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21 July 2022·12 min read

Valerie Stupnikova

Vestbee

Best Startup Accelerators In The Netherlands

Apart from being popular among cyclists, the Netherlands is also famous for its welcoming start-up climate. Due to the well-developed innovation and scientific industries, businesses and individuals from all over the world can find a host of accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces in this country. The Netherlands is among the top 10 most innovative countries, according to Bloomberg Innovation Index 2021, which makes it very attractive among entrepreneurs and start-upers. 

So without further ado, let’s have a look at the list of currently active accelerators worth your attention! 

Rockstart

Geography: Global

Preferred industries: energy, agrifood, emerging technologies

Investment ticket: €65k

Company stage: Early stage to series B

Rockstart connects start-up founders with its wide network of partners, co-investors, mentors, and corporations to help them access capital, market, and expertise. For now, Rockstars has invested in over 260 start-ups having more than $1 bln of alumni value. Its notable exits include iClinic, Werkcer, Bouw7, Brincr, and 3D Hubs.

Rockstart runs its accelerator programs twice a year, from February to June and from August to December. It offers an intensive week of workshops, 1-on-1 expert meetings, coaching sessions, networking events, access to software packages, and an "after-program support." The latter includes follow-on investments, syndications partners, support with scaling and exiting, and more. Rocketstart has offices in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Colombia, but it can also support startups online. 

Antler

Geography: Global

Preferred industries: various industries  

Investment ticket: €100k

Company stage: Early stage to series C

Antler is a global VC fund founded in Singapore in 2017. Today, it has offices worldwide, including in Amsterdam. Antler has already funded more than 400 startups, and now it is organizing a six-month acceleration program that will start on June 27. The program is dedicated to startup founders with at least 10 years of experience in their industry, but existing businesses and their teams are also welcome to apply. The Amsterdam accelerator will have two phases: in the first one participants will develop a business idea and find co-founders, and during the second one they will focus on building MVP, getting traction, and securing the next investment round. Antler is planning to invest for a 12% equity stake in the solutions with high-grow potential. 

EIT InnoEnergy

Geography: EU

Preferred industries: sustainable energy, green energy

Investment ticket: : Undisclosed

Company stage: Seed stage

For those who want to contribute to the renewable energy sector, EIT InnoEnergy is a perfect solution. EIT goes for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology - an agency that works on innovation development in the EU. InnoEnergy is one of the eight Innovation Communities of the Institute, based in Eindhoven, and it focuses on accelerating sustainable energy solutions. EIT InnoEnergy provides long-term support to innovators, startups, and scale-ups, and has already invested in more than 500 sustainable energy innovations within the twelve years of its existence.

Highway is one of the programs dedicated to supporting startups, through which InnoEnergy provides financing, access to equity partners, assistance in drafting a business plan and commercialization strategies, training, mentoring, legal support, and more. However, to get the aid, a startup needs to have a proof of concept in the energy sector and be in the market for a minimum of two years. 

Another program that aims to support scale-ups and SMEs is Boostway. InnoEnergy gives its participants access to European VCs, business angels, and loans as well as helps develop the industrialization plan, intellectual property, and patents. But, again, to get support, a business needs to meet some demands, which include being in a growing phase or having over €100.000 of annual revenue with a multi-customer portfolio. 

HighTechXL

Geography: Global

Preferred industries: Deep-tech

Investment ticket: Undisclosed

Company stage: Early stage

A high-tech startup accelerator since 2015 and a deep-tech venture fund since 2018, HighTechXL considers itself a global platform. HighTechXL has offices located in Eindhoven and Shangai but is just as effective in remote work, building 15 deep-tech ventures in 2020, while working only online. Addtionally, this high-tech startup hub collaborates with the European Space Agency, CERN, Phillips, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and TNO. HightTechXL organizes a nine-month acceleration program, offering weekly workshops, mentoring, 1-on-1 sessions, business development support, funding, and more. 

