Rabobank is launching a new online platform today to help connect 700 high-potential startups with established businesses.
The bank is also publishing a new online magazine as part of this month’s Startup Fest Europe, of which it is a founding partner. This publication will feature profiles of all the startups participating in the event. Businesses can use the platform to connect with startups as potential business partners.
The ultimate goal of the platform is to put businesses in touch with innovative startups so as to promote innovation in the SME sector, including the agricultural industry. Rabobank will be promoting the online magazine among its corporate customers in the immediate future.
A national survey conducted among Dutch businesses (Nationaal Ondernemers Onderzoek 2016) reveals that 70% of businesses are actively involved in updating their business models, with strategy, innovation and employees being key focus areas. While startups are known for their talent, innovation and new business models, they also need experience, market expertise and launch customers.
Eric Saris, Rabobank’s Director of Commercial Banking: ‘We created this magazine – which you could describe as a type of “online matchmaker” – to give startups the opportunity to connect with businesses in our network. It’s a win-win for all parties involved: we help startups find their launch customers and knowhow, while more established businesses get to benefit from the startup’s innovation and new business models.’
Rabobank’s decision to support Startup Fest Europe as a founding partner is part of its overall efforts to promote entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation through its knowledge and networks, which coincides with its wider initiative of contributing to creating prosperity and wellbeing in the Netherlands and feeding the world population on a sustainable basis. ‘Innovation is crucial to economic development in the Netherlands and essential when it comes to improving food security for the rapidly growing world population. New businesses such as startups and scale-ups are at the forefront when it comes to driving innovation and new technologies, which creates opportunities for the future of Dutch business,’ Eric Saris explains.
Constantijn van Oranje, Chairman of Startup Fest Europe: ‘Startup Fest Europe was created to bring together different parties in a way that benefits them all. Startup Fest provides a platform for startups to enter into business deals with corporates, investors and other business professionals.’