A unique opportunity for Amsterdam's startups

With the Startup in Residence programme, startups are invited to devise creative and viable solutions to the urban and social issues faced by Amsterdam and its inhabitants. If the solutions prove successful, the municipality will invest in the startup or become their launching customer. During the Startup in Residence programme, startups go through intensive training with the support, knowledge and expertise offered by professional lead mentors, and they'll gain access to the municipality’s network. Together with its partners, the municipality provides startups with working spaces and the opportunity to conduct pilot launches and validate their products within the city.

Successful pilot

The city ran the successful first pilot of Startup in Residence in 2015-2016. Following this, the programme was continued in Amsterdam and launched in the Hague. Of the seven startups that participated in the 2015 pilot edition, the City of Amsterdam now cooperates with five. For example, MijnBuur (Dutch link), an app that stimulates the self-reliance and social cohesion of the people of Amsterdam, was able to validate their product in Stadsdeel Oost; startup Wander is working on an app that lets users discover the hidden depths of a city and works to spread tourists more evenly; and startup RecyQ has a shop, an app and a community in Amsterdam South East to raise awareness on separating waste.

Startup in Residence 2.0

For the second edition of Startup in Residence, the city defined 13 social issues. With themes like waste, safety, health and tourism, the programme called upon a variety of companies. A new addition to 2016’s Startup in Residence programme was the “Wildcard”, which reserved a position for a startup working on a social issue that is not defined by the municipality.

Collaboration with the CTO

The Startup in Residence programme is run in collaboration with the Chief Technology Office of Amsterdam. Minouche Cramer – head of the programme – said, “We learned a lot from the Startup in Residence pilot, like the difference in use of vocabulary between startups and civil servants, which sometimes slows down the process and causes misconceptions.”

This is why the second edition facilitates additional training for civil servants, bringing them up to speed on topics such as the lean-startup methodology, growth hacking and Business Model Canvas. Meanwhile, the participating startups were coached to better understand the municipal processes, with training on organising decision making and procurement processes.

San Francisco, which provided the basis for this programme, remains in close contact about all proceeds.

Want to learn more about the Startup in Residence programme? Visit their website, follow them on Twitter or subscribe to their newsletter for updates.