Join us for the Soft-Landing WEBINAR and ask all your questions
Are you interested in joining the 2019 Soft-Landing missions and discovering a new startup ecosystem? This is the place to have all your burning questions answered!
Join our team (in Vilnius, Paris, Berlin and Zoetermeer) and our startup alumni to get a ‘behind-the-scenes’ peek at:
- What are the missions for startups and the missions for ecosystem builders
- The eligibility criteria and what we’re looking for
- What you can expect during the application process
- How to prepare for the mission if you’re selected
1:00 pm – The Soft-Landing Missions
Hear about Soft-Landing and our upcoming missions for startups and the missions for ecosystem builders
1:20 pm – My experience as a Soft-Lander
Meet our startups to hear their experience of our missions
1:30 pm – What to expect: Berlin+Paris+Vilnius+Zoetermeer+Boston
By the Soft-Landing local partners, 1min pitch on each destination
1:35 pm – Q&A
By you – Feel free to address you questions about the Soft-Landing programme or a particular mission
Registration is mandatory. The link to connect to the webinar will be shared with registered participants.
We look forward to seeing you there – and don’t forget to prepare some of your questions beforehand! We will try to answer as many as we can live on air.
MultiSense: “In our Soft-Landing experience we met a local high-tech community…[&] colleagues from all over the world”
In this blog, we interview Multisense, startup that joined one of our free missions to learn about scaling in Paris. We talk to them about their success story having joined our programmes, and what benefits they experienced, such as gaining incubation services in IMT Starter as a result of the mission!
Article by the team behind Soft-Landing:
F6S (Charlotte Tucker) and IMT Starter (Niraj Karmacharya)
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
MultiSense is a startup company that combines biometric and advanced software solutions. The company was established by veterans of the Israeli security forces with backgrounds in technology, security and intelligence.
Multisense B.V is engaged in the industry of multi-biometrics and advanced software solutions with a unique technology merging multi-biometric factors (face and voice recognition, fingerprint signature, combined with GPS and NFC technologies and few patents in liveness check). Those technologies are combined in APM (Authentication Platform Management) command control system for big corporates.
The MultiSense platform is based on mobile devices and offers biometric solutions for securing; online payment, web login, call centres solution, access control — the flow of people and costume IT solutions and provides organizations and big corporations with secure user authentication and identity verification methods. The complete suite of biometric technologies offered by MultiSense is an end-to-end solution put together as an extremely user-friendly mobile
Tell us your Soft-Landing story! What made you decide to apply?
When you come to a new city in a foreign country where you want to develop your company, you must lean on the local power.
What were your reasons for applying to Soft-Landing Paris specifically? What were you looking to gain in France?
One of the goals we have set for ourselves is to open our European headquarters in France, with the understanding that the French market is undergoing a fundamental change and is ready for the transition to digital. After reviewing the options, we found Soft-Landing providing an accurate response to our needs.
What tangible benefits or opportunities have you gained through Soft-Landing? Could you tell us about your experience of IMT Starter?
In our Soft-Landing experience, we met a local high-tech community, enriched our ecosystem with colleagues from all over the world, met the right players who gave us the relevant tools. And seeing success stories certainly raised our motivation to develop in France.
We met with key players from the French industry, brilliant people who focused on us and our startup, which was a significant advantage.
We had two hours Masterclass in which the centre of focus is on Multisense, we got strategic directions, tools, tips, and help with our question and problems, which was highly constructive.
This is your chance to explore a new startup market in 2019!
The Soft-Landing open calls are now open!
Join us for our 2019 missions, as we travel to Berlin, Paris, Zoetermeer, Vilnius and the United States for a jam-packed, intensive week of tailored scaling support, finding new clients, navigating local legal and tax challenges, and expanding your network.
After a year of Soft-Landing missions, in which 208 startups and ecosystem builders made over 6,000 new connections, we are back with an even more lean, fast and savvy plan for you and your business in 2019.
In our last missions, 1 in 2 startups scaled or adjusted their scaling strategies as a direct result of the programme, 1 in 3 found potential investors and new clients, and one startup even locked down investment during the mission itself.
If you’re a startup, scaleup, startup mentor, accelerator/incubator representative, tech/startup journalist or investor looking for your next project, then choose your destination below and apply before our spots run out!
