Amsterdam as startup central

TQ, a new home for technology startups in the Netherlands, was officially opened (Dutch link) on October 11 by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The location will offer offices for new startups, innovation labs, a web development school, and more.

Dutch employees of Google will serve as mentors to the TQ entrepreneurs. TQ will also from part of the Google for Entrepreneurs, which brings together 40 tech hubs and tech campuses around the world. This gives them access to a strong network, and increases the potential impact for entrepreneurs.

"We know the value of encouraging entrepreneurship and strong community ecosystems,” said Google's director of strategic partnerships James van Thiel. “The arrival of TQ in Amsterdam is an important step in the development of Amsterdam's vibrant startup scene.”

The greenest startups

October also saw the opening of the Let it Grow Lab, located at Amsterdam’s B2 startup site. The Let it Grow incubator focuses on entrepreneurs and startups in the horticultural sector, and the first group of startups in their programme were presented on 24 October. These new companies develop innovative applications for flowers and plants, with the goal of making the world a greener place. Many of them focus on solutions that make it easier to grow and care for plants and flowers.

Their new Lab was opened by the special envoy for startups, Prince Constantijn. The initiative is also supported by Royal FloraHolland, a Dutch company that is also the largest flower marketplace in the world. Startups receive €10,000 in seed funding, and take part in a five-month programme that includes training, workshops, and mentorship. The startups will also have access to Royal FloraHolland’s extensive network of professionals, such as growers and distribution partners.