Flinc name disappears, work continues - NOM will do Flinc
Flinc is no more. For fifteen years the name stood in startup-land for young, dynamic, approachable and helpful. Wytze Rijke and Ellen Ploeger look back.
Anyone walking around in the northern ecosystem of (tech) companies still comes across them regularly, the companies that were helped on their way by Flinc in recent years. Stabi Alert, Omnidots, Let's get Digital, just to name a few. 'We really helped create stable parties. We can be quite proud of that,' says Wytze Rijke. The director of TCNN was in charge of setting up Flinc at the time.
Ellen Ploeger, on the other hand, should take care of the dissolution, although that may not be the right term. Yes, Flinc no longer exists as a name. But no, the activities are not ceasing. Indeed, through the new constellation, Ploeger believes she will be able to assist startups even better. 'By deploying sector-specific experts with similar networks, we bring more experience and knowledge together. This will enable us to help startups 'land' in the northern ecosystem even better and move forward.
The premise of what NOM is now doing for the 'Flinc target group' does not change substantially from the vision when Flinc was created. Rijke: "Simply put: we felt that high-tech startups should have better access to funding. We linked those startups to investors. And within NOM we set up a Pre-Seed Capital fund for that purpose. This way we could also co-finance ourselves, to get other lenders over the threshold. So very high-risk funding, which we were not yet familiar with.'
Silicon Valley more or less acted as an example. There, lots of money was pumped into lots of startups, a few of which rose to great heights. We wanted to give those opportunities to startups with potential. Of course we knew that not all of them would make it, and also that the chance of unicorns was small. But that wasn't the point either. If only a few came to fruition, then
that would strengthen the economic structure in the North, was the idea. And it did.
The three northern provinces and the Ministry of Economic Affairs saw fit at the time and paid the manpower behind Flinc in those early days. Rijke: "In each province I had someone who went around town and country looking for great tech startups. We showed our face in as many places as we could, and slowly but surely gained notoriety. We had a nice atmosphere. Young, dynamic, flashy and approachable. That pretty quickly ensured that budding entrepreneurs also came to us.'
Not much has changed in that either in those fifteen years. Ellen Ploeger: "And that will remain the case. We are proactive, we seek out people. We do a lot of networking, also per sector. We also run through awards, visit hotbeds like VentureLab, actively organize events and offer programming. We do this increasingly in cooperation with various parties from the ecosystem. We join forces and in this way ensure that we can serve more startups even better. As before, we have a permanent team that is fully focused on this.
Flinc's structure did change somewhat over the years. Whereas Flinc had its own money to invest during the first years, that role was taken over by NOM. That worked better, because the human resources in that area were already there. The provinces no longer paid Flinc specifically, but continued to contribute indirectly through NOM. Because about seven years ago, Flinc was already pushed under the big sister as a brand.'
And now the next, logical step has been taken. Flinc is NOM. Ploeger: "The permanent team with startup mentality remains, so does helping startups in an early phase. We make sure that they land better in the ecosystem, that they take steps in their development and that they can be better financed. That was so, that is so, that will remain so.'
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Please note that this whitepaper is only available in Dutch at the moment. We are in the process of translating this whitepaper.