The second official gathering of StartupAmsterdam’s Corporate Network has brought us another step closer to connecting Amsterdam’s corporate and startup worlds.
One of StartupAmsterdam’s initial objectives was to facilitate and strengthen connections between Amsterdam’s startups and corporates. This is why the Corporate Network – a network of 80+ corporates – has finally been launched in December of last year. Since the launch, the StartupAmsterdam team was busy filling up the new website with content, co-creating the corporate profiles and planning the next event. Speaking of, the second official Corporate Network event, that took place on April 18th, became a great representation of the progress that has been made so far.
The event took place in B.3 – the very new building of B.Amsterdam – and hosted three groups of people: 40 innovation managers and startup liaisons of such corporates as ABN AMRO, ING, Philips, Loyens & Loeff, the initiatives such as Growth Tribe, Decoded and Amsterdam Student Investment Fund and, naturally, the startups such as Live & Fun, Triggy and BIT students. The event was kicked-off by the Head of Partnerships, Anja Wesbuer, after which the director of B.Amsterdam, Ricardo van Loenen, briefly spoke about the new building. This was followed by StartupAmsterdam’s Private Lead, Ruben Nieuwenhuis, giving insights into the workings of a brand new initiative “AImsterdam” – a master plan with an aim to actively enable and elevate Amsterdam’s existing AI players.
The gathering was divided into two parts: during the first hour, the corporate invitees partook in what is called “peer-to-peer learning sessions”, where people were divided into groups and given specific topics related to corporate innovation to discuss. At the end, one representative from each group shared the conclusions and learnings his/her group came to. Throughout the whole hour, innovation managers engaged in lively discussions and really leveraged the opportunity to learn from their peers.
By the time the peer-to-peer roundtables were over, the initiatives and startups had arrived as well. What followed next was initiatives pitching themselves. In total, there were 10 initiatives that went on stage: startup accelerator Startupbootcamp, AI community City.AI, growth hacking academy Growth Tribe, innovation training provider Decoded, startup studio Aim for the moon, an initiative from the Amsterdam Economic Board and Economic Board Utrecht, the recently founded Amsterdam Student Investment Fund, young talent community Young Creators, scaleup-oriented initiative Growth Class, and startup accelerator Rockstart. After everyone pitched, the audience had 2 rounds of 15 minutes to come up to the initiatives to get their questions answered and potentially do some business.
Dan Zell – Decoded’s Managing Partner said: “As a specialist provider of hands-on workshops in digital and innovation, it was great to meet with some of Amsterdam’s most ambitious and forward-thinking professionals. StartupAmsterdam is very unique in bringing the right people in the same room. I wouldn’t be able to name a counterpart organisation that works the same way as they do”.
Startups take the stage
After a short break, it was the startups’ turn to take the stage. They were: Triggy, Global Guide Systems and Live and Fun – all alumni startups of the Startup in Residence city accelerator, BIT students, Actuals, Lead Boxer and Realtime IX. After the initial introductions were over, the audience again had 2 rounds of 15 minutes to meet the startups face-to-face. Arjen Noorbergen of Triggy said that “It was nice to see familiar faces and make new connections as well. We’re hopeful to nurture these connections into potential leads.”
Shortly after, the guests enjoyed some drinks and a more informal eye-to-eye. “A typical networking event is nice but if it lacks structure and direction, the deliverables get lost along the way. The good thing about the Corporate Network event is that it provides context: the corporates and startups know exactly what they’re there for and they benefit from being there, not only in making valuable connections, but also gaining and sharing knowledge with their peers.” – said one of StartupAmsterdam’s representatives.
The StartupAmsterdam Corporate Network will organise one more event on October 5th, 2017. Should you want to stay in the loop and be the first one to sign up for it, please email Anja at [email protected]