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The force is with us! ROM Utrecht Region has entered the building. Here’s what they can do for you!

The freshly established ROM Utrecht Region presented their goals and new funds at CrossRoads 2020 and it is a promising new opportunity for any kind of ambitious startup founder in the Utrecht region. The ROM is aiming to contribute and strengthen the ecosystem in Utrecht region (province of Utrecht and Gooi- & Vechtstreek) by actively helping startups, scaleups and innovative SME’s with advising, networking and resources. A lot can be said about the promising added value of the expert advice and government-related networking capabilities, but we will focus this blog on the financial resources they want to contribute. The resources can be divided into two funds, the Proof Of Concept fund (POC fonds) and the Participation fund (Participatiefonds).


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The Proof Of Concept Fund

The Proof Of Concept fund is intended for startups or scaleups that are in the TRL 4, 5 or 6. Not familiar yet with TRL? Google: Technology Readiness Level, European Commission. On top of TRL your startup should be working on an innovative product or service in the field of Health, Digital or Sustainability with a positive impact on the region. The ticket sizes are starting from €50.000 up to €250.000 and are positioned as a loan/convertible loan. You are allowed to use a part of the ticket for commercial purposes but it should be mostly intended for research and development purposes. Or in other words, anything that gets you to TRL level 7, 8 or 9. When handing in your business plan to apply for a ticket, a minimum of 25% of the financing round should come from a private investment (e.g. angels, informals, VC’s or loans). Be aware that the lead time for applying for a fund ticket and getting the loan is about three to four months – but since they are just starting, prepare for a six to nine months period.

The Participation Fund

The Participation fund aims to support startups, scaleups and innovative SME’s that are in TRL 7, 8 or 9. With ticket sizes starting at €250.000 up to €1.250.000 (equity or (convertible) loan), it clearly chips in at a higher level and comes with a different set of criteria. The ROM Utrecht Region will only participate as a co-investor, 65% of the financing round must come from private investors. At all times the ROM aims to be a minority shareholder for a minimum of 5% up to a maximum of 49% after the transaction has taken place. The ROM Participation fund will only invest in scalable innovations related to their three interest fields: Health, Digital and Sustainability (hint: they are very similar to our interest fields at UtrechtInc). The result of the investment should also create a positive impact for the Utrecht Region and is specifically not intended for (international) corporates or corporate spin offs in which the corporate has a majority interest. The lead time for applying for a fund ticket and getting the funding is about six to nine months. Currently, the lead time can be a bit longer due to the start-up phase of the ROM itself.

Want To Apply?

Interested to apply to one of their funds directly? Mail them at Info@romregioutrecht.nl. Attach your pitch deck, which at a minimum covers: What is the problem? What are the opportunities and solutions? Who is the customer, how will you reach them? How big is the market? And what is the pricing model of the product or service? And last but not least, who is behind your great venture? Show them your team. They can use this to get the first impression of the proposition and your team and take the relationship from there. In the case that they can’t help you, they are more than likely to refer you to an organization who could. Goodluck!