Rotterdam is bursting with energy and new innovation initiatives. These include the first port accelerator program called Port XL, the Cambridge Innovation Center which opened in September to help scale ups, the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, and Blue City. Rotterdam has plenty to offer startups, both in the city and in its port.
On Wednesday, March 15, over 100 startups will cycle to 20 investors in Rotterdam. This is the third edition of Capital Tour XXL, which has already been a hit in Amsterdam. The goal is to “demystify the world of capital”.
The informal setting of Capital Tour XXL enables startups to get to know the innovative ecosystem in Rotterdam and get the chance to speak to investors. The day will start and end at Capital Tour XXL Rotterdam and Venture Café Rotterdam, which is the creator of the biggest weekly event for the innovation community in the city. After the kick off, the event will get a celebratory opening on the iconic Stationsplein. The day will conclude with a large networking event where investors, international VCs, startups and innovation partners can work on making deals in a relaxed setting.
During Capital Tour XXL, startups from across the country will be placed in 10 tours with each visiting three investors. Themes specific to Rotterdam like port innovation, food innovation and impact investing, informal investor networks, and innovation hubs in the city and its port will also be part of the tour. Each visit consists of an open Q&A, where startups can ask investors anything they want to know about finding funds. Over 20 investment companies will open their doors during Capital Tour XXL. This includes UNIIQ, Future Food Fund, Rotterdam Port Fund, Innovation Quarter, Percival Participations, NEOS Business Finance, Keadyn, We Are Builders, Peak Capital, Volta Ventures and many more.
During the evening program, the focus will be on building new connections. Startups will have the opportunity to meet angel investors, a category of investors generally harder to reach. This will be done through the Angel Academy and in partnership with ING who will give startups access to their network of informal investors. Startups will also be introduced to the network of Capital on Stage and YES!Delft’s event ‘Meet the VCs’ which will take place later in the week.
Startups from previous editions were particularly enthusiastic about the relaxed setting of Capital Tour XXL. “This is secretly one of the most useful events of the year for startups. It feels very personal, you get good guidance and it’s super relevant for local entrepreneurs,” said Victor van Doorn, founder of Sherlocked. Many startups also scheduled follow-up meetings and got insight into approaching investors, feedback on their products and tips for pitching.