Our Year Program 2019 is online, have a look at what topics we will focus on!Check it out!
Check out our Year Program 2019!

Startup Visa

Venture Café and CIC act as facilitator for Startup Visa. Read all about it here!

Startup Visa

Since January 1st, 2015, the Dutch government made it possible for ambitious entrepreneurs to easily start a business in The Netherlands through a startup visa. This visa grants you a one year period to build an innovative company in The Netherlands.

One of the requirements for the visa is that the startup finds an approved facilitator. The role of the facilitator is to support the startup in their specific needs, for example introducing them to relevant connections in our network or advising on new business opportunities.

CIC Rotterdam, in partnership with Venture Café Rotterdam and Firmhouse, are a facilitator. We are specifically focused on helping experienced entrepreneurs from around the world found and grow their companies.

About us

CIC (the Cambridge Innovation Center) helps entrepreneurs grow better and faster. We do this by building large scale communities of startups, investors, and innovative large companies in premium flexible shared office and co-working space.

Their current community is made up of over 1.500 companies, 75% of them startups. CIC companies have collectively raised over €3B in venture capital and their publicly disclosed IPOs total more than €3.5B.

CIC Rotterdam is CIC’s first international location, helping Dutch and foreign entrepreneurs grow into the next generation of successful businesses. CIC is not an incubator or accelerator – but rather a location and community in which startups and scale ups have the best chance of success.

Venture Café Foundation builds innovation communities. We hosts the largest weekly innovation community event in Rotterdam. Every Thursday we gather a large national and international community. Connecting innovators to make things happen.

We are a vehicle for connecting people, and fueling innovation. Venture Café creates the forum for connecting innovators who ultimately seek to create positive change in both local and global communities.

Partnership with Firmhouse

CIC works closely together with Firmhouse as partners to make this a resourceful program for all participants. CIC has a strong international network and stunning location in Rotterdam, while Firmhouse has the knowledge and experience to operate the program.

The Program

During the 1 year Startup Visa facilitation at CIC Rotterdam, participants will receive 2 coaching sessions per month for a period of 6 months. Most sessions will take place by Jochebed or Robbert. Topics we’ll address during the sessions:

  • Progress and challenges in growing the company
  • The business model
  • Strategy
  • Personal development
  • Possible introductions to potential customers, partners, trusted service providers, and/or investors.

Both CIC’s, as well as Firmhouse’s networks, contain experienced entrepreneurs which can be of help with challenges your startup might face during the program. Additionally, we’ll host a couple peer-to-peer sessions between startup founders every month.

The costs of the program include space at CIC Rotterdam and the above mentoring. Based on the type of space desired (coworking, private office, etc) this will cost €250 – €400 per person per month for space. In addition to the space fees, participants must pay a one time program fee of €2.000 per startup.

What we are looking for

To best match our facilitation, we are looking for startups that recognise themselves in the following description:

  • Your company owns intellectual property which is a competitive advantage and allows you to grow fast;
  • Ideally your founding team is complete and committed, which allows you do sales, grow the company and build the product without outside dependencies.
  • You have an operational marketing plan to grow internationally;
  • Ideally you are serving customers with a first version of your product or service already or expecting to do so within a couple of months;
  • You have a working product or prototype;
  • You agree to domicile in the Netherland, with its main address at CIC Rotterdam and a Dutch Chamber of Commerce number.
  • Ideally, The company or foreign entity is no older than 3 years and The Netherlands will be one of the first markets


How do you apply

The first step in the process is filling in the introductory application here. This will give us a sense of the founding team and the company and based on this, we will determine if there is a good match between you and CIC. Once you have filled in the form, we will get back to you within 2 weeks.