Zoetermeer, the Netherlands
“Soft-Landing Zoetermeer was a game-changer, a paradigm shift for us.”
If you’re thinking of expanding your business to the Netherlands, then this mission is for you.
Last year, our FinTech participants had the chance to meet with mentors (getting direct feedback on their concept, idea and business model), hear success stories of local startups, visit Rotterdam by water taxi to hear about FinTech regulations, and learn about government support to stimulate growth for startups (you read more in our blog).One of our startups, NeoFinance, even found investment as a direct result of the mission.
What can you get from our April 2019 mission:
- Learn how to scale your business in The Netherlands, the second most innovative country in the world.
- Spend one week at the Dutch FinTech ecosystem and get connected to the most relevant players in the market.
- Get to know all the advantages of being in The Netherlands, one of the most developed startup ecosystems of the world.
Apply by 15 April to join our 1-week mission to Zoetermeer!
“ A real deep-dive into the thinking and behaviour on the ground in Berlin.”
Berlin is known as one of the startup capitals of Europe. Last year, we organised three successful missions to Berlin, in which our participants had the chance to hear from the most important players in the Berlin ecosystem, get honest feedback on their pitches, visit local hubs, take part in the TechOpenAir conference and learn how to survive the legal ‘jungle’ of scaling up in Germany.
What can you get from our mission in May 2019?
- Meet key players in the German ecosystem: investors, Government representatives, VCs and many more
- Visit corporate innovation hubs and get to know local success stories
- Participate in the PropTech innovation award
Apply by 31 March to join our 1-week mission to Berlin!
“The Paris mission was an incredible crash-course on the exciting French startup ecosystem.”
Our last missions to Paris gave you the chance to connect with French investors and funding agencies, visit the French government initiative La French Tech which welcomes startups to the French market, network with local startup players, and hear local success stories.
What can you get from our mission in May 2019?
- Visit important local Parisian hubs, like Viva Technology, Station F, La French Tech
- Discover major European businesses, the world’s 3rd highest concentration of fortune 500 headquarters.
- Explore a well-developed venture capital industry (€5.5B were invested in more than 1,000 companies)
Apply by 31 March now to join our 1-week mission to Paris!
“The Soft-Landing mission to Vilnius gave me the opportunity to understand and connect to its most important ecosystem players.”
Our previous missions have focused on blockchain, but our new focus for 2019 is FinTech. This highly specialised programme is all about why Lithuania is the place to be for all things FinTech! Our agenda is jam-packed with tailored talks, visits and workshops to support you as you learn about scaling in this new market.
What can you get from our mission in May 2019?
- Understand why a tiny country is attracting FinTech startups from all over the world
- Learn why Revolut, Google and other huge players are choosing LT for banking licenses
- Get practical tips on legal, tax, marketing issues tailored for FinTech startups
- Meet FinTech giants and emerging startups and drill them for details of their journey
Apply by 31 March to join our 1-week mission to Vilnius!
Silicon Valley, Boston and New York – coming soon! Check back here for more information.
Don’t forget to follow us on social media for updates on the application process!
LinkedIn: Soft-LandingRead more
Soft-Landing mission to India: unicorns, a tech summit and the Taj Mahal
Soft-Landing connects and strengthens the bonds between several European startup ecosystems. However, not only the European ecosystems are of our interest. On 26 November, a group of 23 ecosystem builders from all over Europe joined our one-week mission to New Delhi and Bangalore. What a great experience it has been!
By Koen Van Der Berg, of Crosspring
500 million people about to enter the digital space
We started our week in India in New Delhi, were we visited Invest India and PayTM on Monday. Invest India gave us an insightful overview of the Indian ecosystem and the enormous potential that India has, considering that a huge chunk of its population (about 500 million people) are about to enter the digital space.
PayTM is one of India’s biggest unicorns in the FinTech field, and (of course) a company we had to visit while in New Delhi. We talked about how they grew and what made them so successful in India and got some valuable tips and tricks from PayTM co-founder Saurabh Jain for EU companies that want to establish business in India.
Company visits and networking
On Tuesday we visited Nasscom, one of the most important Startup Hubs in India, Pay U, another FinTech unicorn in India and we had a networking session with the Delhi ecosystem. During this networking session we’ve spoken to Zomato, the Dutch embassy, the Lithuanian government, Cardose and founder of HarVa. Interesting to hear more about their approach in India and where they see chances for collaboration with the EU ecosystems.
