Smart solutions for Amsterdam

With the city as your launching customer?


Who we are

We are Startup in Residence

The startup incubation programme of the City of Amsterdam. During a six month programme you will receive training 1 day per two weeks. You will get the chance to pilot and test your product and/or services in the City while partnered up with an expert mentor and a potential client.


Startup in Residence invites both Dutch and international entrepreneurs to come up with solutions for one of the City’s sustainability and/or mobility challenges. Does your solution not fit one the pre-defined challenges you can also apply for the Wildcard Challenge.

Sign up for the (online) information meeting on 16 July 2020 between 12:00 – 13:30 by sending an email before 12 July 2020 to [email protected].

Alternative Food Packaging
Sustainability 2020

Develop alternatives for packaging food that meet hygiene measures intended to combat the spread of the coronavirus, but still embrace circular values. The goal is coronavirus-proof packaging and tableware: guaranteed to be safe to use, hygienic, and without risk of contamination.

Circular Construction
Sustainability 2020

Come up with an innovative solution to stimulate circular construction. This can be in either products and/or services that can be used in circular construction and renovation.

Circular Textile
Sustainability 2020

Develop a circular textile product that matches the procurement needs of the City in the coming four years.

Connecting assistance on the way
Mobility 2020

Devise and bring to life a ‘helping hand’ digital platform that connects people with restricted access or disability to random ‘helping hand’ passengers in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Green & efficient deliveries for a better neighbourhood
Sustainability 2020

Devise a solution for a more efficient – and preferably emission-free – supply of goods and services in busy neighbourhoods in the city. The liveability of the neighbourhood should be considered as well as the consequences (financial or otherwise) for the customer of the goods or services.

Insightful alternatives to using your car
Mobility 2020

Find a way to give consumers clear insights into the economic and environmental impact of their current mobility habits and from this, provide practical advice and solutions for using alternative forms of mobility.

Mobility Sustainability 2020

For the Startup in Residence 6.0 programme, the City has reserved a spot for Startups to independently propose a solution for a sustainability or mobility challenge that we did not pre-define. In their bid, the Startup must define both the challenge and the solution.

Emission-free taxis
Sustainability Mobility 2020

Increase demand for emission-free taxis in Amsterdam, by making it easier and more attractive to choose an emission-free option when ordering or selecting a taxi.

Park that bike right
Mobility 2020

Find a solution that:

makes it possible to distinguish between people who are parking their bikes for a short time (maximum 2 hours) and for a longer time in busy areas in Amsterdam (shopping streets, main streets and nightlife areas);
increases awareness of the rules;
encourages the desired bicycle parking behaviour;
does not rely heavily on enforcement.

Smart charging solutions for recreational (private) boats
Mobility 2020

Develop a sustainable, client-friendly, financially attractive, and scalable charging solution for electric pleasure craft that can preferably be tested and realised before summer 2021.

Waterborne charging solutions for cargo vessels
Mobility Sustainability 2020

Develop a waterborne charging solution for commercial electric cargo vessels. The solution must be client-friendly, financially viable, and be realised by the end of 2021. 

Connect local food to the hood
Mobility 2020

Find an innovative solution to make regional food logistics more sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective, so that regional, sustainable produce becomes more accessible for the local market.

Journey simulator – public transport
Mobility 2020

Devise a journey simulator for the Amsterdam Area’s mobility network that focuses on (potential) accessibility issues encountered during journeys. The simulator needs to be kept up to date and passengers must be able to deliver feedback.

Less pressure on the road, less stress on the bike!
Mobility 2020

What digital or non-digital solutions can the City of Amsterdam apply to ease the pressure on the bicycle network and enable cyclists to choose appealing and comfortable routes?

