Startup Visa for ambitious founders

Launch Cafe is the best workspace for entrepreneurs and startups in Groningen. Since 2012 we offer a “home” to ambitious founders. Launch Cafe is located in the city center in a beautiful, monumental building. We offer our services to a community of more than 150 entrepreneurs and we provided a flying start to a great number of startups and many more will follow. Via this page you can apply for the Startup Visa program.

Groningen is an international city and we welcome entrepreneurs from all over the world. We believe in a diverse community and recruit and select people with different backgrounds and skill sets. Startups applying for the residence permit for foreign startups (startup visa) will find a jumping board in Groningen and in the Launch Cafe.

Since 2015, a new regulation enables ambitious entrepreneurs from non-EU countries to apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands. This gives you one year to launch an innovative business. A precondition is that your startup must be guided by an experienced mentor (facilitator) based in the Netherlands. Launch Cafe is a qualified facilitator.

What we offer:

Via our Startup Visa facilitator program, we offer a limited amount of international startups a tailor made program based on their phase and particular needs. Before we develop a tailor made program we check the following criteria:

The startup…

  • has a fit with the community.
  • has a technology component (preferably Internet related).
  • is looking for a scalable business model and internationally focussed.
  • is a full time endeavor.

The startup visa facilitator program:

  • High quality work space facilities (desk or private office)
  • Focussed business coaching (expertise of coaches see below)
  • Access to the Launch Cafe community (150+ entrepreneurs and experts)
  • Access to our investor network
  • Workshops and events (organised by Launch Cafe and partners)
  • In-house Fablab prototyping space
  • We take zero equity

Startup Visa mentors:

Why startups choose the Netherlands

Via the StartupDelta program, all startup hubs, cities and clusters work closely together as one single startup hub. We’re Europe’s most well connected startup ecosystem. As a country we have a fantastic strategic location and a superior infrastructure. We offer a competitive fiscal climate, a multilingual workforce and of course: an international business climate to start and scale your startup.

Why Groningen?

Groningen is an incredible city, only 1,5 hours away from Amsterdam. With 200,000 residents, 50% of whom are under 35, Groningen is one of the youngest cities in The Netherlands, with all innovation, creativity, talent and industriousness that goes with it. Groningen is a lively and passionate city that never sleeps or pauses, and has the close-knit friendliness of a village.

City of talent

Every fifth person in Groningen is a student, which gives Groningen the highest student population density in the Netherlands. It has a vibrant and famous nightlife, dominated by students. Bars in the centre are allowed to stay open 24 hours a day.  Currently, over 50,000 students, with 120+ nationalities are registered at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen and University, where they can choose from 175 courses.


Groningen has the largest number of successful startups after Amsterdam, and the only city with a consistently growing number of listed companies in the Deloitte Fast50 over the last four years. But Groningen is far more than a collection of successful companies: it’s a thriving ecosystem, fueled by collaboration and innovation. Launch Cafe is proudly part of this ecosystem.

Practical matters

Moving to another country and a new culture is a big step. That’s why we teamed up with the non profit organization “International Welcome Center (IWCN)” IWCN can help you to find reliable service providers and details on all kinds of practical matters, from opening bank accounts and signing up for health insurance to importing cars and pets. Launch Cafe helps you to accelerate your business, IWCN helps to ease the effort of relocation. A great team!

Apply for the Startup Visa facilitator program

So you are an ambitious entrepreneur and you want to apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands? For the Startup Visa you need a facilitator. Launch Cafe is qualified as a facilitator by the Dutch government. At Launch Cafe you can build your company and your network in a ambitious environment and a great city. Please apply for a spot in our Startup Visa facilitator program, we only have a few spots left.