Scale NL: First US accelerator for Dutch tech startups

The Netherlands is starting its own program for startups that want to grow and scale in the United States. In the next three years, the ScaleNL Accelerator will support up to 60 companies that will follow an intensive, 12-week coaching program to prepare them for success in the American market.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy allocated €500,000 for this investment in the Dutch startup ecosystem. Invest-NL will also contribute financially to the program. Interested startups can register starting on January 7, 2022.

Dutch startups that want to expand internationally often face problems with their financing, partly because Dutch investors are often more risk-averse. The program prepares entrepreneurs for funding rounds and stormy growth (“scaling”) in the US. This improves their competitive position compared to other European companies. Countries such as Germany, Denmark, and Israel also have such programs.

Focco Vijselaar, Director-General for Business and Innovation at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate: “With their smart products, technology, and services that contribute to solving the major issues of our time, Dutch entrepreneurs stand out internationally. ScaleNL enables selected startups to compete even better with the global top active startups in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. We give selected startups a boost to find the needed knowledge, money and partners in the US, a market with the greatest growth opportunities for Dutch companies.”

With the investment of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the first group of 10 companies can start in April and focus on doing business in Silicon Valley. The amount may be supplemented with private money to support 60 companies over the next three years.

Growing with ScaleNL

ScaleNL is an initiative of successful Dutch entrepreneurs and the Dutch consulates general in the US. Companies are selected by successful American and Dutch businesspeople, based on their innovative strength, team, and potential success in the American market. That market consists of well-known tech hubs, such as Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, and growth cities, such as Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Dirk Janssen, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco: “In the US, Dutch startups are often seen as innovative and cutting-edge. With ScaleNL we really try to force an American breakthrough. We connect entrepreneurs with leading experts and investors in American tech hubs. In our experience, this investment leads to growth of the Dutch headquarters or research lab, so that our economy reaps the benefits.”

Wouter Bos, CEO of Invest-NL, adds: “Fast-growing startups that can scale with innovative technology play an important role in accelerating transitions. With our support for the ScaleNL Accelerator, we help Dutch companies to scale up their activities at home and abroad and thus increase their chance of success.”

The first 10 companies will start the 12-week program in April 2022, which is basically a crash course in “Doing Business in Silicon Valley.” It focusses on the business model, funding, and the right mindset for success. The first part takes place virtually, after which the program concludes with an intensive part in San Francisco, allowing participants to meet the more than 200 ScaleNL mentors and experts in person.

Startups can register starting January 7 via

Source: NL in the USA