The ultimate global tribute to local startups
Most people know about the startup scenes in Silicon Valley, New York, London, even Berlin. No offence to these giants but there are many more places where real innovation is done the startup way. Working hard with the ambition to transform an entire industry might get your attention away from shouting out to the world. If your country or city isn’t top of mind when thinking of innovation, technology and disruptiveness your startup will be having a hard time getting noticed in the first place.
Take the Netherlands for example, not just by incident the home base of The Next Web, WeTranfer and more recently Blendle and Peerby, who both just received over six figures in funding. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Netherlands has shown a flourishing startup scene. They host a workforce that is comprised of highly qualified multinationals and multilinguals. Over 90 percent of the Dutch population speaks English and their internet speed is one of the fastest in the world. With innovators like Philips, Heineken and Unilever in its heritage, the Dutch belong to the most innovative people of the world.
Founded in Holland
That’s why we’ve launched the initiative Founded in Holland in September of this year, a curated listing of the most innovative startups in the Netherlands. Not to brag, but because we believe that everybody around the world should be proud of these gems of boldness. The site hit the spot, got featured on Product Hunt, welcomed thousands of visitors and soon received hundreds of applications from Dutch startups we didn’t even know existed.
Perhaps the best part is: other countries got interested. They were feeling the same pain. Living in a country where startups are rising like flowers without anyone noticing, both domestic and international. The true underdogs are growling. This is their time to strike back, in a good way though. For Founded in Holland we’ve introduced a crisp and typically Dutch figurative, the tulip. A little bulb that’s growing into a beautiful flower is the perfect metaphor for a startup. Norway picked the cheese slicer, South Africa chose the waterpomp and Dracula represents Romania. Quite a team.
Today we present Founded X, the ultimate tribute to underdog startup scenes. All countries in the world have their own unique advantages and characteristics. Starting a business in each of these places requires exceptional courage and persistence. The locally curated lists presented by Founded X are a tribute to all innovative startups that are proud of their local roots. It starts with an overview of all participating countries — eight so far and counting — but also provides a Starting kit to kickstart your own ‘Founded in…’ spin-off. It contains front-end code, a custom CMS, the visual identity and logos. Since we truly believe in the DIY mentality and therefore in everything that’s provided as open source, we’re sharing it with the community. In return, we ask from every contributor to share their future developments to the platform with the others.
In the meantime, the platform has already expanded with featured spots and merchandise, and we’re planning to organize our first event and add extensive (financial) data in the near future. The thing that we’re most excited about though is our plans for a marketplace to support the (local) startup economy. Looking at the startups on the list, which are operating in an abundance of different business sectors, startups could become completely independent of traditional corporate services. Startups working for and with other startups. An acceleration of the startup economy that could be beneficial for entire local economies all over the world.
With Founded X we’ve started an initiative that celebrates local innovative startups globally. Not focused on the usual suspects but build around the underdogs that develop tomorrow’s innovations and are eager to participate in the worldwide startup economy. Watch your back Bay Area.