Earlier in 2018, Techstars and Arcadis announced their new partnership and the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Amsterdam. I am very excited to serve as the Managing Director for this program!
From Corporate to Startup
After almost 10 years in the corporate world with DuPont, GE, and Conoco, I got my first taste of entrepreneurship when I cofounded a supply chain software company in Silicon Valley. After we sold the company, I was recruited to NYC to become a Managing Director for a new operational advisory firm and venture capital fund focused on media technologies. This firm not only taught me the basics of VC investing, but also provided me the opportunity to spend a year in London to work with a few portfolio companies there.
When I returned to the U.S., I went out on my own again, and spent years digging deep into the operations at various startups as an advisor and operational partner. Working with a plethora of exciting startups and helping them in areas of funding, business development, and basic operations was an extremely rewarding experience, and the relationships I’ve maintained with many of the founders are still strong today!
My VC Career
In 2013 I cofounded a VC firm, Capital A Partners alongside my Stockholm-based partner, with the mission of investing in early stage Nordic-based startups in order to bridge them to the U.S. market. A big part of our role involved working with founders to help them establish a presence in the U.S. Even outside of our portfolio, we quickly became the go-to fund in the Nordics for founders needing help in the U.S. The fund was deployed over the following few years: we have experienced four exits to date, and we continue to manage the diverse portfolio.
We then became partners with a seed stage venture firm, Butterfly Ventures, based in Finland, and began investing through their third fund early in 2017. Continuing my venture capital career, I also was brought in as an advisor for an early stage fund, Good Growth Capital, based between South Carolina and Boston. Being involved with these funds has allowed me to be involved with over 40 startups and even more founders.
Investing in mainly B2B technologies, with a few consumer oddities along the way, it became clear to me that the industrial and infrastructure sector is where a tremendous amount of innovation is taking place now—and where I see it continuing in the immediate future. In areas of IoT, and even with AR and VR, the opportunities to apply new technologies and concepts to manufacturing, engineering, and design has expanded categories such as sustainability, digitization, and human-computer interaction (HCI).
To me, it feels like my entire career—my global investing experience, working with over 40 startups in just a few years, the new areas of opportunity in sustainability, digitization, and HCI, combined with the global network I’ve established during the past years—all come together in the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars. I can’t wait to hear your innovative ideas for developing technologies that will revolutionize how people live, work, and travel in cities—both now, and in the future!
Apply today to the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator—applications close November 11, 2018!
In partnership with Techstars, Arcadis wants to hear your innovative ideas for disrupting the natural and built environment, and we want to work together with you to shape the future of cities. Amid a growing global trend towards urbanization, cities are increasingly under pressure. Fewer resources, rising citizen expectations, and increased social, technological, and environmental stress are some of the challenges. Sustainable development and ensuring future resiliency will require innovation and leveraging technology to solve increasingly critical urban problems.
Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets, has been improving quality of life for over 125 years. The focus areas of our work include infrastructure, water, buildings, and environmental solutions, and we have strong relationships with key decision makers at our clients worldwide. The industries we operate in are being disrupted by digital; the future build and use of assets must leverage technology while being human centric in design, taking into consideration how people live, work, and travel in cities.
We have launched the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, in partnership with Techstars and want to work with startups developing technologies that will revolutionize how people live, work, and travel in cities both now and in the future. This initiative is part of the broader Arcadis Vision 2030 program with the goal of anticipating the future needs of cities and positioning our company to be able to meet them – playing a key role of improving quality of life for citizens. Our deep asset knowledge, combined with our corporate focus on digital, makes us your preferred partner. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
Specifically, we are interested in companies focused on asset and human centric platforms related to design and build infrastructure related assets. Examples of this can include developing innovative ways of digitizing and automating tasks throughout the asset life cycle or creating new business models related to BIM (building information modeling). This is an opportunity to partner with an established company such as Arcadis that can leverage its knowledge and network to help startups grow their business and materialize innovative ideas.
From the human aspect, we are looking at ways to engage with end users to become data aggregators or sources of insights to inform better design and operation of built assets. This could include solutions to help improve planning and permitting of new infrastructure by engaging and co-creating with communities. But these are all just examples – we want to hear any innovative idea that has the potential to help enhance city life.
Each company accepted into the 3 month program will receive a $20,000 stipend to fund pilots, prototypes, etc., and a $100,000 convertible note for use if needed. Various mentors with industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience to help scale the business will be assigned. Mentors will be available to meet regularly, sharing their knowledge and guidance to program participants, as well as opening their networks when appropriate. The end of the program will feature a Demo Day where startups can showcase their ideas, gain deeper partner engagement and support, as well as connect with investors for possible fundraising efforts.
The program will be based in Amsterdam, a place that has one of the best startup ecosystems in Europe and that in recent years has evolved into a “smart city” through its use of information technology to connect and improve city services. The municipal government has its own CTO and an official Amsterdam Smart City initiative that includes more than 100 partners working on projects to make the city more livable and futureproof. This creates the perfect environment for startups to thrive and test ideas, particularly around urban innovation.
Would you like an opportunity to shape the future of city life with a solid partner that has substantial expertise in this domain? Apply today to the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator – applications close November 11, 2018. For more detailed program and logistics information, see the Techstars FAQ.
To apply to the program, proceed to the application.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. www.techstars.com.
Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced a new partnership with Arcadis, the leading design and consultancy for natural and built assets, to bring the Arcadis City of 2030 Accelerator, Powered by Techstars program to Amsterdam, furthering Techstars expansion of accelerators around the world.
Techstars has long had a presence in Amsterdam through the Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Digest programs, dating back to 2010. Techstars also has a strong presence in the Netherlands as a whole, thanks to Techstars accelerator alumni companies, mentors, 36 Techstars Startup Weekends and 3,741 Techstars Startup Program attendees.
Startup companies selected for the Techstars Mentorship-driven Accelerator Program will bring pioneering technologies that will revolutionize the construction and engineering industries, including how people move around cities and the associated infrastructure need. Techstars and Arcadis will support the companies in program by providing content and a team of mentors who bring subject-matter expertise, business connections and industry insights on innovative solutions that will help these companies do more faster.
The smart city industry is ripe for disruption. McKinsey research projects the smart city industry to be a $400 billion market by the end of this decade with more than 600 cities worldwide. These connected cities are expected to generate 60 percent of the world’s GDP by 2025.
Applications open in July 2018 and the program will kick off in February 2019. If you’re interested in applying, please check out the application tool kit.