Rockstart Accelerator in Amsterdam
Rockstart Accelerator is an intensive programme that helps start-ups from all over the world to evolve their companies from idea to the market in just 100 days. This is done by providing them with investment, office space, highly specialised knowledge, contacts and networking opportunities through a broad network of mentors. The Web/Mobile programme is divided into two phases. In the first 100 days, start-ups develop and grow their projects in Amsterdam. The milestone of this phase is Demo Day when the 10 start-ups present themselves in front of investors, executives, Rockstart mentors and press. This Spring programme is then followed by an optional three-month Summer programme and a trip to Silicon Valley where the start-ups meet with leading US investors and mentors to break through in the US market.
The Web/Mobile programme follows hot on the heels of the Smart Energy programme that launched in January 2014 and is focused on integrating ICT with energy systems. More than 130 start-ups from 39 different countries applied to be a part of the 2014 Smart Energy group. Ten were accepted to develop their companies in the Amsterdam incubator.
Amsterdam: a vibrant start-up hub
The popularity of the Rockstart Accelerator programme illustrates the vibrancy of Amsterdam as a start-up hub. According to serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley veteran Dan Harple, Amsterdam is a hotspot for internet start-ups. In a recent interview with the Dutch newspaper Het Financiele Dagblad, he described the start-up scene in Amsterdam as “cutting edge” and “state of the art”. He is not the only expert who has praised Amsterdam as the place to be for tech start-ups.Another key example is that app makers from all over the world come to Amsterdam to develop new apps. In an article in the Holland Herald, Mike Lee, the founder of Appsterdam, estimated that around 200 international app developers have settled in Amsterdam.