A historically relevant partnership

The second annual Haarlem2Harlem pitching event (Dutch link), which took place on 30 May 2017, provided a unique chance to strengthen the historical bond between the Netherlands’ Haarlem and New York’s Harlem. After all, the NY neighbourhood was founded in the 17th century by Dutch settlers, who used the area as an outpost and named it after their Dutch city.

The trip – taking place between 27 May and 2 June 2017 –  has the ultimate goal of helping these two areas form cultural and economic bonds in the areas of innovation, education and – of course – startups. The pitches marked a truly invaluable opportunity for the Dutch startups, providing them with the knowledge and tools to enter the American market and target possible customers.

The pitching competition

The three pitching Dutch startups were NoFoodWasted, NIGW and SwipeGuide, who were all finalists of Present Your Startup – a startup accelerator programme that helps connect startups to investors and corporates.

NoFoodWasted is an agrifood startup that aims to reduce food wastage in a creative, pragmatic and data-driven manner – taking aim at every level of the food production chain. Their first innovation is an app that shows products’ best-before dates at a simple glance, taking a stand against needless food waste.

Haarlem-based NIGW (Dutch link) utilises big data to help improve the health and welfare of the elderly. They believe that care can be made better and more humane across the globe. Their solution is to replace current outdated systems with smart, scientifically informed systems powered by high-quality data.

Tech startup SwipeGuide develops an app that facilitates the design and creation of user manuals and work instructions. Their step-by-step visual instructions allow users to create inviting, effective instructions that are compatible with most modern devices.

Three American startups also took part in the competition: war-veteran-empowering OweYaa, sustainable-engineering experts Duro UAS and price comparison platform PriceCheck.

The winner of the pitching competition was NoFoodWasted, with fellow Dutch startup SwipeGuide coming in at second place and American company OweYaa taking third place. Needless to say, it was a great day for innovative Dutch startups.

More to come

There will be even more partnerships like this one in the coming years, as Haarlem’s Mayor Jos Wienen met with Manhattan Borough's President Gale Brewer to discuss developing additional city exchange programmes.