Helping startups access capital
Two upcoming events – Capital Tour XXL and StartupRoulette – will help startups in Amsterdam, and around the world, connect with potential investors. Though the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has created challenges for the local ecosystem, many startups are still looking for support to help them grow.
A match-making event for startups
Taking place on 30 June, Capital Tour XXL welcomes Dutch and international startups looking to do business in the Netherlands and is being held in a partnership with StartupAmsterdam. Participants will have ‘speed dates’ with investors over Zoom and are encouraged to ask anything they want to know about funding.
According to Simone Schoutens, the event’s founder and director, “We’re organising the first online edition, because we felt that during these times, startups and investors could use a little help to get connected and we wanted to continue our mission of demystifying the world of capital.”
The collaboration is focused on helping companies at the pre-seed level, though startups at other stages are welcome to participate. “We have 45 investors confirmed for this edition,” she says. “We want to give pre-seed startups a chance to explore funding opportunities as well. Having a network is one of the most important things for growth, and that’s something we hope to bring them.”
Pitch to multiple investors in one hour
Until recently, startup analyst firm Gold Egg Check held monthly StartupRoulette dinners for entrepreneurs and investors, but in the age of social distancing, things are moving to the web. Taking place on 17 July (also with the support of StartupAmsterdam), the ‘angel edition’ of this event will help entrepreneurs connect with up to three investors in a single hour.
“Many startups still need funding, but the channels they have for finding investors are limited since physical events have been cancelled,” says Thomas Mensink, the gathering’s organiser and initiator. “Investors are still looking though, and there was need from both sides. We needed to connect the two groups in a very informal, efficient way.”
For Mensink, taking things online was a “very logical step” and it’s been well received by all parties. “There’s a strong demand and positive feedback from both sides,” he says. “But finding angel investors is also hard, COVID-19 or no COVID-19. It’s always a challenge to convince people to invest money into companies that are quite early stage. This is a way to make it a lot easier.”
Going digital has also helped StartupRoulette become even more international. “For regular editions, we had investors from London, Berlin, Israel…but now, it’s a lot easier for them to join the [online version] and get in touch with the most promising Dutch startups, and also ones from South Africa and Estonia.”
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