Rotterdam invests 2.6 million euros into investment fund for start-ups UNIIQ

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The province of South Holland, RVO and foundation HEID invest an additional 10 million euros for innovative start-ups.

The municipality of Rotterdam has made 2.6 million euros available for proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ. This was announced by Hans Dreijklufft, fund manager for UNIIQ and Robert Tans, statement manager for innovation at the municipality of Rotterdam, during the Upstream Festival in Rotterdam. With this sum, Rotterdam supports promising innovative companies that contribute to smart solutions regarding energy and a future-proof economy. UNIIQ is responsible for distributing the fundings. Besides the 2.6 million euros from Rotterdam, the province of South Holland, the Rijksdienst for Ondernemend Nederland and foundation HEID also contribute to the fund. As a result there will be an additional 10 million euros available for innovative start-ups in the Rotterdam region over the coming years.

The municipality of Rotterdam already committed to their investment in 2020. This week the investment has been effectuated. The investment is revolving: a large portion of the gains will eventually end up with the municipality of Rotterdam. Alderman Robert Simons (responsible for economy, a.o.): “Thanks to this investment, we can give start-ups a boost in starting-up as well as scaling-up their business activities, in collaboration with other local governmental entities. This enhances the welfare, job opportunities and innovation in Rotterdam and the region.”

Seed-capital during high-risk phase

The investment fund helps promising companies that contribute to transitions in the province of South Holland during the starting phase of their entrepreneurial activities. As such, start-ups can market their unique innovations faster, and further develop their business concepts. The UNIIQ fund offers entrepreneurs seed capital to realise their plans and bridges the high-risk phase. The process is aimed at making a next step towards follow-up financing. UNIIQ offers financing to innovative and academic start-ups within the so-called RIS3 (Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation) sectors, especially in Cleantech, Life Sciences & Health, Safety & Security, Horticulture, Smart Industry and Crossovers in the province of South Holland. Moreover, UNIIQ offers intensive guidance trajectory that enables entrepreneurs to bring their products to the market faster. The maximum of funding appointed per application is 350.000 euros. The sum will be made available as a postponed loan.

Flywheel effect

The Rotterdam region is a rising start in the worldwide start-up ecosystem. It hosts a growing and flourishing community of nearly 1700 active start-ups in Smart Logistics, Life Sciences, Deeptech, Megatronics and Cleantech. The contribution the municipality of Rotterdam made to the Early-Phase-Financing powered by UNIIQ will enable a flywheel effect.

About the UNIIQ fund

The UNIIQ fund is managed by a team of investment professionals in which all collaborating partners are represented: InnovationQuarter, Leiden University, Erasmus MC and TU Delft. In 2021, the Erasmus University Rotterdam also joined the fund. Since 2021, the means of the Early-Phase-Financing are vested in UNIIQ. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union.

Upstream Festival

The Upstream Festival is the yearly event connecting international start-ups and scale-ups that drive on the transition towards a digital, carbon neutral, circular and inclusive new economy. Entrepreneurs, investors and innovative companies are invited to share, to connect and to create meaningful innovations enabling sustainable growth. This year, the event will take place from Tuesday May 23 until Thursday May 25. The location is the music venue Annabel, a dynamic location in the centre of Rotterdam. The event offers a wide range of activities, varying from keynote speeches and panel discussion, to workshops, hackathons and network opportunities. During three days, start-ups, scale-ups, innovative SMEs and student can explore the newest innovations, witness events, build new connections and learn from the leading experts in their field.

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