Wednesday was our last day in New Delhi, but before flying to Bangalore for more amazing soft-landing experiences, we had the pleasure to talk to the Indian Angel Network, Blume Ventures and Startup Tunnel who provided their insights in the Northern Indian investment landscape.
After these inspiring conversations, we flew to Bangalore…
In Bangalore we started with the Bangalore Technology Summit on Thursday, where it was very interesting to see where Indian startups are working on. There are many opportunities for Indian startups in the EU market, but also especially many opportunities for EU startups in India. Also taking into account that about 500 million people in India are now at the verge of entering the digital world.
Friday we visited the unicorn InMobi, where we talked to their cofounder Amit Gupta and a few of his direct colleagues. He gave us some valuable insights in the fields of mobile applications and mobility in India. Furthermore, we talked with Bessemer Ventures, where we learned more about the investment landscape in Bangalore. Once again, they proved to be very open for international collaborations.
The last day of our Indian soft-landing mission took us to a meetup with the Bangalore Ecosystem and talks from Let’s Venture. Of course we’ve ended our mission with a feedback session together with the participants. What were our key learnings? What can India bring you?
Some key learnings:
- The Indian ecosystem is very open for collaborations with EU startups and ecosystem builders. We have to bring these two world closer together!
- The Indian ecosystem brings you many opportunities for technology development and a lot of new knowledge about ‘how things can be done’. Their approach differs from the EU ecosystem, and we can learn a lot from each other.
- Go to India, be in India and find a local partner!
During the week we had different cultural dinners and lunches to also explore the cultural side of the country. Traffic was crazy and the people are welcoming. A lot of complexity in both country, culture, food, business, and logistics, but definitely worth it to build up better connections with the Indian ecosystems. There are huge opportunities in India and Europe must prepare for their unstoppable rise and economic growth. Of course the Taj Mahal was also great.
– By Koen Van Der Berg, Crosspring.Read more
India’s startup ecosystem keeps raising the bar
There are many problems to solve, therefore there are many opportunities.
Article by Mor Eini, GTEC
If I had to describe in one sentence my 7-days learning expedition in India, this would be the one:
India is the third biggest startup ecosystem, with 18 unicorns, a market of 1.5 billion users and the Prime Minister’s agenda that urges youth to become entrepreneurs, “don’t look for a job, create your job”.
When I asked some of the Founders and CEOs of the most successful Indian unicorns what is their secret sauce, most of them said- simplicity. And very good user experience. C’est Tout.
Picture by Carolina Soto
In a country that has 15 formal languages a and only 10% of the population speaks English it’s not about the complicated business model, it’s simply trying to think like the common person in order to provide users with a product that “speaks” their language.
One of the founders of a very successful payment unicorn came from a small village and his ability to understand his users and their needs is what enabled him to build such a successful company with hundreds of millions of users.
Picture by Carolina Soto
India is a country of big numbers and big vision. 2010 was a turning point in the India startup ecosystem since many Indians came back to India from the top universities in the US to solve the problems of the country and create innovative business modules and easy to use products. The competition is high and the work culture is very demanding, Indians are hard workers and many of the successful founders mentioned that they still spend a lot of their time on the ground, talking to their users and trying to better understand their customers.
Meeting at Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency that helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India.
Meeting at Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency that helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India.
A startup ecosystem is formed by people, startups in their various stages and different types of organizations in a location (physical or virtual) interacting as a system to create and scale new startup companies.
India is a great example of that. Collaborations, bridge-building, synergy, and cooperation were mentioned by all of the companies and organizations I met. This is the foundation on which the Indian ecosystem acts not only internally but also externally.
Collaborations with countries all over the world either to validate their technology or to help foreign startups to access the Indian market, an open and informal approach and the ability to speak with very senior people about the challenges and the opportunities that the Indian market has to offer, are just a small example of how transparent and friendly the ecosystem is.
Few of the major problems in India are climate & pollution and mobility & infrastructure and indeed these are some of the leading sectors in the tech ecosystem alongside e-commerce platforms and seamless payment solutions. Some of the investors believe that many of the basic problems can be solved by e-market SaaS platforms and indeed companies like PayU, Paytm, OYO, Zomato, and FlipKart are already big players in the market.
