What is the preferred language for the application and the presentation?

The application and presentation can be both in Dutch or English.

What if I'm not a tech startup? Do I still need to have a prototype or MVP?

A pilot project or detailed project plan is also fine, as long as you're able to explain how this contributes to solving the challenge you've signed up for. We're looking for great ideas and solutions, but of course these need to be well thought out and defined. 

Some people in my team work part time, does that still count towards the maximum team size of 10?

If the startup consists of a legal entity, the business must have no more than ten salaried employees. However, this is on an FTE basis, so the maximum is 10 FTEs. In other words, people working part time don't count as 1 FTE.

Is it certain that the City becomes launching customer?

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

Does the startup remain owner of the product/service?

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

Can we get paid for the development of the product?

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

Who and how many people are in the assessment committee?

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 Program. 

What is the deadline for asking questions?

The deadline for submitting questions is June 15 (12:00 am), 2018

Does this program help with seed capital to sustain running the products in upcoming time period?

The main objective of this program 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.

Can the proposal be an offshoot of an existing business, where the offshoot will become a separate startup?

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

What is the deadline for registration?

Juli 2nd 2018, 12am is the deadline for registration.

I want to know more about a specific challenge.

An information meeting will be held at the Municipality on June 5h 2018 from 15:30-17:30. At this meeting you can ask questions to the responsible civil servants. You can sign up for the information meeting here  (until June 1 2018, 23:59) or by sending an email to 

I have questions about the program, where can I send them to?

You can send your questions to


Can you describe the process/structure of the program?

The program 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 program, 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. (Kick off: September 14th.)
  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 Groningen will invest in the startup as a launching customer and thereby significantly kick-start the startup’s career.

How many days a week is the program?

Approximately 1 day per week.

What is the duration of the Program? What happens after?

SIR is a 5-month program. It is the City’s intention to act as launching customer at the end of the program.

Is having a business plan/model optional or required?

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 program.

How often do I need to work in-person with the City?

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.


What are the application requirements for the Startup in Residence program?

In order to participate, the startup must meet the following application requirements:

- The startup must not have been registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce or a similar chamber in its country for more than five years;
- The startup must consist of natural persons or a legal entity;
- If the startup consists of a legal entity, the business must have no more than ten salaried employees;
- The startup must not have contracted any subcontractors;
- The startup must own an MVP/prototype/beta version;
- Startups must be able to align their features set with the market situation. We expect the startup to be flexible and open to adjustments;`
- The startup must not be a startup that has originated from another business that has 250 salaried employees or more.

Further information can be found in the Tender Guidelines

Can I apply for more than one challenge?

Yes, you can apply for more than one challenge. Please note that you have to fill in a new application form for each new challenge.

Why should I apply?

Startup in Residence 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 program. The 5-month program 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;
  • The network of the City;
  • Process support;
  • Product or service development;
  • Access to startup events;

We are not currently a startup (as in: registered in the chamber of commerce), will we still be considered for the programme? Or do you only consider startups that already have a prototype/beta version?

No, you can also be a very early startup without any prototype. However, during the jury selection, we do take into account your team’s capabilities to build your solution for the City and your current experiences.

Do I need to have a KvK (Chamber of Commerce) registration in order to apply for the program?

For phase 1 and phase 2 it is not necessary to be registered. For phase 3 (starting September 14th) your startup must be registered at the Chamber of Commerce.