Who is the most promising start-up in the Netherlands? From 18 to 20 February, Rotterdam will be the stage for innovative start-ups who will be competing for this title.

During Rotterdam Unlocked, a three-day event, starting entrepreneurs are linked to companies that provide them with specific challenges. During the closing event ‘Get in the Ring‘ the entrepreneurs pitch their solutions and ideas for corporates, financiers and other interested parties in a boxing ring. The winner will get a ticket for the Global Meetup 2019, where international representatives will compete against each other.

Innovating together in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is the city of innovation and therefor the logical host for Rotterdam Unlocked and Get in the Ring, events that are all about innovating together. The events bring together innovators and start-ups, companies and government institutions around a number of previously described challenges. There is also ample opportunity for networking during various dinners and drinks.


The first day of the event is about preparing the participants for these challenges. The second day, the focus will be on collaboration between the companies and institutions and the start-ups who will be developing their solutions. This day will include visits to the companies and institutions and they getting a chance to close deals. The third and final day is all about the pitch competition during the sub-event Get in the Ring. The start-ups will pitch their solutions in a boxing ring and compete for the title 'most promising start-up in the Netherlands'.

18 February
Blue City

  • 12:00 - 13:00: Lunch
  • 13.00 - 17.30: Preparations and training sessions for startups


  • 18.00 - 19.00: Welcoming Drinks
  • 19.00 - 21.30: Opening Dinner

19 February

  • 10.00 - 17.00: Challenges (dealmaking sessions) taking place at corporates

Venture Café

  • 17.30 - 21.30: Music night and dinner

20 February

  • 9.00 - 12.00: In depth dealmaking sessions taking place at corporates (optional)

Van Nelle Fabriek

  • 12.00 -13.00: Lunch
  • 13.00 -17.30:
    • Innovation Tours: visit of three relevant locations in the region of Rotterdam
      considering the themes Hightech, Fintech and Cleantech
    • Validation Sessions (invite only)
    • Get in the Ring the Netherlands: Preparations and selection pitches
      17.30 - 19.00: Food and Drinks
      19.00 - 20.30: Battle Show Get in the Ring NL
      20.30 - 22.00: Network drinks

Read more details about the Rotterdam Unlocked program.


During the three days of the event, Rotterdam Unlocked and Get in the Ring will visit various locations in Rotterdam, including Arminius, BlueCity, Venture Café and the Van Nelle Factory.

  • Various locations in Rotterdam including:
  • Arminius, BlueCity, Venture Café and the Van Nelle Factory.
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