Smart solutions for urban issues

Startup in Residence is a six-month incubation programme that seeks to bring together startups and the City of Amsterdam, in the hope of mutually beneficiary cooperation. Young and innovative startups can deliver creative, smart solutions for urban issues and challenges facing the City. In turn, they receive guidance from professional mentors, access to expertise, office space and the option to execute pilots in the city to test new solutions. The ultimate aim is for the City to become the launching customer.   

Tremendous growth and development

The impact report is more than positive about the programme’s development until now, stating that “the programme has seen tremendous growth and development since its inception,” adding “we have contributed to a different way of procurement.” In total, Startup in Residence has pronounced 51 challenges on themes such as sustainability, mobility, the circular economy, health in the city, digital development and public urban space. Since the first edition in 2015, 340 startups have applied and 34 of them were selected for participation. The City currently works with 16 of the 27 alumni startups in various forms of public-private partnerships.  

Helping city institutions embrace innovation

The ultimate aim of the programme is to open up municipal institutions to innovation, to change some ways of working and to transform the culture of public procurement. The report observes much progress on these aspects: “We see that participation in the Startup in Residence programme stimulates civil servants to approach their challenges in an innovative way. It helps them to sharpen their questions, identify the main features the solution requires, and experience the “build-measure-learn” approach in practice.” The next step is making this way of working and procuring the “new normal”. According to the report, the City is well on its way to that: “Slowly but surely, co-creation with innovative partners in the city becomes a new way of problem solution.”