September 2023

After seven remarkable years of connecting the innovation ecosystem in Rotterdam, Venture Café Rotterdam bids farewell to its current format at the end of September 2023. This decision comes as a result of the conclusion of Venture Café Rotterdam’s subsidiary agreement with the City of Rotterdam. As we navigate this pivotal moment, we would be remiss not to celebrate the impact we’ve had, and our commitment to innovation, connection, and community.

A Beacon of Innovation

Venture Café arrived in Rotterdam in 2015, ushered in by CIC with the invaluable support of the City of Rotterdam. Our mission was clear: to invigorate the local innovation economy through curated programming and the iconic weekly Thursday Gathering events that united all corners of the community in the Rotterdam Region.

Over the past seven years, Venture Café Rotterdam has left an indelible mark on the local innovation landscape. We have been proud to create:

  • 376 Thursday Gatherings: Providing a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and idea generation.
  • Over 233,000+ connections: Fostering valuable connections for more than 78,000 attendees, nurturing partnerships and collaborations that transcend industries and borders.
  • 3,400+ Sessions with 1,700+ program speakers: Creating a dynamic space where innovators from various fields converged to share insights and explore new opportunities.
  • Innovation activator: Pioneering novel ways to connect communities, from podcasts, the innovative Talent Portal, which sheds light on job opportunities in the startup world, to the clever utilization of smart bracelets to track connections made.
  • Rotterdam Capital Days: Introducing the successful 5 day festival attracting 1800+ visitors during 17 events, 44 speakers, 15 partners and 8 sponsors, a platform for connecting money, ideas, and talent, and putting Rotterdam on the global innovation map.
  • Official SDG House: Earning the distinction of becoming the official SDG House for the City of Rotterdam in 2022, championing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A Heartfelt Thanks

Our journey would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our partners, fans, and the vibrant community that has grown around us. Venture Café Rotterdam has often served as an ‘innovation engine’ for the global Venture Café network, pioneering initiatives that have been scaled across the globe.

As we embrace change, we view the conclusion of our current subsidy as an opportunity for strategic reflection. We are using this moment to consider ways in which we might reinvent Venture Café Rotterdam to align with the evolving needs of our community. Initially focused on building and activating the local innovation community, we now aspire to leverage Rotterdam’s unique strengths as a major business hub for Europe. 

Our Final Gatherings

The Venture Café Rotterdam chapter in its current form concludes with the last Thursday Gathering on September 28 – themed “United for SDGs”. Our Thursday Gathering ‘Farewell event’ on November 9, 2023 will be a celebration of the community that has grown and thrived under our banner.

In closing, we want to express our deep gratitude for the incredible journey we’ve embarked upon with you. We have truly shown that innovation is for everyone. Together, we’ve built and experienced something extraordinary, and as we bid adieu to this chapter, we look forward to the potential of a new beginning. 

By team Venture Cafe Rotterdam

Technology discovery
Get a first look at locally developed apps, software and scientific breakthroughs and invest in their growth.
Talent sourcing
Each week, hundreds of people with unmatched expertise and passion join Venture Café events. Meet them. Collaborate with them. Hire them.
Employee engagement
Nurture employee potential and talent by inviting top-performers and ideators to lead your sponsored projects.
Thought leadership
Position your brand as the go-to expert in your field, both in Rotterdam and beyond.
Social Good
We believe innovation is for everyone, that’s why every week we create a free, open doorway to the innovation ecosystem. You can help us create opportunities for all to take part in the innovation economy.
Let’s be creative!
There are in so many ways we can create engagement. Contact us and let’s come up with an opportunity that suits you.

Engaged Innovators

Social Media Reach

Inspiring Sessions