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Every week we host our Thursday Gathering from 17:00-20:00 full of interesting programming. Feel free to drop by any time on a Thursday!

Venture Café Foundation builds innovation communities. Creating platforms where entrepreneurs, corporates, government and educational institutes can come together and grow together; or “engineered serendipity”. It’s the power of human to human contact that creates meaningful innovation connections. 

Venture Café’s “Thursday Gatherings” is a free and inclusive weekly community gathering. Every week an average of 270 innovators come to join the local, national and international innovation community and one of the over 300 yearly break outs, office hours and info tables in the center of Rotterdam.

To further bridge the innovation eco system Venture Café has a focus on access to finance and corporate startup connect. For instance earlier in 2017 the event Capital Tour XXL took place where 100 startups biked to 20+ investors in the city of Rotterdam, given the floor to present their business ideas.

At Techilicious 35 startups came to have dinner with 35 corporates with the motto dine to deal. Between each course of the 3 course dinner the tables were switch, consequently 83 deals were made in one evening!

Originating in the USA – Rotterdam being the first non-US expansion – Venture Café has a major international and rapidly growing network. Expansion Café is a program that actively aims to bring Dutch companies abroad with a soft landing and information about international expansion. Further, Venture Café brings companies to Netherlands either through the role as a Startup Visa Facilitator which can allow startups to stay and conduct their business here.

Venture Café is connecting innovators to make things happen.

 Download our Impact report 2016!

Origins of Venture Café

CIC (the Cambridge Innovation Center) was founded in 1999, and builds large scale communities of entrepreneurs in premium locations. Approximately six years ago, CIC’s founder Tim Rowe began hosting weekly meet ups specifically focused on connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and students to each other and to the outside community to foster innovation and growth. These gatherings, and the space they were held in, became known as the “Venture Café.”

Next chapter: independent non-profit

As the meet ups continued to grow organically (regularly seeing 300+ attendees every Thursday), Venture Café was spun out as an independent non-profit organization, adding additional programming to its areas of focus, in addition to continuing the extremely successful weekly meetups. Since its start in Boston, independent, non-profit Venture Café organizations have been established in St. Louis, Miami, and now Rotterdam.

Sister organizations

CIC and Venture Café are separate organizations with separate business models and leadership. However, we have a long history of working very closely together to provide entrepreneurs with the physical infrastructure, connection to resources, and day-to-day community (CIC) and an expanded regional community and targeted innovation programs (Venture Café) to best support them. Venture Café Rotterdam is also physically located within CIC Rotterdam.

Connecting Innovators to make things happen!

Like any innovation, Venture Café will continue to evolve and diversify as it expands. But our two guiding principles will remain constant:

  1. Innovation is a social process fueled by trust, collaboration and storytelling. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not ends in themselves. They are means to improve the human condition.
  2. Exchanging ideas is just the beginning. Venture Café is 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.

We’re connecting innovators to make things happen.