Facilitating corporate-startup collaborations and project partnerships

StartupAmsterdam’s ultimate goal regarding corporates is to open up this group to startups and connect them to the startup ecosystem. This would help them harness the talent and capabilities of Amsterdam’s most ingenious startups and find tech solutions to some of their current innovation challenges.

With this in mind, StartupAmsterdam’s Head of Partnerships Anja Wesbuer has been facilitating corporate-startup connections since the very start of the programme, staying in close contact with more than 80 corporate names, including KLM, Rabobank, Philips and Uber. Eventually, the idea was born to build a network for these players in order to encourage peer-to-peer connections and learning.

Keynotes, roundtables and a live microchip implantation

The launch event took place at Spring House and turned out to be a great success. Around 70 participants, ranging from big corporates to startups and other projects, showed up to get informed, discuss and network. 

The event was kicked off by Anja Wesbuer, who presented the new MVP Corporate Network website and a short film. She highlighted the Corporate Network’s three main advantages for corporates:

  1. Access to events and initiatives from the ecosystem that corporates can partner with
  2. Access to startups and new technology
  3. Access to peer-to-peer learning via offline roundtables and networking events

Afterwards, there were two rounds of discussions where corporates could get connected to such initiatives as Amsterdam Capital Week, VR Base, World Summit AI, BSSA, MadTech Accelerator Collider, House of IT, Makerversity and the Launchpad Meetups. These projects are continuously looking for corporate partners, so this time they had a chance to pitch to corporates. Thanks to the roundtables, multiple collaborations were initiated.


I initiated multiple new collaborations today. Big compliments to the City of Amsterdam for doing such a good job at bringing people together.

Jan Willem Klerkx of Scyfer


I mainly spoke to House of IT (an initiative from the City of Amsterdam) about the need for tech talent and how this is a common problem. We discussed how we can work together to tackle this.

Menno van Leeuwen of ABN AMRO


Normally I'm only in contact with startups, so it’s great to speak to colleagues from other corporates on how they handle things around artificial intelligence and such. I walk away from this event today with some new collaborations in the making.

Marije Ferweda of IBM


The event was heavily focussed on facilitating connections and learning, hence the discussion roundtables focused on emerging technologies. The startups that took part in the event were Scyfer (AI/Big Data), Teamily (Tech/team design), Capitola (AR/VR), Nine Connections (Machine learning/AI) and Quantoz (Blockchain). Corporates were learning from startups, startups were learning from corporates – StartupAmsterdam’s vision was inevitably taking form. 

As a final treat, Dr Patrick Kramer gave a short presentation on biohacking and the future of cyborgs, the possibilities of implantable chips and what the future holds for this type of technology. Afterwards, everyone was invited to experience microchip implantation for themselves. Naturally, some early adopters were present who jumped at the opportunity to test this new technology. 

The event was rounded off with some final words from Amsterdam alderwoman Kajsa Ollongren, who said: “It's important to do it together. Corporates and startups, they need each other: experience versus new knowledge and technologies.”

StartupAmsterdam is beyond excited for the future of the Corporate Network. There are two events planned for the upcoming year and multiple collaborations have already been initiated.

If you would like to be part of StartupAmsterdam’s Corporate Network, get connected to startup liaisons, innovation managers and other stakeholders, get access to up-and-coming technology and stay up to date with startup events, you are kindly invited to visit www.corporatenetwork.nl.