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The Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars provides accelerator portfolio companies with access to financial, human and intellectual capital to fuel the success of their business.  

Upon acceptance to the program, Arcadis offers every company a $100,000 convertible note.

Arcadis also contributes $20,000, which is commonly used as a stipend to support living expenses during the program, and in return receives 6% equity of the company (on a fully diluted basis, issued as common stock, to be shared between Arcadis and Techstars, which is represented by only Techstars on the cap table for simplicity’s sake) until the company raises a priced equity financing of US $250,000 or more (a “Qualified Financing”).

When you join the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars you also receive:

    • Access to Arcadis and Techstars resources for life.
    • Acceleration in a 90-day mentor-based accelerator program with personal mentorship and office space to accelerate your business.
    • Lifetime access to the Techstars worldwide network of entrepreneurs including more than 10,000 mentors; 11,000 investors; 1,900 alumni companies  and 280 staff members.
    • Access to over $300k of cash equivalent, accounting and legal support –plus other credits and perks worth more than $1M.
    • Demo Day exposure and other investor connections.

In the unlikely event that a participating company is dissatisfied with their experience in the Accelerator, we offer an equity back guarantee, the only one of its kind in the industry.

Historically, on average, companies from Techstars accelerators go on to raise more than $1M of outside capital after the program. We believe our stats speak for themselves.

What kind of companies do you fund?

We fund technology-oriented companies, typically software or web-based companies, but we’ve funded companies that don’t quite fit that mold as well. We’re also looking for companies that can have national or worldwide reach. For this year’s class of the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator we are most interested in companies that are addressing solutions in the following areas:

PLACES – ”Belong”:  Developing and regenerating neighborhoods, facilities and workspaces to create a thriving and sustainable built and natural environment. 

MOBILITY – “Move”:  Designing and orchestrating the enabling infrastructure, transportation and logistic networks of the future.

RESILIENCE – “Protect”:  Protecting and recovering from existing emerging risks – human and environmental – to safety, security and business continuity.

RESOURCES – “Live”:  Empowering cities and entrepreneurs to close resource loops across energy, water, food and air (reducing pollution and waste), responsibly producing and consuming goods and services and protecting the environment.

Do you fund companies that are competitive with each other?

We do our best to avoid accepting competitive companies into the same program class. However, with the growing number of Techstars companies and startups that Arcadis is involved with, it is possible that there may be competitive companies in the broader network. In the event there are companies in the Arcadis or Techstars portfolio that’s competitive, we work tirelessly to ensure there is no exchange of sensitive data.

Why does the accelerator want stock in my new company?

Like you, we’re entrepreneurs. We think that the value of the learning, networking, and mentoring provided by the program is of tremendous value. Our program will provide you with the healthiest possible start and greatly improve your chances for success and sustainability. Once we invest, we support your success by introducing you to right contacts who can help your business grow, assisting you with strategy, connecting you with more investors, and generally helping you win along your entrepreneurial journey. That’s a good deal for both of us.

Who are the most notable companies from other Techstars programs?

There are too many to name.Check out https://www.techstars.com/companies/ to see our top 50 companies by enterprise value and their current status.

Is my company “too far along” to apply to the Accelerator?

Probably not. We’ve had companies start with $1M+ in funding (read about one), and fully developed products, who have still seen significant value participating in a Techstars accelerator through help with business model development, introductions, financing and more.

Some of our alumni who raised over $1M before entering a Techstars accelerators include CartFresh, ChoreMonster, Cloudability, Contently, CoolChip, Cuseum, EMOTIV, FEM, Fortified Bicycle, GrabCAD, Grapevine, Hot, Imperson, LISNR, MakersKit, Medicast,  Plated, Rally, Revolar, Rocketbook, Seed&Spark, Silversheet, Sphero, Stasis Labs, StatMuse,ThriveHive, Ubooly and more.

We’ve even had companies go through a Techstars program once (Sphero, Boulder ‘10), sell millions of units, get up to $40M in funding, and then go through another one of the Techstars programs (Disney Accelerator ‘14). It depends on a number of factors including the product/service, the market, the program and the business strategy.

Likewise, nothing is too early. We’ve accepted companies with no more than an idea, a dream, and maybe a dog. Ask any past founder by contacting them at founders@ their domain name – they’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Hear what other founders have to say on this topic.

After I apply, I’m thinking of emailing mentors to get them interested in what I’m doing. Good idea?

No. We receive thousands of applications per year, which is why we have an application process. Systematically emailing some or all of our mentors in order to try to influence them before being accepted into the program will hurt you more than it will help you . The mentors are dedicated to helping the companies that we select, but are they are not a part of the selection process.

Do I have to be in the Techstars location for the entire 3 month period?

Yes. We require that you be primarily based on site during the program (unless you are participating in Techstars Anywhere, our mostly-virtual program). This benefits you because you can take advantage of the numerous learning opportunities, networking and coaching that will be provided. The amount of serendipity, unannounced drop-in mentors, and camaraderie that is developed during the program is staggering.

The accelerator is a major commitment, and we expect you to be around most of the time. However, it’s your company and you call the shots, so traveling as necessary for business or family requirements is okay by us.

Do I have to stay in that city when the program ends after 3 months?

