10 start-ups from The Hague selected for Venture Academy
Centre for Innovation launched the Venture Academy on 22 February 2017. The Venture Academy helps students of The Hague to create their own job. The aim of the Venture Academy is to bridge the gap between student entrepreneurship and small and medium sized enterprises. It offers a 5 month programme that provides young entrepreneurs with the skills, coaching and investments needed to help create a product and find a first customer.
During the kick-off the start-ups presented their ideas and got the chance to know each other. Daria Dimitrova, one of the founders of MyShift said: “It was nice to be connected with people that were so young and inspiring”. The mentors, coaches and investors of the programme had the chance to talk to the young and talented entrepreneurs during informal drinks afterwards. The Venture Academy is offered by the Centre for Innovation Leiden University in partnership with the Municipality of The Hague and the Rabobank.
One of the exciting start-ups is Blockaroo, an equity based crowdfunding platform built on blockchain whereby the diaspora invests in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in their country of origin in exchange for shares. Aldrin Ismail elaborates “Improving SMEs’ access to finance is crucial to enable the sector to grow and provide the needed jobs. As a shareholder, the diaspora gains partial ownership and stand to profit should the company do well”. Other start-ups are a portable energy generating toy by Noomi, Smeltkroes, a catering service for refugees and Cheeky Pie, pastries made by people with a distance to the labour market.
The Venture Academy is offered by the Changemakers Lab of the Centre for Innovation, Leiden University. The objective of the program is to better prepare students of The Hague for the next economy. The Centre for Innovation is dedicated to facilitate an entrepreneurial ecosystem that keeps the city of The Hague competitive in the 21st century.