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Innovative idea? Enter the first NL Startup Competition and win €10,000 in prize money!

Groundbreaking ideas can change the world. Does your startup focus on social impact, energy transition, digital progress or solutions for the circular economy?

Then enter the first ever NL Startup Competition and win € 10,000 prize money, valuable networking opportunities and new knowledge and inspiration. V.O. Patents & Trademarks is pleased to support this competition as sponsor and jury member.

“The NL Startup Competition stems from the desire to put both the Rotterdam region and the entire Netherlands on the map as a hotbed of innovation,” says Liesje Goldschmidt, who works at Erasmus Enterprise and is the competition’s main organizer. “With countless innovative companies, we have so much to offer. Why shouldn’t we show that in an appealing way? With this first edition of the NL Startup Competition we are doing so nationally, but our ambition extends further: we want to expand to European and even global level in the coming years.”

Podium to tomorrow’s solutions

Startups get the chance to present their innovations and contribute to positive changes in four crucial areas: social, energy transition, digital and circular. Liesje: “With this, we draw attention to global challenges and provide a stage for tomorrow’s solutions. I love that we can support, encourage and inspire startups to grow so they can increase their impact.”

16 final pitches during Upstream Festival

Startups can apply (before 15 April) through the NL Startup Competition website. An expert jury, consisting of experts from different fields, including investors and experienced entrepreneurs, will then decide which 16 startups will advance to the finals of the NL Startup Competition. On 29 April, the participating startups will hear whether they can pitch their idea during the finals. This will take place on 29 May during the Upstream Festival, the largest festival for startups in the Rotterdam region.

Workshops, pitching and dating

Besides the chance to win a cash prize of 10,000 euros, the competition offers access to a mentor, a network of experts and the opportunity to meet potential investors during the Upstream Festival. Liesje: “Moreover, we are organizing two workshops for the finalists: ‘How to pitch’ on 7 May and ‘Speeddate & Get to know the teams’ on 28 May. So during the finals, don’t expect standard pitches, but a surprising mix of elevator pitches, Money Booth, Virtual Reality and much more!”.


V.O. Patents & Trademarks award

V.O. wholeheartedly supports innovation and startups. We are therefore proud to be involved in this first NL Startup Competition as sponsor and jury member. In addition to the competition, V.O. will present a special V.O. Patents & Trademarks ‘Innovation award’ to the finalist with the most innovative entry. This consists of a ‘patent search’ worth 2,500 euros. This allows the winner to gain insight into existing knowledge about his innovation. Marco Molling, partner at V.O. and also a member of the jury, about the competition: “Take up the challenge, give free rein to your creativity and let innovation determine your direction. I look forward to being inspired in this competition.”

Sign up your startup!

For more information and to apply, visit the NL Startup Competition website.

Organizers of the NL Startup Competition are Upstream, MT/Sprout, Golden Egg Check and Erasmus Enterprise, in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Rotterdam, Rabobank and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

A contribution of

Portretfoto van Marco Molling

Marco Molling

  • European, Dutch and Belgian Patent Attorney, European Patent Litigator
  • Partner

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