Visiting payU, one of the most successful Unicorns in India.
India is a colorful, spicy and unique country. It’s a combination of the new economy with companies like Google and Airbus, along with the old economy of textile and food factories that also want to join the hype of the glamorous startup ecosystem. One can see a family that never left its village but holding smartphones while watching youtube, and a 10 billion dollar company with open space and a gym in a street without sidewalks or proper public transportation.
Picture by Carolina Soto
Similar to Europe, India is a complex compound of cultures, languages, people, and flavors. There is a huge potential in that market but it is yet to be fully exploited. Entrepreneurs that could provide a simple solution to any of the pains in the country will win not only access to a 1.5 billion people market but the ability to be part of an exciting and overwhelming adventure that India and the world has yet to fully understand.
– By Mor Eini, GTEC (German Tech Entrepreneurship Center).
Read the original article on Medium.com.Read more
Exploring the French Digital Ecosystem: Soft-Landing, the second edition.
This November 2018, IMT Starter hosted the second Soft-Landing mission. Soft-Landing is a Startup Europe initiative, a part of the European Union Horizon 2020 program in Paris. The delegation of Startups and Ecosystem builders from all over the world participated in discovering French Tech hub.
Article by IMT Starter
Soft-Landing is Back in Paris
On first day of the Soft-Landing mission in Paris, IMT Starter welcomed 5 startups and 7 ecosystem builders. After the morning with cafe and croissants, the delegation was welcomed by Denis GUIBARD, the director of Institut Mines-Télecom Business school and Sebastien Cauwet, the director of the incubator IMT Starter. Afterwards, Augustin Radu, business development and international partnership manager presented the delegation with a session “The French Start-up Ecosystem: 20 years of experience of IMT Starter.”
The group participated in the Ice-Breaker session after the welcoming. Thanks to this session, participants learned more about each other that facilitated in communication and networking within participants throughout the whole program. It was an achievement of the day followed by pitch fire round by startups, which brought all the participants together learning about different ecosystems and their projects.
The afternoon of the first day was spent in a workshop with Susana Domingo, an expert on people development and facilitation and coaching.
One of the participants explains the workshop: “While getting to know each-other we also had the workshop where we consolidated a bunch of similar strategic challenges and took turns addressing and interacting with them and are able to bring their opinions to bear on the challenge we were each facing.”
Meeting with Station F and Parisian Investors
The second day the Soft-Landers visited Station F, the world’s biggest start-up campus and spent the morning there with a panel of BA networks and Parisian VCs like Elaia Partners, Mutual Benefits, Breega and Xange. Startups and builders met with the panel in a low-pressure environment discussing in the area of financing the businesses in different stages and its impact on international expansion and growth strategies.
The afternoon was spent with Christophe Fourtet co-founder of Sigfox, an industrial and corporate representative. He shared his experience with Sigfox describing new tech and its success.
On the third day, the Paris Region Enterprise hosted the Soft-landing for the day where the participants met key players in the French ecosystem. Wilco, Paris Region Enterprise and Systematic cluster presented the French tech startup hub with more than 800 connected network of industry leaders and entrepreneurs.
The foreign startups and companies are reluctant to scale in France as one of the reasons to be tedious administration process. Paris region Agency is representing the French government initiative La French Tech, which welcomes the international startups to the French market by providing startup Visa helping startups and scaleups to enter the French market and providing legal support, R&D partnerships, office space, financial and resource management assistance, access to financial tools and business opportunities. This allows entrepreneurs to explore French market while developing its business strategy.
After lunch, Julian Coulon shared his first-hand experience on entrepreneurship. The founder of Cedexis explained not only the issues an entrepreneur faces while developing the business but also personal and emotional challenges a CEO faces. Tanguy Yu also shared his achievements in creating Ubisoft and its successful exit to the startups and ecosystem representatives. These personal stories and tips from successful entrepreneurs brought a new light on entrepreneurship.