ABN Amro Future of Finance Accelerator Powered By Techstars 

Geography: The Netherlands 

Preferred industries: Fintech, digital assets, sustainability

Investment ticket: $20,000

Company stage: Early stage

Based in Amsterdam, the Future of Finance Accelerator is a tech and innovation hub that supports teams contributing to the development of the financial sector. It is backed by Techstars - an American investment business with a broad international network of entrepreneurs, and by ABN Amro, a third-largest national Dutch bank, that adds industry and product expertise to the program. Even though the initial application deadline was in May, the program hasn't yet started and they still accept applications. The acceleration period will begin in mid-September and will last until early December. Each month of the program is divided into three stages: growing network, execution, fundraising strategy, and demo day. Within these 90 days, participants will meet guest mentors and investors, engage in workshops, and practice their pitches. Notably, in addition to the investment, startup teams can receive an optional $100,000 convertible note. However, the Accelerator takes 6% of the ordinary stock for participation. 

Fashion For Good

Geography: The Netherlands

Preferred industries: raw materials, manufacturing, end-of-use, processing, retail&use, transparency&traceability

Investment ticket: Undisclosed

Company stage: Seed stage

Fashion For Good is a platform for sustainable fashion innovation that aims to improve the apparel industry worldwide. The platform gets support from its partner - Laudes Foundation, co-founder William McDonough, and corporate partners like Adidas, CHANEL, Levi Strauss & Co., ZALANDO, etc. 

An Innovation program, that aims to empower its participants to come up with disruptive solutions within the textile industry is one of the key features of the platform. It unites business owners with retailers, brands, manufacturers, and funders. The intensive Innovation program they offer lasts for nine months and requires no fees or equity. To get support from the platform and get access to workshops, mentorship opportunities, and worldwide network connections, a start-up needs to be working within a fashion value chain and have an MVP, a legal entity, and a team.

NLC

Geography: Global

Preferred industries: Green health, waste/recycling, anesthetic gases, energy, food, water, transportation, logistics, biotechnology

Investment ticket:  €100k

Company stage: Early stage

The European Healthcare Venture Builder program specializes in sustainable healthcare, so it cooperates with inventions and solutions that could be easily transformable into viable healthcare ventures. As of now, NLS has built over 80 ventures in the Digital Health, MedTech, and BioTech areas and has a vast international network of medical, business, and technical specialists, investors, and institutions. Additionally, NLS holds a B Corporation Certification, which means it meets the standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.  

NLS organizes a Green Healthcare Challenge, dedicated to those with ideas on improving healthcare and lowering its environmental impact. The applications are open until September 15. The program will last four months during which the selected startups will get financial, legal, and business aid, undergo a technological assessment, and participate in workshops. And the terms of cooperation include licensing of the royalties for those applying for IP protection and shares for the inventors. 

UtrechtInc.

Geography: The Netherlands

Preferred industries: technology

Investment ticket: up to €68k

Company stage: Early stage

UtrechtInc. is a start-up incubator with a 10-week acceleration program that supports technology-driven startups. It consists of two stages: the introduction which includes masterclasses and team-building activities, and the progress sessions as a continuation, with mentors, experts, entrepreneurs, and partners. UntrechtInc. offers personal and team development, scale sales machine, pitching support, and office space as well as the opportunity to network with more than 100 start-ups. The incubator accepts applications until September 19. 

StartLife

Geography: Global

Preferred industries: agrifoodtech

Investment ticket: €25,000 pre-seed funding and €50,000 follow-on capital

Company stage: Seed stage

As challenges in the food chain are constant and seem inevitable, StartLife aims to find solutions to them, by supporting startups from the agrifood area and bio-based economy.

They host a community of experts, investors, corporate partners, and more than 400 start-ups. Their acceleration program also includes mentoring sessions. This Autumn, the 9th edition of the Acceleration program is set to start, and the applications are open until July 19. The program will last for 12 weeks and will be primarily held online, with training, workshops, thematic events, and even graduation! To participate, startups need to have a prototype or MVP of a product and at least two founders who will be able to participate in the program.  

