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ACE Blogs: find an incubator before applying for a visa

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Find interesting blogs on relevant topics written by ACE alumni here!

The incubator must be a Dutch government recognized facilitator.

It was an accident that I joined an incubator, and it turned out to be the most essential business education I ever had. I called it an accident because it wasn’t in my plan to pitch my business to an incubator. I came into contact with ACE Incubator Amsterdam Center of Entrepreneurship because my friend urged me to apply for a startup visa, so I can continue my business in the Netherlands (and he can still see me. The power of love).

In this fourth blog post of the “Startup Visa Netherlands” series, I will focus on what are startup facilitators and why the Dutch government is collaborating with them to issue startup visa.

First and foremost, a startup facilitator is a company that helps you to build your ideas into an actual business. They provide supportive services such as workshops, networks, mentors, and information, which can help you to establish your business properly.

As someone like me who did not have a background in business, nor a network in the Netherlands, these services are extremely valuable.

The Dutch government encourages entrepreneurs from all over the world to set up businesses in the Netherlands, but they also want to make sure the entrepreneurs are actually building a business instead of baloneys. Hence , they collaborate with the recognized facilitators to support entrepreneurs and issue them the startup visa. This is why the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) requests a declaration from your facilitator when you apply for a startup visa. My incubator the ACE Incubator is a government recognized incubator, so I have successfully obtained my visa through their sponsorship.

There are two types of facilitators that can sponsor you for your startup visa. They are the incubator and the accelerator. The difference between these two are:

An Incubator helps founders to build an idea into a business.

An Accelerator helps startups to scale up their business.

If you are someone who just registered your eenmanszaak as I described in the article last week, then you should find an incubator. If your company have been running for quite well, and now you want to scale it up in the Netherlands, then you should find an accelerator.

Only with the declaration from a recognized facilitator, you have the possibility to obtain a startup visa.

Without the right facilitator, you have zero chance of getting the visa. I personally know a friend who’s visa application was rejected, because her incubator was not a government recognized facilitator. My facilitator ACE incubator is a recognized by the government, so I have successfully obtained my visa through their declaration. So do make sure your incubator is on this list when selecting your incubator. Your choice will have consequences to your startup visa application.

Next week, I will share about the things you need to pay attention to when selecting the incubators you want to pitch to. You need to find one suits your startup industry. You also need to pay attention to the financial terms you would have with these incubators. I will list these things that you need to look out for in the article next week.

Follow me on LinkedInACE blog or Medium to make sure you will see the articles when they are published. For specific questions, you can message me through the contact form on my company website I am very curious about your ventures and the challenges you are facing as a founder in the Netherlands (and around the world!). It might be something I have dealt with and I will be happy to help a fellow founder.

Until next week

Author profile

Jon Jieh-hen Tsung is part of the ACE alumni network.

“I quit medical research to become a scientific illustrator. Accidentally started a biomedical communication startup in the Amsterdam and loving the venture ScienceVisionary. More stories can be found on my YouTube channel.”

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