The last 2 days of the Soft-Landing mission in Paris was dedicated to start-ups. Startups participated in A Shadow Board mentoring session where each startup met a panel of successful mentors discussing key issues in their project. The last program was the Masterclass, “New Ventures’ Experience: Launching and financing New ventures” by Mr Etienne Krieger which is designed for those who want to be familiar with venture capital and with the various mechanisms financing innovation and growth. Participants are introduced to the main stakeholders of the financial ecosystem; entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business angels and financial intermediaries.
After a good 5 days, the Paris mission has come to an end with feedback session from the participants.
What participants say abut Soft-Landing…
“It was an amazing experience of exploring Parisian startup ecosystem, the most prospering ecosystem in Europe. We not only met the major players in the Parisian hub and obtained all the information and tools which can be used to take most of the value provided by the ecosystem but also got connected with successful entrepreneurs and ventures from Paris as well as networked a lot with ecosystem builders from all over Europe.” –Ani Sargasen, DoctorMath.
“Soft-Landing Paris Mission has given us a broad vision about what we can do and how to establish and scale our business in France in a very quick but systematic way in terms of overall ecosystem, investment opportunities, financials system and more. We really appreciated all the program and we learned a lot from (being introduced to) well-exited successful entrepreneurs of France ecosystem and what kind of struggling and achievements they had. And of course being in a very intercultural environment with ecosystem builders from different countries with a well-organized excellent foods & dinners was amazing.” – Hayrettin Erturk, Bead
Thank you all the Soft-Landers in participating and making this mission a success and more to come in 2019.
-By Niraj Karmacharya, Project Manager IMT Starter
Cracking the Silicon Valley: work fast, embrace failures & network
There’s no shortage of expectations when visiting the Silicon Valley. Many companies famed or failed in this gold rush state and we wanted to know everything they learnt along the way.
Article by Startup Division
Visiting Facebook, UC Berkeley, 500 Startups were definitely the highlights of the mission, but what surprised 44 Soft-Landing mission participants—10 startups and 30 ecosystem builders from Europe—was how everyone we met although had a unique experience, communicated the same vibe and culture. In general, the pace was fast, food expensive, conversations short, and people helpful—the full Silicon Valley experience.
Startup failed? Congratulations!
We sat down for a chat with Andra Bagdonaite of Startup Division, an entrepreneurship support organization that is leading Soft-Landing project activities and the mastermind behind this mission.
“What surprised us the most is the difference in mentality when it comes to risk-taking. European startups are still rather risk-averse, they tend to spend a lot of time perfecting the product whereas startups in the Silicon Valley are very quick to release and validate the product. If it doesn’t work, they move on to the next one.”
Mark Searle, Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Group, UC Berkeley was kind to share his personal path filled with successes and failures. He noted that Silicon Valley, and Berkeley in particular, have the culture of viewing these “downs” as experience and they are considered a very valuable experience.
“That mindset that it is ok to fail is culturally accepted, and to a big degree is the Silicon Valley’s success factor.”
Success, then, often means resilience and ability to get back up again, and that experience helps you create a prosperous business.
Another difference in perspective is startups’ ability to think big.
“Startups there have a very global mindset, they are not geographically attached, when they create a product they create it for the whole world, and investors are keen on investing big and finding that next unicorn.”
“We were inspired by the culture of innovation at Facebook. We learned from Laurent Landowski, Product Manager at Facebook that anyone can create a new feature but you’ve got to develop and test it fast.”
People will help but don’t fail at networking
Another thing that happens fast in the Valley is networking.
“People network all the time. They are very friendly and willing to connect you to others that might be of help. But you’ve just got one shot with them. If they like you, all doors will open wide. But if you failed, you will not have another chance with that person.”
Another golden rule for networking is to follow up fast.
“If you don’t connect on LinkedIn and follow up the same day or the next day, you will be considered impolite. Following-up after a few days or a week is a no-gamer in the Valley.”
What do we take home with us?
Mission participants brought back a number of contacts and ideas how to improve their ecosystems.
“The Soft-Landing mission has enabled participants to create new partnerships, expand mentor network, connect European and American investors, provided with direct contacts to help European startups scale to US and find partners who could help test their products. Hope this will allow us to bring some of that American mindset to home countries and power up our ecosystems,” notes Andra.
“The Soft-Landing Mission to Silicon Valley was an eye opener for me. Everybody who works in startups and innovation should at least be once in the Valley to see what is going on in the Champions League of world scaling tech!” adds Kamil Barbarski, Entrepreneur and Innovation Hacker at kamilbbs.com.
