Entrepreneur

Amsterdam Law Hub kicks-off its first Incubator event to steer startups though choppy legal waters; here’s how


Even as more and more startups emerge on almost a daily basis, there is one unabated truth that drives the ecosystem – regardless of the idea and strategy, a budding entrepreneur needs money and guidance to keep the momentum going.  

Without proper funding, startups can fizzle out just as easily as they started business. Similarly, without mentorship and proper knowledge of running a business, a startup may never see the light of the day.

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Founders looking for success often turn to an incubator for help. Incubators offer great ways to start and grow businesses. In general, Incubators incubate disruptive ideas with the hope of building a business out of them. 

According to various studies, entrepreneurs who got their start at business incubators have a higher success rate, on average, than competitors who go it alone. 

What is an Incubator?

A startup incubator is a collaborative program designed to help new startups and individual entrepreneurs develop their businesses. Incubators help entrepreneurs solve pressing challenges connected with managing startups by providing mentoring, seed funding, workspace, and training. 

The global incubator market is expected to reach $1.5B by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.1 per cent during 2021-2026, says a report. 

Now here is the good news.

If you are an Amsterdam-based entrepreneur and is looking for a headstart to get your startup off the ground, count yourself lucky. 

The Amsterdam Law Hub, in collaboration with Pro Bono Connect, 16 Zuidas offices, StartupAmsterdam, and Uber, has announced its first incubator event, Incuboater. The first event will be held on October 21st, 2021, where they will provide free legal advice to startups, that too on a boat.

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Talking about the idea behind the Incubator event on boats to Silicon Canals, Nathalie Dijkman, Director of ​​Amsterdam Law Hub, shares, “Our fabulous colleague Frances Singleton is always full of creative ideas and loves puns. She is heading our startup programme at the Law Hub and as such looked into developing partnerships with law firms to provide legal advice to our start-ups and those in our network.” 

She adds, “Earlier this year she said ‘wouldn’t it be great to rent a boat for our startups and call it the Incuboater?!’. When someone comes with a creative idea in our team, I always encourage them to execute it. Besides: this idea was not only creative but also very useful – we want startups in Amsterdam to know they can count on the Law Hub for legal advice.”

What to expect?

With the city of Amsterdam as a backdrop, the Incuboater boat, also belovedly called the Incuboat, will moor at three iconic spots. Each location represents a theme where 10 startups that follow the same theme in their businesses will board. 

Dijkman says, “A bunch of enthusiastic lawyers from top-notch firms in Amsterdam, as well as Uber, will provide their time and brains to promising start-ups and NGOs in Amsterdam. On a boat. Every startup that is registered will receive a timeslot and location on where to board the Incuboat.” 

She continues, “By now we already have a waiting list of startups who want to join, so we hope that everyone who received a spot will actually join and take the chance to get free legal expert advice. We will end the boat ride at the Law Hub (UvA Roeterseiland) with drinks and snacks!”

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During the initial formation of a business, entrepreneurs face numerous business and legal challenges. 

According to Dijkman, many startups faces legal questions at the very beginning, such as 

  • How should they register as a legal entity? 
  • What liabilities exist in the Netherlands with regards to different structures? 
  • How does a shareholder agreement look like?

She further adds, “Importantly, many startups also face Intellectual Property or Trademark questions regarding their invention or brand. And of course, legal questions arise when disputes appear throughout the life of a startup which is unavoidable for any legal entity.”

By boarding the Incuboat, budding entrepreneurs will be able to have their legal question answered.

How The Amsterdam Law Hub is supporting startups?

“At the Law Hub, we offer a market launch incubator programme to early-stage startups which are focusing on innovating in the legal sector (including flexible working space for 12 months). We also have a small seed fund for early-stage startups. And last but not least: monthly free legal walk-in clinics for startups provided by law firms in our network. The Incuboater is just the beginning!” concludes Dijkman. 

Here’s the schedule of the Incuboater programme provided by Amsterdam Law Hub:

10:00 – 12:00 The Amsterdam Law Hub

This is the kick-off location! 

The theme that accompanies this spot is naturally aligned with what the Law Hub stands for: startups that make a social impact, operate in the legal sector and the social sciences and humanities.

12:30 – 14:30 Amnesty International

The second location is in the centre of Amsterdam, near the headquarters of Amnesty International and the famous gay monument. Here we focus on tech initiatives and NGOs.

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15:30 – 17:30 Amsterdam Law Hub

We end where we started our boat ride; in the Amsterdam Law Hub, we welcome startups with a scientific and medical background at the end of the day.

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