The cooperation between startups on either side of the border has been endorsed with a declaration of intent by the Province of Gelderland and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). The main objective of the cross-border program is to collect and share knowledge and networks to create awareness for the ecosystem on both sides of the border.
“The Dutch and Germans complement each other in many ways. At the same time, we see that the ecosystems in both countries are not sufficiently intertwined. With the X-Borders program we want to strengthen the interaction between startups and hubs in the Netherlands and Germany, ”
Thus, project leader Hans Brouwers.
The X-Borders project consists of an “Event Exchange” and a “Get Connected Week”. During the “Event Exchange”, startups from the Netherlands and Germany are offered the opportunity to visit events in the neighboring country to stimulate the growth of their company. This allows startups to pitch their ideas to an audience with established companies and investors and to expand their network. During the “Get Connected Week”, selected startups are accommodated during a working week (Mon-Fri) at a partner hub in the neighboring country. Startups follow an intensive program in which they can validate their business cases under the guidance of the hub in order to gain access to new markets and increase the chance of investments. Digital startups who want to participate in the program can register via the following link: https://x-borders.eu/apply-now/.
Exchange offers many opportunities
Intensive cooperation offers many opportunities for German and Dutch startups. The Eastern Netherlands is traditionally strong in the areas of Agrofood (Wageningen), Health (Nijmegen), Energy (Arnhem) and High Tech (Enschede). Digital startups that are active in these domains, have a cross-border ambition and at least have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), are eligible for the exchange program.
“Hubs Connected Crossing Borders” offers activities that act as a catalyst to realize cross-border activities with startups. This should ultimately lead to the development of tools to support startups in their further development. Health Valley, Foodvalley NL, Briskr, KIEMT, IPKW, StartLife, Starthub Wageningen, Novio Tech Campus and Gelderland Valorisatie are involved from Gelderland, while Brightlands and Novel-T have joined, respectively, from Limburg and Overijssel. In addition, the project also includes Techleap.NL, the former Startup Delta with special Envoy Prince Constantijn van Oranje. On the German side, the six different “Digihubs” from Münster, Essen, Düsseldorf, Köln, Aachen and Bonn are participating in the X-Borders project.
This project is financially supported by the European Union and the INTERREG partners under the INTERREG program.