Special thank you to the French Tech Hub for collaborating with Soft-Landing and organizing this visit!
Don’t miss our call for applications to the next missions!
Tech, staying young and German breweries: read all about our mission to Berlin!
Last week we had the pleasure at GTEC – German Tech Entrepreneurship Center to host the amazing Soft-Landing delegation of Ecosystem Leaders and Scaleups from all over the world! This special delegation is part of the Europen Union – HORIZON 2020 program which provides a glimpse into different ecosystems in Europe, India and Silicon Valley. The delegation had a busy agenda of meetings and workshops with the German and Berlin ecosystem, from governmental players to VC´s and corporates that share their programs, challenges, and opportunities.
Article developed by Crosspring
Monday: Welcome to Berlin!
The week started on Monday with a warm welcome to the 7 Startups und 9 Ecosystem Leaders by GTEC in their Berlin Campus.
Why Berlin is not Silicon Valley
After welcoming the Delegation, Benjamin Rohé, Founding Managing Director of GTEC kickstarted the week with a session about “Why Berlin is not the Silicon Valley”
Tech and Innovation in Germany
How to set up a company in Germany in 6 steps
Intro to the Berlin tech ecosystem
In the evening the whole delegation was invited to participate in the well known G-Force: Reloaded event. The event series G-Force is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to a live audience, as well as to an experienced serial entrepreneur, to test their pitch and get crucial feedback. For this event, GTEC invited Philipp Hartmann from Rheingau Founders to give his opinion on the ideas and pitches.
Tuesday: Stay young, hit refresh and re-image your business strategy and culture to iterate, innovate or disrupt?
On day no. 2 for the Soft-Landing Delegation to Berlin, Olivier Van Duüren from The Dualarity started with us into the day with a breakfast and a talk about “Stay young, hit re-fresh and re-imagine your business strategy and culture to iterate,innovate or disrupt?”
Spotlight session: From a dream to a startup
Afterwards there was a Spotlight Session “From a dream to a Startup” with the GTEC No Bullshit Lab Patrick Gruhn from Replex and Michael Högemann from magaloop, who presented their story to the delegation.
I Solve your challenge!
In the afternoon, Maria Gross, Director of Operations at GTEC, gave a workshop called “I solve your challenge!”
The objective for this workshop is to solve challenges made by others of the group. The attendees should make use of the unique composition of ecosystem leaders and startups from around the world, to come up with creative solutions for their challenges.
For the evening entertainment, the Soft-Landing Delegation went for a special German treat at the Hofbräus to have a taste of the traditional German dishes and drinks!
Wednesday: Volkswagen Digital:Lab
For day no. 3 the Soft-Landing Delegation went to the Volkswagen Digital:Lab, where Jochen Scherl, Director of the Digital:Lab, presented the Lab and talked about new forms of management.
Gal Bechor, Product Manager at the Digital:Lab had a presentation about new technologies and its implementation and Nora Scherl finished the session with a talk about identification, data and the conflict of different system standards in car technology.
Special thanks to Gal Bechor!
Following the tour at the Volkswagen Digital:Lab, the Delegation took a walk at the river Spree.
Spielfeld Digital Hub
After the Lunch, the Delegation continued their trip to Spielfeld Digital Hub, where Principal of Roland BergerValerius Braun and Senior Events & Partnerships Manager Dori Szep gave a very nice introduction to their Hub with a tour and a session about corporate innovation.
Thursday: Financing, financing, financing
The fourth day started with Tienko Rasker from Leapfunder, who gave a Financing Session for the Startups – solving the big questions and smaller hurdles Startups have to overcome in order to have a proper financial standing.
Spotlight session: My experience as an entrepreneur in Germany
In the afternoon, foreign entrepreneurs from GTECs No Bullshit Lab Gustavo Madico, CEO Aiserve and Joan Tarrago, Co-Founder Infinite Fingers had a spotlight session about “My experiences as an entrepreneur in Germany” providing the delegation with first hand experience of the german ecosystem from a foreign perspective.
Friday: Founders breakfast!
The fifth and final day of the Soft-Landing Mission to Berlin started with a nice breakfast and session with Christian Stein from Coparion Ventures, who pointed out how to separate good and bad VCs, strategies and the difficulties of evaluating Startups.
