The Netherlands launches Rise, the showcase for future unicorns

Main Published on: May 28, 2020 Last updated: May 28, 2020


The Netherlands, under the, has officially launched Rise. With this ambitious programme, and top entrepreneurs like Pieter van der Does (Adyen), Ali Niknam (bunq), Steven Schuurman (Elastic), Chris Hall (Bynder), Michiel Muller (Picnic) and Gillian Tans ( are helping the most promising scale-ups in the Netherlands to grow faster internationally.

Scale-ups participating in the first batch are: Easee, Floryn, LTO Network, Mapiq, Nico.Lab, Online Payment Platform, Polarsteps, Quicargo, Starred, Wizenoze.

As part of the programme, the entrepreneurs will be put on the international map with corporates, investors and media. Founders are encouraged in groups of ten to fifteen participants to also learn from each other about the challenges of scaling up a company.  They receive support and feedback from top Dutch entrepreneurs who share their own insights and lessons learned with the new batch of promising scale-ups. Every quarter Rise will help a new group of entrepreneurs.

Two unicorns a year, best ecosystem in Europe

The aim of Rise is to support the emergence and development of world champions in the technology sector, to become less dependent on technological solutions from other countries and to create a climate in which two unicorns per year can 'rise'. By 2023, Rise wants to have supported 250 promising scale-ups. The insights from the program will also be shared to further improve the tech-ecosystem in the Netherlands and to define bottlenecks and solutions for the growth challenges of scale-ups.

“With Rise we want to create more Dutch technology companies that can measure themselves against the best internationally. We have found the best entrepreneurs in the business willing to help our most promising scale-ups with honest hard and constructive feedback. By learning from each other's experiences and connecting them to the right parties, we create an innovative climate in which the tech leaders of tomorrow can rise above themselves.”

Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy

Strict selection

The criteria to participate are strict: a scale-up qualifies for the program if they meet the following criteria: currently €10M+ is being raised in a funding round or they are preparing to raise it with their next round (which has probably already been funded €1-5M); an annual turnover in excess of €1 million; more than 10 FTEs employed; at least 50% annual growth and a clear understanding of the product/service and the market they serve.

"The Rise program allows me to give back the insights of my own scaleup journey with to today's most promising companies." - Gillian Tans, Chairwomen Rise is important to us because it paves the way for us to the international tech scene: from investors, to media and techtalent. We expect the program to have a real impact on the growth of our company through the connections we can make.” - Koen Droste, CEO of Polarsteps

Read more about the selected scale-ups and the program here:

LTO is proud to be among the best!

“This is an exciting step for LTO Network, validating our growth and accomplishments both as a company and as a community. Being further endorsed by the Dutch Government's organizations opens up the window for us to learn from the tech unicorns and expand our reach to the levels it was not possible before.”

Rick Schmitz, CEO of LTO Network

This is not an incubator program or a startup school, far from that. Techleap is an official representative of the Dutch Government, aiding in fostering tech growth in The Netherlands. " is the follow-up from StartupDelta, which ceases to exist by that name in December 2019. helps to build the ecosystem for tech companies in the Netherlands, whether they be startups or scale-ups."

We are humbled to see LTO Network step into the elite circle of the best companies and tech enthusiasts of Europe. Looking forward to the next steps and amazing opportunities this will bring!

Website | Telegram | Twitter | Reddit | LinkedIn | Documentation


ex-CMO of LTO Network