A global startup accelerator in Amsterdam

Startupbootcamp began in 2010 and now runs industry-focused accelerator and scale-up programmes across the world, from Amsterdam to Singapore and from Cape Town to San Francisco. So far, 727 startups have graduated from one of its programmes with an average of €1.168 million in funding; 2,960 jobs have been created and a total of €501 million in funding has been generated.

Startupbootcamp's new programmes

Two of Startupbootcamp’s newest focus industries are FinTech and cybersecurity. Its accelerator for these sectors in Amsterdam is a three-month programme that helps startups become industry-leading companies. Selected startups work with over 150 investors and mentors to build world-class products and services. I amsterdam spoke to the programme’s managing director for Amsterdam and Frankfurt, Michael Dooijes, about his experiences on the job and his take on Amsterdam’s FinTech scene.

About Michael Dooijes

With previous roles including managing director for the ventures & innovation team at Rabobank and CEO of the m-commerce platform MyOrder, Dooijes has certainly cut his teeth in the industry. As a regular keynote speaker at international conferences on innovation and the future of FinTech, he is also happy to share his expertise in the sector, which is exactly what he gets to do in his role at Startupbootcamp – and right here, too.

Why did Startupbootcamp choose FinTech for its latest programme?

Both FinTech and cybersecurity are the hottest areas of startup innovation and investor focus because they are at the heart of huge industries, which will significantly transform in the coming years. FinTech has been one of the main verticals for Startupbootcamp programmes on an international level for several years. But since cybersecurity is now an issue of board-level consideration, we felt that we could really bring the two together and deliver a cutting-edge innovation programme here in Amsterdam.

Michael Dooijes

Photo: Michael Dooijes

How does Amsterdam’s FinTech ecosystem compare to other European cities?

We meet hundreds of international startups each year, and we see a lot of innovation happening here in Amsterdam. We get actively involved with each of those new companies, supported by more than 100 mentors, investors and industry experts.

In comparison with large European FinTech hubs such as London and Frankfurt, Amsterdam’s FinTech ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace. This clearly shows in the great support we have had from our corporate and network partners. It is fantastic to have all the major financial institutions, tech integrators and consultancy firms in the region supporting innovation and corporate startup collaboration – not to forget about great community initiatives such as Holland FinTech, another partner in our programme.

Having said that, we highly encourage this collaboration to happen on an international level, irrespective of geographical borders.

Can you tell us a little bit about your own background?

In the last 20 years, I’ve lived and worked in various countries in Europe and Latin America, and have been active in international business and sales management roles. In 2016, I decided to take up a new challenge and became the co-founder and managing director for Startupbootcamp’s FinTech & CyberSecurity accelerator programme.

Can you name some Amsterdam FinTech businesses to look out for?

We are proud that we can bring some of the most promising international startups to Amsterdam each year to enrich the ecosystem in the Netherlands. The startups participating in our programme in Amsterdam are chosen out of more than 500 applications from more than 70 countries. Selected teams are on the cutting edge of the most exciting areas of FinTech, InsurTech, PensionTech, RegTech and cybersecurity, and around 80 per cent of those are using enabling technologies such as machine learning and AI.

They will hopefully follow the example of the companies like Adyen, Binck, and Bunq, plus existing players’ spin-offs such as Peaks and Payconiq, who just entered the Dutch FinTech sector in recent years and are growing extremely fast in the market.

Business in the Amsterdam Area

Looking into the future, what do you envision for Amsterdam’s FinTech scene?

We partner with global and local large-scale organisations for our accelerator programmes and directly facilitate collaboration between the world of startups and the corporates. We hope to further expand on these corporate-startup relationships and keep on adding value to the innovation ecosystem in the Netherlands.

Our partners’ support is imperative for the success and growth of the industry. We hope to see even more corporates engage with the startup community and actively address their own internal innovation challenges.

Read more testimonials from Amsterdam's finance and FinTech sectors.