PortXL

Geography: EU

Preferred industries: Maritime, logistics, green energy, and process production  

Investment ticket: Undisclosed

Company stage: Early stage

PortXL is a Dutch accelerator innovating ports for sustainable growth and cultivating a spirit of innovation, by supporting startups and scale-ups from the global maritime industry. PortXL had accelerated over 100 startups and scale-ups within its 3-month program. This year, they accept applications until June 24 and start the program at the end of September. Within the program, they organize numerous masterclasses with maritime experts, help with venture building - focusing on market validation, and finding clientele. Additionally, they offer an alumni program within which they continue to mentor and provide access to resources and events. 

SBIC

Geography: The Netherlands

Preferred industries: Satellite navigation, mobile services, Earth observation, mobility, satellite communication, agriculture, energy, robotics, mechatronics, environmental monitoring

Investment ticket: €50.000 

Company stage: Seed stage

If you want to contribute to the space technology industry, The Space Business Innovation Centre Noordwijk can help. The center organizes an ESA BIC Noordwijk incubation program, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, that supports businesses and start-ups specializing in space technology for terrestrial applications. The program offers over 80 hours of technical and business support, Incentive Funding, training, events, international investments, and access to the international ESAS Space Solutions community. 

However, to participate in the program, a company needs to exist for a maximum of five years with no funds, prototype, or market introduction. And the idea of a business should be about space technology or data only. The application opens twice a year, and the closest deadline for Fall 2022 is October 12. 

Delitelabs

Geography: Amsterdam

Preferred industries: Business

Investment ticket: Funds by partner organizations, municipalities, and grants

Company stage: Early stage

For those who want to learn how to develop and deliver one's idea, Delitelabs, a start-up school, offers learning programs for assistance. For now, the Learning Journey or Hero program includes a five-step training with personal development, research, testing, pitching, and preparation. The last step includes either a development of a startup venture project or assistance in getting an internship or a job. This course is free of charge and lasts three months. The school's partners are EU's COSME program MAGNET - Migrant Acceleration for Growth – Network for Entrepreneurship Training, and VOORwerk, a collaboration between the COA, UAF, and IOM - immigrant and refugee support organizations.

IiF

Geography: Utrecht

Preferred industries: Entrepreneur development and growth

Investment ticket: Undisclosed

Company stage: Seed stage

InvestinFuture is a private investment fund that supports entrepreneurs under 30, by providing them with help from industry-specific advisors, capital for developing their ideas, and access to a wide network of partners. The idea is to focus on the investee's sustainable growth and connect one with relevant partners. 

Holland Startup

Geography: Utrecht

Preferred industries: B2B SaaS products

Investment ticket: Share from 25% to 45% depending on the number of financed rounds

Company stage: Early stage

Holland Startup is a Startup Studio that helps entrepreneurs who want to create a SaaS company in the Netherlands. It assists with a business idea, matches participants with potential co-founders, and provides funds and expert guidance. To get accepted, you need to have a minimum of a BA degree, from 2 to 8 years of relevant work experience, live in the Netherlands, or have permission to work in the country for a minimum of 6 months. Additionally, the Holland Startup team has introductory webinars, and the closest one will be on August 25. Once you apply for the program, you will undergo an interview and some tests to finalize the application process. The recruitment process happens twice a year, but Holland Startup accepts applications anytime.  

Unicornify

Geography: Bussum

Preferred industries: SaaS, mobile, tech

Investment ticket: Undisclosed

Company stage: Seed stage

Unicornify is an organisation that offers support to its startups in a number of different ways. They provide tech support, for example in MVP building; access to workspaces as well as financial aid and investing. They are also backed by a network of tech CFOs and CTOs, angel investors, VCs, and resources such as backend and frontend team, PO&CTO and more. Unicornify supports within a year, with a 2-month break.

Related Posts:

Best Startup Accelerators and Incubators In Ireland (by Dorota Potępa, Community Builder, Vestbee) 

Best Startup Accelerators and Incubators In The UK (by Dorota Potępa, Community Builder, Vestbee) 

Best Startup Accelerators and Incubators In Slovenia (by Dorota Potępa, Community Builder, Vestbee)



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