Programme / timeline

June 24, 2020

Start Application Period

June 24, 2020

July 16, 2020

Information Meeting

Sign up by sending an email to [email protected] 

July 16, 2020

August 11, 2020

End Application Period

The deadline is 11 August 23:59pm

August 11, 2020

August 14, 2020

Announcement First Selection

August 14, 2020

August 17-20, 2020

Online Interviews

August 17-20, 2020

August 21-28, 2020

Startup Presentations

August 21-28, 2020

August 29-30, 2020

Announcement Selection Startup in Residence 2020

August 29-30, 2020

September 28, 2020

Start Startup in Residence Programme

September 28, 2020

March 21, 2021

End Startup in Residence Programme

March 21, 2021


Practical Questions

The selection committee consists of highly skilled and knowledgeable people. There is no fixed amount of committee members, but in general there will be the civil servant responsible for the challenge (client), an expert on innovation, an expert on entrepreneurship and someone from the Startup in Residence Programme.

1 – 1,5 days per week.

The deadline for asking questions is 4 August (23.59pm).

Very much so. This programme is partner driven. We are always on the lookout for partners and coaches: parties that can help startups and the municipality to make the programme successful.

All of these options are possible. It depends on the participating startups.

The programme will take about 8 to 12 hours per week. Presence on these days is obligatory. For the other days working at a distance is possible.

Yes, there are a lot of connections with scientific institutes such as Amsterdam Metropolitan Solutions and the University of Amsterdam. We have an extensive network to which we can connect not yet participating mentors when a startup has a particular demand for this.

Certainly. Scalability is one of the assessment criteria. The City of Amsterdam can even help you connect to other cities.

No, that’s not a requirement. If the City decides to purchase the product/service of the startup when the programme has finished, it is a requirement that the company or a subsidiary of the company is registered in Amsterdam.

Startups will focus on one city during the 6-month programme, but SIRA provides opportunities to learn from, share experiences and network with other municipalities.

SIRA allows startups to work with city partners to build, refine and/or co-develop products that address critical and meaningful social challenges. It is the City’s intention to act as launching customer at the end of the programme. The 6-month SIRA programme also includes:

  • Training/workshops (an incubator programme of the City and its partners) for an average of four hours a week;
  • Professional mentoring/coaching;
  • Internal content guidance from the City;
  • Peer-to-peer learning;
  • Workspace (at partners and the City);
  • The network of the City;
  • Process support;
  • Product or service development;
  • Access to startup events;
  • The City can act as a Startup Visa Facilitator.

Schedules will be agreed upon with your partnering department, but at least 1 person from your team must be available in person once per week to meet with your client and participate in all trainings and workshops.

General questions about the challenges

Yes, you can apply for multiple challenges.

For each challenge you need to fill in a new application.

You can apply with the same solution for all the three different challenges.

Other Questions

We can only act as a visa facilitator if the Startup is a participant of the Startup in Residence Programme. The organisation does not accept requests from non-participating startups.

You can find more information about the startup visa here below (see section 1.5 of the request for tender, the complete tender can also be found on our ‘apply’ section).

1.5 Startup Visa Facilitator
Since 2015, ambitious entrepreneurs can apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands. The residence permit ‘scheme for startups’ affords entrepreneurs one year to launch an innovative business. A prerequisite is that the startup must be guided by an experienced mentor (facilitator) who is based in the Netherlands.

The City is a recognised facilitator and is qualified to guide startups that would like to apply for a startup (residence) permit in the Netherlands. To qualify for the City’s guidance as facilitator, the Startup will have to be a participant of the Programme. When a Startup is selected and accepted to the Programme, it can request that the Startup in Residence organisation act as its facilitator. The Startup in Residence organisation will consider the request and will make the final decision on whether it will take on the role as facilitator.

The City and the Startup in Residence organisation have no obligation to act as a facilitator for Startups participating in the Programme.

For more general information about the residence permit for startups in the Netherlands and the application procedure, see:

Yes, this is possible, provided that you meet the requirements for startups as explained on the website.

Yes, a consortium of natural persons (freelancers, sole proprietorship, general partnership) may participate in the programme as long as you do not have more than ten salaried employees and fulfil all other requirements as stated on the website. You cannot apply as a consortium of legal entities. It is possible to explain how the startup will cooperate with other parties who do not participate in the programme.

Finance & Contract

No, it is not.