After 5 days it was time to say goodbye, hopefully not for too long!
Since the aim of the Soft-Landing program is to bring together startups and ecosystem leaders from all over the world, to create and build new bridges and collaborations, we hope to see all of you very soon.
For the startups: We hope you see Berlin and Germany as your next market!
For the ecosystem leaders: We encourage you to build joint ventures with the different communities and people you met and have fruitful collaborations.
Mentoring, pitches and water taxis: read about our FinTech mission to the Netherlands!
From Monday the 15th until Friday the 19th of October, Crosspring organized a soft-landing mission focused on FinTech in The Netherlands. Starting Monday the 15th with seven FinTech startups and adding seven ecosystem builders on Wednesday, we’re looking back at a very successful FinTech soft-landing week!
Article developed by Crosspring
A soft-landing week in The Netherlands…
On Monday the 15th we’ve welcomed seven FinTech startups, Rundit (Finland), Hokocloud (Cyprus), JetBeep (Ukraine), WeGroup (Belgium), ZuperBank (Germany), GiniMachine (Belarus) and Infinity Mobile (Belgium) at the Crosspring office for a welcoming session to get to know each other and the idea or business of the startup. After this welcoming session we’ve set them up with different mentors for mentoring sessions. During these mentoring sessions they received direct feedback on their concept, idea and business model.
Tuesday was another day full of mentoring sessions at the Crosspring office. We made sure they were paired up with mentors who could help them further and tell them all about their experiences. Direct feedback from people who know the business, the field and the way to go about it is most valuable for startups.
From two o’clock until three we had a short break, with a workshop from Ton Krol of Blue Clue Tax on how to build a business in The Netherlands. We ended the day at one of the best restaurant in Zoetermeer, also celebrating the birthday of one of the startup participants. Cheers!
On Wednesday we ‘added’ seven FinTech ecosystem builders to the group of startups, starting with a welcoming session and networking, getting to know each other and seek possible collaborations. We welcomed Selim Yazici (Founder FinTech Istanbul, Turkey), Povilas Steikunas (Blockchain Centre Vilnius, Lithuania), Renata Šumskaitė (Head of Rise Vilnius, Lithuania), Angel Angelov (Managing Partner GarGarage, Bulgaria), Gonçalo Faria (Open Innovation Director, Beta-I, Portugal), Iva Rakocevic (Advisor, Dynax Invest, Austria), Stephan Steynfaardt (CEO, WeAreMonsters, South-Africa). A group of amazing ecosystem builders, with different knowledge and fields of expertise.
After some networking, Basecone presented their success story with the group. Basecone is a successful startup that was eventually acquired by Wolters Kluwer. On Wednesday afternoon we organized a ‘Zoetermeer FinTech Meetup’ with Holland FinTech at the Dutch Innovation Factory in Zoetermeer, where the participating startups pitched their product to an audience of entrepreneurs, FinTech influencers and interested professionals. After their pitches it was time to network with the participants, visitors and ecosystem builders.
Thursday we went to the beautiful city of Rotterdam to visit some very interesting companies and to listen to talks from people who are active in the FinTech startup scene. We started at the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship in Rotterdam with a tour of the building and visiting some interesting startups that are established there. After the tour, Hugo Bongers, Innovation Director at ABN Amro Digital Impact Fund , gave us a presentation about how investors look at startups, what they are searching for in a startup and how the investment scene works in The Netherlands.
After Hugo, Jeroen Bontje from Symbid gave us all the insights on the growth of his company and also (very important) the things that did not go well in that process. It was refreshing to hear that things don’t always go as planned, the struggles that come along the way and also how eventually Symbid became a strong company.
We took the water taxi (you have to do this when in Rotterdam!) from ECE to the centre of Rotterdam and moved to the office of Nauta Dutilh, one of the best international law firms in the Netherlands and true experts in FInTech regulations. They gave an in-dept presentation about FinTech regulations, while overlooking the city of Rotterdam from the 32nd floor, overlooking the city of Rotterdam.
The Cambridge Innovation Centre also has a location in Rotterdam, so of course we had to end our day there. Marcus Fernhout presented the idea of CIC and why he started it in Rotterdam to the group, followed by a presentation on how to structure your business legally by Briddge. Then it was time to explore Rotterdam and have dinner.
