The Netherlands Special Envoy for startups Neelie Kroes visited ACE Venture Lab and met with tech and science startups. Ms. Kroes awarded 4 proof-of-concept grants to the university spin-offs and discussed how to improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Amsterdam universities.
After visiting a number of Dutch cities as part of her Startup Delta tour, Neelie Kroes came to Amsterdam Science Park this Tuesday and met with local entrepreneurs, stakeholders and investors – Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Hubert Deitmers, Hans Amman, Jaap Winter and Boris Velthuijzen van Zanten amongst many others. During her visit Ms. Kroes joined Venture Café organized by ACE Venture Lab and awarded €100,000 proof-of-concept grants to four startups: Caelus (AMC), Haermonics (AMC), Innoseis (Nikhef/VU) and Quantis (UvA, FNWI). These grants will help the startups to validate their technologies, expand their teams and enter the market. Earlier that day Neelie Kroes participated in a round table discussion with eight university startups at ACE Venture Lab.
The startup founders told Ms. Kroes about the obstacles and challenges they face in commercializing their innovations as university spin-offs. While many entrepreneurs endorsed the infrastructure and funding opportunities the universities provide, many startups emphasized the difficulties they experience in requesting the funds and licensing their innovations from Amsterdam universities. After this meeting Neelie Kroes mentioned that there is a lack of transparency in communication between universities and startups and that is why Startup Delta, TTOs and ACE Venture Lab will collaborate to find the way Amsterdam universities can improve their valorization and spin-off activities.