Nicolab is selected for the Rise Program

May 28, 2020
By Brenda Dubois

Nicolab has been selected for Rise program, the showcase for future unicorns.

The Netherlands, under the program, has officially launched Rise. With this ambitious program, 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 along with Nicolab are: Easee, Floryn, LTO Network, Mapiq, Online Payment Platform, Polarsteps, Quicargo, Starred and Wizenoze.

As part of the program, we will be put on the international map with corporates, investors and media. We are encouraged in groups of 10 to 15 participants to also learn from each other about the challenges of scaling up a company.
We will 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.

Merel Boers, CEO Nicolab: ‘We are so thrilled to have been selected as one of the highest potential scale-ups in the Netherlands. We are looking forward to cooperating with the other talented entrepreneurs to learn and grow together, taking the Dutch tech world to the next level!’

Two unicorns a year, the 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.

Strict selection

The criteria to participate are strict. A scale-up qualifies for the program if they meet the following criteria:

  • currently, more than €10 million is being raised in a funding round or they are preparing to raise it with their next round (which has probably already been funded €1-5 million);
  • 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. 

Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy : “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.” 

Gillian Tans, Chairwomen : “The Rise program allows me to give back the insights of my own scaleup journey with to today’s most promising companies.”

Koen Droste, CEO Polarsteps: “ Rise is important to us because it paves the way for us to the international tech scene: from investors, to media and tech talent. We expect the program to have a real impact on the growth of our company through the connections we can make.” 

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


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