Roopram explains.
“I believe the most valuable part of the Startup in Residence The Hague program is the vast amount of knowledge, experience and network connections that will be made available,” Dennis summarizes what he believes to be the program’s value. “I’m looking forward to meeting my mentor and building new relationships within a network of professionals.”