Mentoring and Coaching for innovative startups

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
5 min read

Good advice is priceless when you are starting up a business. Maybe you already have a coach or mentor, are part of a business network or follow training programmes. There is quite a range of initiatives aimed at helping starting businesses find their feet in their business adventure. This page offers an overview of both national and regional programmes and organisations.

Explore the Dutch Startup Ecosystem

The Netherlands offers a range of startup assistance activities: funding, advice, facilities. You can find out who is doing what using the interactive Finder tool on the TechLeap website. Go to the Finder

National initiatives

TechLeap wants to improve, connect and expand the startup climate in the Netherlands. The website offers all current initiatives and events for startups in the Netherlands.

O3NL is a mentoring programme that supports starting high-tech entrepreneurs at the idea or production stage. O3NL collaborates with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service programme.

NLgroeit is the community for growing businesses with a turnover between 1 and a hundred million euros. NLgroeit helps businesses to realise their growth ambitions, by helping them find the perfect match with a mentor, training or other service conducive to growth.

Dutchbasecamp helps businesses to scale up internationally, by providing coaching, training, events and a network.

Dutch Startup Association promotes the interests of startups and scale-ups. They can link your company to investors, companies, policy makers, governmental bodies, politics, and Dutch society.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) offers special funding, a national and international network, and personal advice for innovative startups with upscaling potential.


There are 9 Regional Development Agencies (Regionale Ontwikkelingsmaatschappijen, ROMs) in the Netherlands. They strengthen the regional economy by boosting innovation, investments and internationalisation.

The Brabant Development Agency BOM builds bridges between entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, and the authorities. BOM helps innovative businesses accelerate their growth, and helps startups apply for funding.

Horizon is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province of Flevoland.

Impuls Zeeland is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province of Zeeland.

InWest is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province Noord-Holland.

Innovation Quarter is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province of Zuid-Holland.

LIOF is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province of Limburg.

NOM, the Investerings- en ontwikkelingsmaatschappij voor Noord-Nederland, is the Regional Development Agency or ROM for the 3 northern provinces Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe.

OOST NL offers several programmes for innovative businesses in the provinces Overijssel and Gelderland per sector: Agro-Food, creative industry, Cleantech and Energy, High Tech, Life Sciences, Logistics and Manufacturing. The services on offer include access to networks, growth advice, internationalisation help and access to laboratories.

ROM Utrecht Region is the Regional Development Agency, or ROM, for the province of Utrecht.

Other regional initiatives per province

Business Generator Groningen facilitates startups, health care, energy and life sciences businesses in Groningen. They offer support in the areas of intellectual property, coaching, financing and establishing a network.

  • Founded in Friesland are there for entrepreneurial talent, startups and scale-ups. They offer support from start to growth by providing knowledge, inspiration and connections with other entrepreneurs.
  • Ynbusiness (in Dutch) is a joint initiative of the business community, the province, the 4 largest cities, and Frisian higher and secondary vocational education. The primary goal is to strongly support the entrepreneur in the growing their business.
  • Novel-T (previously Kennispark Twente) offers innovative startups and established businesses that want to scale up financing, legal advice, mentoring, access to technology / laboratories and a creathon (type of hackathon).
  • Kennispoort (website in Dutch) helps entrepreneurs realise their innovative ideas by providing access to financing and networks, advice sessions with an innovation advisor, intensive coaching / business development and events.
  • Gelderland valoriseert (website in Dutch) helps businesses to strengthen their innovative potential. It does so by offering support in the areas of copyright protection, partner search, startup trainings, financing and plan development and realisation.
  • StartLife supports entrepreneurs in the food and agro branches. It offers a community, coaching, investor contacts, financing, and access to the Wageningen Campus facilities and experts.

UtrechtInc offers support to startups in the branches health, climate, and education. It does so by facilitating a community of businesses, experts and new talent, knowledge sessions, partner searches, masterclasses, intervision, and financing.

  • IXA helps businesses interested in the technological knowledge and facilities of the Academic Medical Centre (AMC), University of Amsterdam (UoA), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), and the VU Amsterdam (VU) and VU Medical Center Amsterdam (VUmc). IXA provides an interface to make it easier to find the right experts / knowledge, production facilities, research, post-graduate education, and licences.
  • BSSA offers students between the ages of 18 and 26 a 6-month internship and courses to bridge the gap between school and working life.
  • Impact Hub Amsterdam is part of the international Impact Hub community of social innovators. It builds and facilitates a network, organising events, offering workspace and developing acceleration programmes. The Impact Hub Amsterdam network consists of 700-plus impact makers, innovators and investors.
  • Clinic offers free legal advice and help to startups in the region of Amsterdam, that are no older than 3 years. They link the top Information Law students to a startup, that otherwise couldn’t afford legal help, for 6 months. During this internship the trainees are coached by renowned law firms.
  • Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord (website in Dutch) is a collaboration of municipalities in the north of the province plus the province of Noord-Holland to boost the economy.
  • Program Innovative Investor-ready SMEs Noord-Holland (PIM) focuses on helping innovative and sustainable SMEs with funding requests. PIM helps entrepreneurs with getting investor ready through customised tracks, events about funding possibilities and by organising masterclasses.
  • The Hague Tech is a community of entrepreneurs and innovators coming together to share ideas and work together in their physical facility and beyond. Their mission is to accelerate technological adoption within our society. The Hague Tech achieves this by facilitating meetings, labs, co-creating, linking complementary talents, and actively stimulating collaboration.
  • Venture cafe Rotterdam is a weekly cafe for innovative entrepreneurs for sharing knowledge and networking. Also facilitator (with CIC Rotterdam) for obtaining visas for innovative entrepreneurs who want to come to the Netherlands.
  • Yes! Delft helps (starting) entrepreneurs build up leading technological companies. It does so by offering several mentoring and training programmes.

Dockwize (website in Dutch) offers starting entrepreneurs coaching, housing, finance and access to a network.

  • Ondernemerslift+ coaches starters, organises courses, gives out loans and connects businesses to interesting market parties or knowledge institutions.
  • Braventure (website in Dutch) is the startup programme run by two universities, four colleges and six development societies in the province of Brabant. This joint venture offers you quick access to starting capital, knowledge, a community, and facilities. The goal: accelerating your startup towards success.

Brightlands helps businesses in the branches Materials, Health, Food and Smart Services. They offer business premises, research facilities, access to knowledge institutions and labs and financing through the Limburg Business Development Fund (LBDF).

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theStartup Information Desk, KVK