Landing your startup in the Netherlands

[Article by Crosspring]

7 Fintech startups and 3 ecosystem builders from 10 different countries were invited by the startup incubator Crosspring in the Netherlands for their final Soft-Landing mission. 5 days and 96 stroopwafels later, they explored the Dutch startup environment, met new businesses to partner with and most important: learned if they want to land their startup in The Netherlands. 

During the Soft-Landing missions, startups are invited by one of the Soft-Landing partners, such as Crosspring, to explore a new country. On the 23rd of September 2019, the Dutch mission started and this is what happened: 

The Netherlands: what if you land 

We organized sessions with the Dutch government to explore what The Netherlands has to offer for startups from other countries and how you can get a soft landing. Rijksdienst voor Ondernemd Nederland (RVO), a governmental agency for entrepreneurs, hosted a session to introduce the startups to the Dutch entrepreneurial environment, as well as what they can expect when applying for a visa and who they should contact if they want to land. Together with the session from Innovation Quarter, we gave a clear picture of what the Netherlands and, more specifically, the region of South Holland has to offer for Fintech Startups. 

Connecting people 

During every Soft-Landing mission, one of the most important goals is to connect people. Besides the startups pitching and getting to know each other during the whole week, we organized different sessions that are focused on expanding their networks. We hosted an investor panel where startups connect with experienced Dutch investors to explore what Dutch investors are looking for in a company. During the week, we motivate every startup to schedule meetings with potential investors, customers or other partners, but we also organize mentoring sessions by ourselves. The mentoring sessions connected companies with experts in the Dutch market to challenge them about their product, service and pricing strategy when entering the Netherlands. 

Landing your startup: best practices 

In Crosspring’s incubator, there are multiple startups that landed the Netherlands. We introduced the Soft-Landing participants to the different founders that not only work but also live in The Netherlands. By introducing the founders, we not only focus on the benefits of the country, but also the challenges of getting a visa, finding office space, finding housing, the Dutch culture, and other aspects of the local market. If you want to land, you’re not only trying to make revenue in another country, but you also need to know how to manage a team abroad and how the work environment is in another culture. 

To make it a lot easier for companies to land, we invited local service providers such as Briddge. They are one of the companies that can help you open a BV in the Netherlands. Crosspring facilitates visa applications for startup founders, house and office space. In some cases, it can be interesting to rent a bigger office or at another location. For this reason, we also visited the B-Building in Amsterdam and CIC in Rotterdam. Both inspiring startup hubs located at ideal locations, surrounded by big companies like ING or Unilever. 

Joining a Soft-Landing mission is all about getting more knowledge and making connections within the new country. This way you can make a well-considered decision if this is the best country to expand your startup. 

Contact Crosspring for more details on exploring the Dutch market. Click here!