Accelerator programme for startups
BeStart helps climate tech startups to make their companies successful. We support startups with technologies or services that contribute to CO2 reduction, water solutions or the energy transition. Also known as climate tech. However, startups which contribute to sustainability or the circular economy in other ways are also very welcome to apply. Within the BeStart programme, we work with a proven methodology consisting of three core elements: build, launch and scale. Step by step, you work from an idea to a scaled-up company.
Access to testlabs to validate your product
A place at the table with the right people in our cleantech network
Individual coaching on exactly those things where you need help
By participating in BeStart, you gain access to our extensive climate tech network in the Northern Netherlands. We know which organizations and companies are looking for innovations and we help you get in touch with them. That way, you meet people who can help you with e.g. financing or that first customer. After each phase of the programme, you present your startup to the entire network during the DemoDay.
Testlabs and business opportunities
I moved to Friesland with SusPhos because of the helpful network and many testfacilities. Everybody wants to help you here.
In the Northern Netherlands we have access to many test facilities where you can validate and test your product. Moreover, there are plenty of opportunities to settle and everyone oozes circularity here.
You receive individual coaching (1-on-1) from our startup coaches from the start of your participation. They have vast experience with almost all possible problems and issues. The coaches assess your specific needs to make your business successful and are ready to support you during the work sessions and throughout the programme.
Challenges you may have and we can help you tackle
- “Help us from idealism to entrepreneurship.”
- “We have ongoing encounters with legislation.”
- “We are looking for strategical partners to help us scale-up and bring our technology to market.”
- “I need coaching and help to make a complex sale.”
- “We are looking for a launching customer.”
- …and many more.
Some of these challenges are typical for startups with circular technology. Why? Because having a climate tech startup requires more than simply selling a product.
To break through with a new product or service you sometimes need to take a brick to the head and go for it full speed ahead.
The BeStart accelerator programme lasts one year and goes through three stages: Build, Launch and Scale. In each phase, we check which topics are most relevant at that moment for your startup. Topics that have been covered in the past years:
- agile and scrum
- designing experiments
- short term and long term planning
- how to assemble your team
- project management
- pitching skills
- networking skills
- examples from the Netherlands and abroad
- climate tech
- design thinking
- market segmentation
- financial model
- startup valuation
- intellectual property and patent
Whether it’s solving a challenging technical problem or a simple addition to the market, every business starts with a business idea. As a participant, you will work in the ‘build phase’ during a bootcamp to validate your business idea and develop it into a business model and strategy. To be able to respond to the different speeds and phases of the participants, we split up the participant group in this phase.
The starting point for the second phase is your validated business case with the aim of proving the value of this business case in the market. In this phase, you get 1 hour of business development support every week that you schedule with your business coach. Together you will develop your own (unique) growth route, which will help you develop in a focused way. We call this route the ‘growth map’, which you draw up together with your personal business developer. It becomes a roadmap for your company that maps out the growth and needs in the coming period.
THEMES IN PHASE 2
- Go-to-market strategy;
- Market strategy;
- Organizational structure, culture & talent.
Launch & Scale
With the feedback you received during the Demo Day at the end of phase 2, you will move on to phase 3. Together with your business developer you evaluate the “growth map” and determine your course for the coming period. During phase 3 you will focus on your company’s growth, from an initial market introduction to a rapidly growing company. You can rely on the same support as in phase 2. With Access to Days and the DeepDive sessions, the monthly cycle of the programme is strongly focused on themes that fit this phase. In doing so, use the networks of BeStart to achieve the desired growth. Raising capital, to fund the growth of your business, plays an important role in this phase. One of the parts we cover is becoming ‘investor ready’ (if needed, this can also be offered earlier). Also, the first matchmaking with relevant investors takes place in this phase.
THEMES IN PHASE 3
- Financing strategy & raising growth money;
- Accelerated growth;
- Scaling-up (primary);
- Investor matchmaking.
Your startup will go through the first growth phase, and we offer you guidance on how to make the right choices in a focused way in order to keep moving forward. In this phase you can also continue to make use of the monthly ‘Access to Days’, DeepDive sessions, Investor Readiness support, matchmaking meetings with investors, coaching and the (weekly) support of the business developers. The themes in this phase are (if desired) supplemented with the current growth issues from the participating companies. You are now part of our network, and we continue to support you with individual coaching, business knowledge and useful inputs. At BeStart alumni you will find the companies that participated in our program.
THEMES IN PHASE 4
- Growth through acquisitions;
- Investor matchmaking.
At the end of each phase is the DemoDay. Here, you pitch your startup and your challenges to the circular business network in the north of the Netherlands. The businesses and local governments challenge each other to offer you the best access to their network. This is a unique chance since it can take months or even years to get to know the right people in the right organisations.
After trying for a long time to get in contact with one the most important clients in the greenhouse sector, it was all quickly organised after the BeStart DemoDay. One of the network partners was able to introduce me at the right level and suddenly I had a seat at the table!