Impact rapport Startup in Residence

StartupAmsterdam, a vision and action programme of the municipality and its startup community, aspires to make Amsterdam the prime location for startups in Europe. Its aims include encouraging more international startups to opt for Amsterdam accelerators and incubators and to base themselves in Amsterdam. The programme also promotes collaboration between public and private sector organisations with the intention of stimulating distinctive startups and entrepreneurship. StartupAmsterdam is centred on strong partnerships with a clear focus, cohesion and transparency in the startup ecosystem.

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Startup in Residence combines these goals in a government incubator/accelerator programme, in which the city can act as an investor or launching customer.

Why Startup in Residence?

In general, city governments have little room and incentives to become early adopters of technology with high or relatively high risks, preferring to wait until a technology has been tried, tested and proven. In this light, municipal bodies are typically restricted by low-risk procurement channels in addressing their city’s issues, leaving innovative and eager entrepreneurs feeling detached from municipality tenders.

In practice, a noticeable gap has emerged between the aims of the government and the tech innovation sector, where the needs of modern cities were not in line with public policy and procurement, and where potential bridges were not being built. At the same time, many young innovators who were  ocused on the development of city-serving products and services that address social challenges lacked the technical and theoretical know-how to gain access to public procurement and cooperate with the government. How could the city of Amsterdam accommodate for the disregarded early-stage companies, whose potential to improve life in Amsterdam is vast? It adopted the strategy of connecting parties from the public and private sectors and began positioning itself as a facilitator of a flourishing eco tech system. To this end, Startup in Residence was developed.

The idea of a ‘residency’ was inspired by the municipality of San Francisco, which set out to stimulate entrepreneurship by inviting entrepreneurs to work within the city government. Motivated by this idea, Minouche Cramer, the founder of SIR, opted to tailor the programme in Amsterdam specifically to startups and other young innovative communities offerint smart solutions. This in turn inspired San Francisco, which then adopted the same format. As will become clear, this was just the beginning of the SIR ‘family’ which has been growing ever since.

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