Even the best ideas can’t be realized without capital. Admittedly, acquiring investment can be more than a little daunting but it’s an essential part of both starting and growing a business. Thankfully for us, since 2015 Amsterdam Capital Week has been creating events that foster genuine connections between entrepreneurs and potential investors. It’s led by a small but driven team of innovation enthusiasts who believe in their mission to create an ecosystem that supports the growth of founders, entrepreneurs and their businesses. As they term it themselves, Amsterdam Capital Week is “your home for growth” and it highlights the importance of what can be achieved when people work together.
Now in its fifth year, Amsterdam Capital Week takes place between the 23rd and 25th of September, splitting their program into three categories; human, financial and social capital, an intelligent recognition that capital comes in all shapes and sizes. Ahead of what promises to be another necessary event for anyone looking to raise capital, invest in innovative ventures and meet people who are passionate about growth, we at B. have selected our ten favorite sessions to help you navigate this wonderful event of growth.
1. could you repeat the question?
23 September 14:25 – 15:10
Investors don’t only put money into businesses, but also people. They may like your idea, but if you can’t answer a few questions, it’s unlikely someone will finance it. Smart, well-structured responses seem like a basic skill, but they’re fundamental to providing confidence and transparency to potential investors. Co-created with Symbid, the event uses TED speaker Dana Kanze‘s investigation into the type of questions investors ask as its starting point. Make sure you attend this workshop if you want to learn how to navigate all the questions you might be asked.
2. empower your proposition
23 September 13:30 – 14:20
When launching a product (or improving an existing one), it’s often easy to see the best in your own creation whilst it’s harder to see the limitations. But by taking your ideas out into the real world, prototyping and taking on feedback, business models can be fine-tuned to increase the value of them to yourself, investors and users. Innovation strategist Ivanel Pérez Bolívar is flying in from Belgium for this session, so come and have your thoughts challenged and ideas tested.
3. get your (financial) books in order
23 September 14:25 – 15:50
A critical part of securing capital is being able to sell your business plan to potential investors, although this is almost impossible if your finances are a mess. Present Your Startup and Innovate Today are creating this event to teach you about the fundamentals of financial planning and help you create the documents that are so important to your startup.
4. meetings at the den
23 September 13:30 – 16:00
If you attend all the lectures and workshops in the world but don’t actually meet the people who might provide you with capital, your brilliant idea might stay as just that. Meetings at the Den is one of the longer sessions on the first day, offering you the opportunity to meet investors and mentors for one-on-one meetings. Opportunities like these are essential to everyone attending Amsterdam Capital Week.
5. grow & scale internationally (part I and II)
23 September 11:25 – 12:10 and 13:30 – 14:20
Held in two parts and co-created by weGrow International and DutchBasecamp, this event explores the tools, skills and foresight needed to grow into new markets further afield, something that can be an intimidating prospect. Importantly, it’s not just real success stories that will be talked about, but also case studies when things didn’t go to plan. It’s a realistic take on the world of international growth.
6. the war on talent
24 September 10:30 – 11:20
Whilst many of the events at Amsterdam Capital Week are focused on the specifics of building your ideas into investment worthy businesses, this panel discussion with The Next Web takes a broader look at how cities can remain competitive and attract the brightest minds in the tech industry. Appealing jobs, cultural dynamism, welcoming markets and constant innovation are essential ingredients. Since all businesses operate within larger ecosystems, it’s important to talk about the inputs needed to make a tech hub thrive.
7. live podcasts: let’s talk money
24 September 13:00 – 13:20, 13:30 – 13:50 and 14:00 – 14:20
Split into three one-on-one conversations with remarkable female entrepreneurs, these live podcast sessions are a chance to sit in and listen to their thoughts about the value of money and the consequences of their outlooks. In the first session, Eline Leijten (Founder & CEO of Plugify) will guide us through her money mindset whilst Puck Landewe (Manager Brand & Communications of international bicycle market leaders, Accell Group) and Marieke Eyskoot (Sustainable Fashion & Lifestyle Expert) will enlighten us in the second and third events. Each session is limited to thirty seats, so make sure you turn up in time.
8. conversation circles: mental health & happiness
24 September 14:25 – 15:20
One of the most important events of Amsterdam Capital Week. Geared towards early-stage founders but open to all, this event talks of the mental challenges of entrepreneurship and the ways in which to deal with them. Talking about mental health and knowing how to deal with the ups and downs is critical to both your personal happiness and the happiness of your business. Join this necessary discussion and let’s keep smiling.
9. tech-for-good pitch battle
24 September 14:25 – 16:30
Sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s not all about money. Together with The Next Web, a special pitch battle is being set up to emphasize the value of social capital. Using the founders of six startups focused on building better futures, they’ll pitch to a crowd and jury of top ecosystem players. After a Q&A and the announcement of the winner, networking and drinks will follow.
10. deals over dinner
24 September 18:00 – 22:00
The Next Web X strive to connect ideas and entrepreneurs with capital. In conjunction with their birthday, they’re hosting a dinner to bring exciting tech startups, scale-ups and progressive corporates around the table to create a place where new partnerships and opportunities can be made. After each course, you’ll switch seats onto different tables and if you end up signing a deal, you’ll get a free bottle of champagne. What’s not to like? If you’re a progressive corporate looking for innovators, or if you’re a growing tech company that wants to showcase your idea to larger companies, this is the dinner for you. To apply for a table or to request an invitation, visit their website.