Friday morning started at RVO where we’ve had presentations about RVO, StartupDelta and Horizon 2020. All initiatives supported by the government to stimulate growth for startups. After a few presentations, RVO, Maurice Beckand Verwee (founder Crosspring) and Johan Stins of Innovation Quarter held a short panel discussion on investing in startups. We ended our last soft-landing day at the 17th floor of RVO with a lunch, overlooking the entire city of The Hague.
Insights, learnings and thank you’s
We were very lucky to have such a fantastic group of startups and ecosystem builders visiting our country and having the possibility to guide them through the Dutch ecosystem. It gave some very interesting insights on how other ecosystem view FinTech, how ‘far’ they are when it comes to technology and how we can support other ecosystems.
For startups is very valuable to come to The Netherlands for a soft-landing project, to see if The Netherlands is in fact interesting to start a business. It’s really important for them to know how the ecosystem works, what legal actions have to be taken to start a business here and how they can receive support from governments, local initiatives or business angels.
For ecosystem builders it’s important to know the establishment of the ecosystem here, so they can bring new information, take information for their ecosystem back to their country and we can see how we can combine ecosystems, work together and strengthen each other.
A few lessons learned:
“Belgium and The Netherlands may look like the ‘same’ , but they’re definitely not when it comes to certain issues, like insurance.”
“There is a lot happening in FinTech in The Netherlands that is nothing compared to other countries. Also the possible governmental support is very interesting!”
“The Netherlands is an interesting country for new technologies, since the Dutch are very interested in new technologies and are not afraid to use them.”
A lot of high energy came from this group and we were very lucky to have such a successful soft-landing mission! Thanks to the participating startups Rundit, Hokocloud, JetBeep, WeGroup, ZuperBank, GiniMachine and Infinity Mobile and Selim Yazici, Povilas Steikunas, Renata Šumskaitė, Angel Angelov, Gonçalo Faria , Iva Rakocevic, Stephan Steynfaardt.
We would also like to thank these organizations for their valuable contribution to the soft-landing program: Blue Clue Tax, Holland FinTech, Basecone, Syfers, Holland Fintech, Dutch Innovation Factory, ECE, Symbid, ABN Amro, Nauta Dutilh, CIC, Briddge, RVO, StartupDelta and Horizon 2020.Read more
Ready, Set, Get your ticket to Sofia! Travel to Startup Europe Summit, with our sister project My-Gateway.
Our sister project My-Gateway (Startup Europe) is selecting 22 startups to go to the 2018 Startup Europe Summit.
Will you be one of the lucky ones?
What is in it for you?
Get inspired by the latest buzz from high profile EU and Tech Leaders, connect with leading businesses and investors, and seal the deal! Startup Europe Summit is your gateway to boosting your startup:
- workshops on access to EU funding, as well as VC and BA;
- Get inspired from leading tech stars and EU policymakers
- Discover new funding opportunities;
- Strong focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Western Balkans regions.
What do you need to do?
Send in a:
- pitch deck
- a short motivation of why you would like to attend the Summit (no longer than a tweet!)
- high – quality logo of your startup
- your startup website
- your startup stage
- startup social media
and do tell them who in your team would be attending!
Provide us with name, surname, email, phone number 🙂
And just because we’d like to know how you learnt about this open call, let us know where you have learnt about us!
Deadline: Submit your application by 29th of October, 12:00 CET (13:00 CEST).
How will you be selected?
The 22 startups will be selected based on:
- high potential for growth, so they can benefit from attending the Summit;
- advanced phase of development of their idea, have an existing prototype and/or viable business plan;
- having a unique idea that differs from the rest of the competition.
Who will select the winners?
The judges will be the members of the Central and Eastern European Network and the Western Balkan Network.
When will you find out if you have been selected?
A final decision will be made on the 30th of October, and you will receive a confirmation email on 31st October.
Everything you need to know about the Startup Europe Summit agenda is this way.
Note: Travelling costs for the winning startups will be reimbursed.
Send an email to this address: email@example.com
with this subject line: SES: Application (startup name)
send this information:
- high quality logo
- startup website
- startup stage
- startup social media
- who of your team would be attending: name, surname, email, phone number
- tell us how you found out about this open call