Guest blog by Daan Meily, founder at startup One Day The Hague:

"We want to share the beautiful City of The Hague with the world"

Startup One Day The Hague is one of the participants in this year’s Startup in Residence program. With support of the The Hague’s governmental accelerator program, founder Daan Meily has been working on building his business. He reflects on his concept and progress in his guest contribution below.

The Hague is a beautiful city and we want to share it with the world. This is the thought that kicked off One Day The Hague. After visiting different places all over the world and seeing the tourism industry grow steadily, we wondered why the number of tourists in The Hague continues to be small and what can be done to change this. That’s why we founded startup One Day The Hague, which aims to provide amazing experiences to international tourists who want to spend a day in the city that connects royalty and classic architecture while adding a beach vibe to the mix.

Since the beginning of the year, we have been investigating the current situation of tourism in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on The Hague and Amsterdam. Recently, there have been increasing complaints about the growing number of tourists that is flooding the streets of Amsterdam. At the same time, The Hague could benefit from a visitor increase.

Startup in Residence The Hague

Right after our initial research was done, the municipality of The Hague launched its Startup in Residence program. One of the eight urban challenges that take center stage in this year’s program focuses on how to improve the customer satisfaction of visitors to The Hague. We went straight to work to submit our proposal. Our personal approach and new perspective on tourism convinced the jury to select our startup to participate and encourage us to turn our idea into a successful business.

What we especially like about the opportunity that Startup in Residence offers is the personal contact with the municipality. Martijn van Dam, our municipal counterpart, is a knowledgeable person. He helps us to understand how the municipality operates. After the first meeting with Martijn and representatives of local retailers, Ad Dekkers and Isabel Van der Maas, we got inspired and saw the many opportunities for improvement.

“Find the local hotspots, because locals know best” – Startup One Day The Hague

Making progress

Besides the €7,500 that we received to develop a prototype, the municipality offers a training program hosted by the World Startup Factory. Now, halfway through the program, we have made much progress and are ready to welcome the first customers to the city. The program has helped us tremendously by providing workshops and training with experienced entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of finance, promotion, and legal matters.

One workshop that stood out to me was the legal matters workshop provided by Bird&Bird. Usually, these law firms are out of reach for small startups like ours. Yet, they can give excellent advice on difficult legal matters. So to be able to have a drink with these guys was very valuable and gave us great insights into the many legal issues involved in setting up a company.

Another great attribute of the program is the collaboration with the other participating startups and the municipality. It is great to see how the other participants in the Startup in Residence program have developed and improved their ideas. At the same time, we can share insights about collaboration with the municipality.

Collaborating in diversity

Working together with a municipality is different from the parties we are used to collaborating with. On the one hand, it is great that they can share all their knowledge with us and open up their networks to our benefit. At the same time, the municipal structure is different from that of a commercial company and making agreements can take more time.

We are glad to have been given the opportunity to share The Hague with the world while receiving support and expertise from, arguably, the most experienced party in The Hague: the municipality.

Interested to stay up-to-date on startup One Day The Hague’s progress? They will be presenting the results of their participation in the Startup in Residence program on Demo Day, on 19 December. Keep an eye on their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.