Our two-month, cost-free program supports early stage startups in and around Amsterdam with co-financing opportunities and an investor readiness program. This means you’ll not only receive investor readiness support but also have the chance to connect with investors. With both in-person and online events, founders can expect to spend four to eight hours per week participating in workshops, deep dives, training sessions, and other helpful insights into building a lasting business.

“Amsterdam Circular is a financing program that seeks to bridge the funding gap for early stage circular ventures, by connecting them with private and public investors, while exploring alternative forms of financing for startups. This program exists to help founders fund their vision for a circular future.”

Guy Vincent

Fundraising, Circularity, Internationalisation

Co-Financing Circular Startups
The startups in this program are focused on enabling a circular economy in various industries with the aim to achieve both environmentally and socially sustainable outcomes. Beyond circular economy, technologies that otherwise enable achieving sustainability are also welcome. The product can be software or hardware, although there is a tendency to get excitement around hardware technology that delivers a measurable impact.

Benefits for founders
By participating in Amsterdam Circular, you'll gain access to AMS Institute and its network of international researchers. You'll also have the opportunity to test your solution in the real world at the Marineterrein Living Lab. In addition to these benefits, you'll receive:

  • A curated investor list of 50+ potential investors for each startup
  • Manage investor relationships
  • Education in circular financing
  • Help with cap table management
  • Investor readiness workshops
  • An invitation to an investor borrel (borrel: Dutch for a social gathering)
  • Aftercare to close your funding round

“Dutch startups need more support to further develop the circular economic model, and we’re confident that the Amsterdam Circular program will play a major role in driving progress within the sector”

Rune Theill, CEO and Co-Founder Rockstart

Selection Criteria
This program is open startups that are post-revenue and within the seed to Series B funding stages. Startups with headquarters in Amsterdam, Delft, or Wageningen and an ambition to expand internationally are preferred. To be eligible, your team must have at least 3 members and be actively seeking funding.

Circular Sectors
AMS Institute has identified 6 urban challenges, and Amsterdam Circular is looking for startups developing solutions in these sectors.

  • Agrifood: Amsterdam’s present food system causes degradation of soil, air, water, and biodiversity. Our food contains too many pesticides and too much food is thrown away. Healthy food is more expensive, less available and less accessible than unhealthy food. This makes it more difficult for citizens on the lower social economic position eat and live healthier. 
  • Biobased and circular construction: Amsterdam has committed to becoming a fully circular city by the year 2050. For the transition towards circularity in cities, all scales matter. We are looking for startups innovating with materials, products and components that affect buildings, infrastructure, districts, and metropolitan regions.
  • Climate: Climate change impacts urban life all over the world and we need to prepare our cities for it. Heavier rainfall and storms, higher temperatures, rising sea levels, drought and other climate change consequences all present challenges to the quality of city life. 
  • Digitisation: New technologies can improve the quality of life in the city and enhance sustainability, liveability, citizen engagement and empowerment.  The use of big data, distributed sensor networks, artificial intelligence and robotics can help in solving the city’s most pressing urban challenges.
  • Energy: Amsterdam strives to reduce CO2 emissions and use more renewable energy. While most supplied energy is still fossil-based and stems from city surroundings, the goal is to transition to more sustainable and local solutions.
  • Mobility: The metropolitan area of Amsterdam continues to grow. While it is a positive sign that the City of Amsterdam is flourishing, the increase of transport leads to more pressure on urban space and infrastructure.

“Amsterdam Circular helps founders connect with local and international investors to scale their impact in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and beyond.”

Bas Beekman, Program Director at StartupAmsterdam


Amsterdam Circular #1 Startup Teams


25 teams joined the first edition of the Amsterdam Circular investor readiness program. After two months of experimenting, workshops, deep dives, training sessions and meeting investors, the startups are fully equipped to build a lasting business.

Amsterdam Circular Portfolio


An overview of the Amsterdam Circular Startups selected for the Earthshot Prize finals.

About The Program

Amsterdam Circular is initiated by the City of Amsterdam with AMS Institute and Rockstart to support 20 circular startups per year. We have worked on circular financing with founders from Aectual, African Clean Energy, Agurotech, Cargoroo, Foodlogica, MX3D, Quicargo, Roboat and more. There are no costs or equity to join, just a willingness to experiment and share your learnings to help other circular startups.

Keep an eye on our LinkedIn for news and updates on next editions >>

Photos by Tian Daphne