Another successful startup event in Amsterdam

One of StartupAmsterdam’s initial objectives was to facilitate and strengthen connections between Amsterdam’s startups and corporates. This is why the Corporate Network – a platform of over 80 corporates – was launched in December of last year. Since the launch, the StartupAmsterdam team has been hard at work filling up the new website with content, co-creating the corporate profiles and planning for the next event. Speaking of which, the second official Corporate Network event, which took place on 18 April, is a true representation of the amazing progress that has already been made.

The event took place in B.3 – the newest B.Amsterdam location – and hosted three vital groups in Amsterdam's business ecosystem: 40 corporate innovation managers and startup liaisons from companies such as AMB AMRO, ING, Philips and Loyens & Loeff; startup support initiatives such as Growth Tribe, Decoded and Amsterdam Student Investment Fund; and – of course – startups such as Live & Fun, Triggy and BIT students.

It was kicked off by StartupAmsterdam's head of partnerships, Anja Wesbuer. After the introduction, the director of B.Amsterdam, Ricardo van Loenen, briefly spoke about the new building. This was followed by a talk from StartupAmsterdam’s private lead, Ruben Nieuwenhuis, who provided insights into a brand new initiative, “AImsterdam” – an innovative plan to actively enable, elevate and accelerate Amsterdam’s existing AI players.

The gathering was split into two sections: during the first hour, the corporate invitees took part in peer-to-peer learning sessions; they were divided into groups and given specific discussion topics related to corporate innovation. At the end, one representative from each group came forward to share the conclusions and lessons that their group came to. Throughout the entire hour, innovation managers took part in lively discussions and fully engaged with this unique opportunity to learn from their peers.

By the time the peer-to-peer roundtables were over, the initiatives and startups had arrived to pitch in front of the attendees. In total, there were 10 initiatives that went on stage: startup accelerator Startupbootcamp, AI community City.AI, growth-hacking academy Growth Tribe, innovation-training provider Decoded, startup studio Aim for the moon, an initiative from the Amsterdam Economic Board and Economic Board Utrecht, the recently founded Amsterdam Student Investment Fund, talent community Young Creators, scale-up-oriented initiative Growth Class and accelerator Rockstart. After everyone pitched, the audience had two fifteen-minute chances to approach the initiatives to get their questions answered and potentially do some business.

“As a specialist provider of hands-on workshops in digital and innovation, it was great to meet with some of Amsterdam's most ambitious and forward-thinking professionals,” said Dan Zell – Decoded’s managing partner. “StartupAmsterdam is very unique in bringing the right people in the same room. I wouldn’t be able to name a counterpart organisation that works the same way.”

Startups take the stage

After a short break, it was the startups’ turn to hit the stage, including Triggi, Global Guide Systems and Live and Fun – all alumni startups of the Startup in Residence city accelerator. Other presenting startups included BIT students (Dutch link), Actuals, Lead Boxer and Realtime IX (Dutch link). After the initial introductions were over, the audience again had two 15-minute opportunities to approach and meet the startups. “It was nice to see familiar faces and make new connections as well. We’re hopeful to nurture these connections into potential leads,” said Triggi’s Arjen Noorbergen.

Shortly after, the guests enjoyed some drinks in a more informal networking opportunity. “A typical networking event is nice, but if it lacks structure and direction, the deliverables get lost along the way,” said one of StartupAmsterdam’s key representatives. “The good thing about the Corporate Network event is that it provides context: the corporates and startups know exactly what they’re there for, and they benefit from being there – not only in making valuable connections but also in gaining and sharing knowledge with their peers.”

The StartupAmsterdam Corporate Network will organise another event on 5 October 2017. Want to stay in the loop and get the opportunity to sign up first? Email Anja at [email protected]