The Netherlands is an early adopter for new technology and our small market size makes it an attractive scale for a test market. The entrepreneurial spirit and climate makes our country the ideal starting point to entrepreneurs, innovators and great minds who think on an international scale. InnovationQuarter helps innovative startups with establishing and expanding in the West Holland region. If you succeed here, you can expand to Europe and far beyond.

West Holland, an innovative startup ecosystem

With three top 100 universities, the two airports Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam-The Hague Airport in the vicinity and easy access to the Port of Rotterdam, the West Holland region is the perfect base to start your new business. In addition, our digital infrastructure is one of the fastest and most reliable in the world.

Numerous innovation hubs such as Europe’s largest tech incubator YES!Delft, the Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship (ECE), The Hague Security Delta (HSD) and Europe’s largest space incubator ESA-BIC, bring together communities of (international) startups and their founders. Our region hosts the first European location of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Rotterdam. The majority of these startup hubs are facilitors for your Startup Visa. This visa grants you a one year period to build an innovative company in the Netherlands.

Apply for a Startup Visa

Ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs are highly valuable to the Dutch economy. The Dutch government made it easier for ambitious entrepreneurs from outside the EU/EEA to start a business in the Netherlands through what is called a ‘Startup Visa’. For a one year period, this visa grants you the possibility to start an innovative company in the Netherlands.

One of the requirements for obtaining a Startup Visa is working together with a business mentor: a facilitator. CIC Rotterdam, in partnership with Venture Café Rotterdam, is such a facilitator. Other Startup Vida facilitators in West Holland are:

These facilitators can assist you with operational management, marketing, research and investment acquisition for setting up an innovative business.

Grow your business

In case you need more guidance, these innovation hubs offer various accelerator or incubator programs and mentoring for startups in all phases and in different sectors. Apart from this, there is a variety of corporate accelerator programs in which Dutch enterprises cooperate with startups.

In order to stimulate innovation in our region and to bring startups and scale-ups located in our region to the next level, InnovationQuarter has two capital funds:

  • IQCapital offers venture capital to young technology companies and SMEs with growth plans in the region to bring new innovations to market.
  • UNIIQ, a proof-of-concept fund for early stage funding.
  • ENERGIIQ, a fund for the development of new technologies that lead to CO2 reduction, which are attributable to the province of Zuid-Holland.


To accelerating the startup ecosystem of the Netherlands and the West Holland region in particular InnovationQuarter works closely with StartupDelta, an initiative supported by the 8 innovation hubs of the Netherlands and the Dutch ministries of Economic Affairs, and of Education, Culture and Science. A small core team led by ‘special startup envoy’ Constantijn van Oranje works to boost the entrepreneurial spirit by specifically targeting barriers, and improving access to talent, capital, network, knowledge and markets.