No. It’s your company, so live wherever you want to. Many companies do decide to relocate to the city where they went through their Techstars program because of the vast local network that they can continue to tap into once the program concludes.

Can I apply if our company or founders are not from the Netherlands? Can you help with Visa/immigration issues?

Yes. Anyone from anywhere can apply, and we’ve funded many companies across the world in the past. You do have to be legally in the Netherlands during the program, of course. Once accepted, we can help with legal/immigration issues by leveraging our contacts and network to help. However, we cannot help with them in advance of acceptance to the accelerator.

What else do Arcadis and Techstars provide? 

We provide working and meeting spaces, as well as a nice lounge all with high-speed and reliable wireless internet access. Here’s a full list of perks that participating companies automatically receive, worth $1M. We’ll help you get everything covered with minimal expense. We just want you to focus on creating a great product while you’re here, and not have to worry about all the other stuff.

How can we get funded after the program ends?

Near the end of the three-month program, we’ll organize a Demo Day where angel investors and venture capitalists will check out your technology and listen to your pitch. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible, and do everything we can to help get you follow on funding. We may also fund your company further through Techstars Ventures, the venture capital arm of Techstars. So far, about 75% companies have received follow-on funding and/or immediately became profitable after the program ended. On average, Techstars’ companies raise $1M post demo day.

What sort of control am I giving up by granting equity?

Arcadis and Techstars want to be viewed as co-founders, and with our minority equity investment, we have no control rights.  We won’t ask for a board seat or for any uncommon investor rights. You will still run the show. We serve in a mentorship role with your company.

I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into the program, or do you only look for teams?

While we don’t screen applications just because they have a single founder, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skillset. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. If you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, it’s very unlikely we’ll accept you into the program, so go find a rock star developer to join you.

I’m a single founder. How can I find a co-founder?

Check out options like CoFoundersLab. We also suggest your local tech meetups, and a healthy dose of networking. Check out some of our events as we occasionally have founder meetups.

Where will we live while we’re there?

That’s up to you – we don’t provide a place to live. If you’re accepted into the program, we immediately assign someone on our end to help you find housing. How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?

We will choose great founders who are proposing products that fit our mandate for the program. The best things you can do to strengthen your application are:

    • Round out your team with business, technical, and other necessary skills.
    • Make progress on your prototype or product and reference it in the application.
    • Show us you’ve really thought about your business and have gotten off your butt to do something about it.
    • Demonstrate early traction or provide data points to validate your core assumptions.

Here are some tips about how to get accepted in the program:

Is my age a factor in your selection process?


When will I hear back about my application?

We try our best to notify applicants at least 1 month before the program starts.

What time specifically do applications close?

All applications close at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on the date indicated on our application page.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes, you can apply to more than one program. Within your application, you can choose which programs you would like to apply to. Should you talk to more than one Managing Director, you should feel comfortable discussing that you have applied to more than one program.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

Nope. Just fill out the online application – that’s all you need for us. In fact, we probably don’t want to see your business plan if you have one.

When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?

Check the schedule for details. Once you have submitted, you can’t edit the fields. That’s okay! You can always add notes, video URLs, and progress details in the notes section.

Do I have to work out of the accelerator office?

Yes. We provide the space and our locations are fully equipped with traditional and lounge-like working space. We believe there is a great deal of value in being in the space together because the other companies and mentors interacting there present a great opportunity. Here is one great story about how working the space led to a huge opportunity.

What will a typical day be like for a founder?

It’s your company, so you’ll be hard at work on your product. About two or three nights a week, we’ll organize informal educational sessions with our mentors. We also expect many of the mentors to drop into Techstars at various times throughout the program.

In general, you’ll be working on your product each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment that is conducive to helping your startup every day. And we’ll make sure you have lots of experienced mentors around to help you.

Here are some posts from Founders about what it’s like in program:

Also, be sure to check out our “Where are they Now?” video series which chronicles life post-program for our founders.

I’m concerned that if I apply, you won’t protect my intellectual property. Should I be worried about this?

We’re certainly not in the business of stealing ideas, and we treat application data as confidential information. Each year, we see thousands of applications and many of them include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, please don’t ask us to sign an NDA. Our application does not ask for your “secret sauce” and there is no reason you have to disclose this to us if you’re not comfortable doing so. 

What if I’m not happy with my Techstars experience?

Check out our Equity Back Guarantee. We firmly believe in the value of the Techstars accelerator program and in the long-term value of our network. This makes it easy to take this step to “put our equity where our mouth is.”

Do you ever offer internships to people interested in Techstars?

Yes, apply to be an Associate. You can cross-apply to multiple program locations as well.

My team outsources software development. Are we still qualified to apply?

Yes. We think it’s best not to outsource what you are, but it obviously works in some cases. We’re happy to consider any application. Just remember that we’re primarily focused on the team.

You talk a lot about the Techstars family and being a part of Arcadis and Techstars for life. Is there anything I could do to get kicked out of the Techstars network?

As long as you adhere to our Code of Conduct, all should be well.


David Mendez David Mendez
David Mendez is a venture capitalist and the Managing Director of the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Amsterdam, focusing on smart city and infrastructure technologies.