DIA-meetup during Innovative Enterprise conference turns into a fierce debate

Last Friday – 1 April 2016 – DIA organised the discussion ‘Direct vs. Indirect funding of start-ups and scale-ups in Europe’ as part of the Innovative Enterprise conference in The Hague – a European Commission initiative. Our challenge was to initiate a debate on what the winning strategy for incubators and other start-up programs would be considering the pros and cons of direct participation in the ventures they support.

DIA meetup 01-04-2016 direct vs indirect funding of start-ups and scale-ups in Europe by Pim de Bokx


For the purpose of this debate, DIA invited three practitioners that have a vast experience in this field, but different opinions.

  • Ingrid Willems, Entrepreneur in residence, iMinds (B), digital research and innovation institute – see presentation
  • Maurice Beckand Verwee, Founder, Crosspring Accelerator (NL) and Startup-Scaleup.eu – see presentation
  • Tijs Markusse, Business Developer UtrechtInc (NL), founding Editor @StartupJuncture – see presentation


After the presentations, discussion leader Pim de Bokx (chairman DIA) organised the debate along 3 hypothesis;

  1. Incubators shouldn’t try to become investors, that is another business
  2. (seed) Accelerators that solely depend on the return made on their investments, will not survive
  3. Incubators, accelerators and other start-up supporters start their support to early

Video Report

A lively debate followed the presentations. According to the 50+ participants the discussion could have been extended for at least 30 minutes, there was so much to share about this topic. See for the full report this video registration (start at 00:08:40).

Direct vs indirect funding of start-ups and scale-ups in the EU from Innovative Enterprise on Vimeo



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