This is not the intention of the programme. However, if it’s beneficial for the development of the solution the municipality can decide to help te startup develop the product/solution.

No, the City has the intention to become launching customer at the end of the programme. This all depends on the provided solution of the startup. Intention is not the same as a promise.

Yes, the startup remains 100% owner of the product/service.

Yes, that is possible.

There has to be a business model. This does not have to be the definitive version because further development of the business plan/ business model is part of the Startup in Residence Programme.

The main objective of this programme is not to help startups get seed capital. If it’s beneficial for the development of the solution the municipality can decide to help te startup develop the product/solution.

To the startup as it is registered at the Chamber of Commerce. A one-man business is a possibility.

SIRA is a programme opportunity to test ideas and develop new technology products and services. It is not a substitute for a contract to sell an existing product or service to government. It is the City’s intention to act as launching customer at the end of the programme.

No, the Programme does not provide any kind of bursary or financial support for rent expenses or employees pay etc.

The programme

The programme is built up in the following phases: 1) Deep dives &Kick-off; 2) Lean Basics; 3) Options & Decisions; 4) Validate & Prototyping; 5) Launching Customer.

  1. The first phase is the official opening of the Programme, a first introduction to the public/municipality and the deep dives with the responsible civil servant/mentor/startup. During the deep dives goals are set and expectations are managed.
  2. The second phase is all about getting to know each other better and getting to know the lean startup basics. During this period the startup will follow a training programme, have a weekly lunch meeting and a two-weekly meeting with their mentor.
  3. The third phase is critical for the rest of the process since this is when the most important decisions on how to proceed are made.
  4. Phase four is the ‘Validate & Prototyping’ phase. The prototypes are going to be validated and tested. This phase is based on three key principles: Build – Measure – Learn. This is an on-going process.
  5. The last phase is ‘launching customer’. If solutions prove successful, the City of Amsterdam will invest in the startup as a launching customer and thereby significantly kick-start the startup’s career.

Very much so. This programme is partner driven. We are always on the lookout for partners and coaches: parties that can help startups and the municipality to make the programme successful.

No, the programme will take about 8 to 12 hours per week.

SIRA is a 6-month programme. It is the City’s intention to act as launching customer at the end of the programme.

How to apply

This is the application for the Startup in Residence programme 2020. In this application, you can register for one of the mobility or sustainability challenges. This application consists of two elements that must be downloaded, completed, and re-submitted.


Download and fill in the the Uniform Europees Aanbestedingsdocument (UEA). This is the Dutch version of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). You can download the UEA here. Please make sure you download and open the UEA form in Acrobat Reader and don’t forget to fill in and sign the document before you upload it.* If you don’t understand Dutch, please download the English manual here. In the UEA you declare that you meet the general criteria (See ‘What is a startup?’ in the Tender) and the specific criteria per challenge.


Make sure that all information is complete

* Download restrictions for the UEA form: The PDF can only be used with Acrobat Reader, preferably version 11.05. Only that way, the security and the extrusion functions that are included in the interactive pdf will work. You must save the document directly to your computer and not open it in your browser. After downloading, you can open the document via your computer with Acrobat Reader. If you open and fill in the PDF document directly via a web browser it may cause problems.

Tip: if you have difficulties filling in the form, please just print it right away and fill it in manually (we have heard that the interactive pdf sometimes doesn’t work on Mac computers).

For more information about the programme take a good look at the Tender document Here you can find all the information you need.

The incubation programme of the City of Amsterdam.

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We are Startup
in Residence Amsterdam

Training programme

During a six month programme you will receive training 1 day per two weeks. This ranges from value proposition building to Growth Hacking and from intellectual property to financial administration. In addition, we have created a series of workshops about how the City of Amsterdam works (for example: decision making and procurement).


The leadmentors of the programme will guide you during the whole programme. They will measure progress weekly and help you when needed. At the beginning of the programme there will be a matching between startups and mentors

Knowledge and Expertise

To offer you access to advice and specialist knowledge we have created a network of partners. You are free to ask questions throughout the programme (for example, concerning: legal matters, finance, online marketing, technology).