Utrecht is the fastest growing city in our country and has many high-educated people among their residents… A perfect spot for startups! With Startup in Residence, Utrecht wants to challenge startups to invent innovative ideas for social challenges. Under the professional guidance of employees of Gemeente Utrecht, startups have the opportunity to work out ideas to a concrete product or service. Gemeente Utrecht will invest in the concept when they’re convinced that the product or service is an innovative solution to a local problem. The municipality wants to give an impulse to the growth of these startups. The program stimulates the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences between the business world and government.

Local startups in Utrecht as well as startups from outside the city can apply for the program. Gemeente Utrecht wants to stimulate startups to settle in Utrecht. At Gemeente Utrecht, they want to find a solution for 9 specific social problems. For those whose idea doesn’t fit in any of the mentioned issues, there’s a special ‘wildcard’. Every innovative idea that improves a local problem is welcome! The following challenges are mentioned:

Healthy eating habits in sports canteen – in the obesogenic environment we’re living in today, it’s getting more important to have the possibility to make healthy food choices. In reality, it is pretty difficult for sports canteens to sell their healthy food offerings. Those who try it, have to deal with unnecessary food waste. Gemeente Utrecht is looking for an ‘out of the box’ idea to stimulate healthy food choices at sports clubs.

Service and construction vans-free city centre – the growth of Utrecht ensures that the city centre’s busier and more chaotic than ever. Construction vans cause difficult flows and a poor passage for cyclists and pedestrians. De municipality wants to receive smart and efficient concepts to reduce this service and construction van-problem.

Use of self-planner for weddings – in Utrecht, there are a lot of possibilities to shape your own perfect wedding. For the municipality, it’s complicated to look for available wedding officials, calculate their travel distance between two marriages, et cetera: it’s all manually managed right now. Gemeente Utrecht is looking for a planning tool in which these variables are included.

Monitoring solar panels – it has turned out that monitoring the number of solar panels, the generated energy and obtained CO2 reduction is a difficult job to maintain. They’re looking for a concept that’s scalable, able to monitor these three factors and that provides a fitting communication medium for residents.

Stimulating Leidsche Rijn – to stop the crowds from going to the busy city centre, the municipality is looking for ways to draw attention to Leidsche Rijn. They’re not looking for new events – there are a lot of leisure facilities already! Gemeente Utrecht wants to make Leidsche Rijn known to the public.

Sustainable energy use – in the future, all homes are energy neutral, comfortable and payable. Everyone is using energy efficient devices and residents are aware of their own energy consumption… That’s what the municipality is dreaming of! They’re looking for a concept – no app or website – that makes it attractive for residents to make sustainable choices.

Stimulating career choices – in Utrecht, 80% of students choose for a study with low job opportunities. This ratio needs to change and therefore, they’re looking for a set of instruments that’s appealing for target groups and enthuses students to choose for certain professions.

MBO-students in the catering industry  Gemeente Utrecht wants to combine fixed contractual relationships with flexibility to enthuses more MBO-students for the catering industry.

Change of business climate in Utrecht  Ambitious start-ups and scale-ups contribute to the development of prosperity and well-being. A data-driven analysis will help to find out why companies are leaving the city and how to improve the business climate in Utrecht.

The winning concept of all 10 categories will receive €20.000,00 investment money to work with. Curious? Visit the website of Starthubs to read more about the challenges or to sign up for the information meeting on the 16th of November!