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New: incubator for refugees

ACE partnership with Refugees Forward & Team Academy helps newcomers start a business.

In collaboration with Refugees Forward and entrepreneurship school Team Academy, we are teaming up with entrepreneurs with a refugee background that are part of the Refugees Forward initiative. As a first project, we will collectively run a 4-month intensive incubation program starting April 9th, 2018. The program has been designed for 15 newcomers at ACE’s Startup Village at Amsterdam Science Park and Team Academy’s B. Amsterdam. ACE and Team Academy will facilitate locations, mentoring, networks and trainers.

Fostering integration through entrepreneurship

Diederick van der Wijk, director at RF: ‘ACE and Team Academy prove two highly exciting partners and give newcomers access to very dynamic startup ecosystems. We strongly believe in the value of interaction between newcomers, Dutch students, mentors and other innovative entrepreneurs. ACE’s Startup Village delivers exactly that and as such helps newcomers to understand the dynamics of starting a business in the Netherlands. At Team Academy our entrepreneurs become part of one the most creative and innovative work spaces out there. The involvement of ACE and Team Academy in the delivery of RF programs and coaching of our entrepreneurs ensures cutting-edge entrepreneurship education and support.

Building a community

Erik Boer, director at the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship: ‘To ACE and to me personally it is important to advocate diversity in entrepreneurship and to stimulate entrepreneurs in vulnerable positions. We want to show our belief in migrants entering our communities, by providing them access to a great network of experienced coaches and trainers, as well as like-minded locals facing similar challenges in entrepreneurship. I am very curious how this will turn out and to see the progress of newcomer entrepreneurs, and I am confident that these new/cultural interactions within our Science Park ecosystem can be a valuable asset to Startup Village’.

Educating a diverse, entrepreneurial generation

Michel Arends, CEO Team Academy: ‘we support and work with Refugees Forward because we believe that it is important for our students to be firmly planted in the middle of society. In working together with newcomers, they can learn from their perseverance and cultural perspective. Team Academy is all about building Character as an entrepreneur, and for this bringing people from very different backgrounds together is essential. If we really want to create conscious entrepreneurs that pursue growth and impact, we have to adopt an open and inclusive perspective. We simply have to work together.’

Want to learn more about this initiative? Contact Diederick van der Wijk at


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