Recently, Rabobank Bollenstreek and SBIC officially extended their incubation partnership by two years. Rabobank director Michiel Kolff considers his bank to be the perfect party for start-ups. A talk about pitches, innovation, and smart loans.

Over the past few years, Rabobank Bollenstreek has helped a substantial number of businesses with their finances, Kolff says. But times are changing and the financing products did not optimally match anymore. The Rabobank, traditionally the bank for SMEs, came up with a new product: the subordinated innovation loan. “A product that is perfectly tailored to the starters in SBIC.”

It concerns a loan of around € 150,000, which is especially meant for the start-up phase of a business, a phase which is characterised by a lack of turnover and insufficient cashflow. Kolff: “We are the number-one bank for starters, we are the bank that is close by, and we have a social commitment arising from our cooperative ideology. A perfect match with the SBIC community.”

According to Kolff, the product is unique in the Netherlands: “An interest-only loan such as this enables entrepreneurs to take a big step in the right direction. We have a national amount of 20 million euros available for such loans.” Click here for more information about the subordinated innovation loan and click here to sign up for the info session on 31 January.

Board

Kolff is a member of the Rabobank Innovation Fund, the board that assesses new initiatives for their viability, which also determines their eligibility for funding through a subordinate innovation loan.

“A couple of times per year, we do this in some kind of Dragons Den-like setting, where starters can present their ideas. I like it and I learn a great deal from it. It is sometimes hard to predict whether an idea will be successful. But the entrepreneurs who are affiliated with SBIC are often capable and serious. It takes a little bit more than just a weekend to work out such ideas in detail. But things can also go wrong, we are aware of that. It’s all in the game, we accept the challenge.”

Workshops and coaching

The bank does not only lend money to starters, but also has a lot of knowledge and advice available. Kolff: “In consultation with and at the request of SBIC, we will also be giving workshops on a regular basis. They may be about drawing up a business plan, about specific sector-related knowledge or financing schemes and planning. We also have a physical presence in Noordwijk; we have set up a meeting place there where you can drop by and ask us all your questions or have a chat about topics that matter to you.”

The banker is convinced of the added value the bank brings to SBIC: “We are open to innovation, we want to use our efforts, expertise and money to provide local starters with better opportunities. That is what we stick our necks out for.”

Are you also interested to join and support the SBIC Noordwijk Community? Than contact Martijn Leinweber via m.leinweber(@)sbicnoordwijk.nl