Looking Back on 2016 at CIC Rotterdam

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2016 was quite the year.

From Brexit to Trump, and a disturbing amount of celebrities gone too soon, it’s been a weird trip around the sun. The CIC team is excited to see the start of 2017, but also had a big year ourselves.

When Marcus Fernhout and I started working on the plan for CIC’s first international location three years ago, we had no way of knowing the journey ahead of us. Now with our own startup starting up to help startups (read Marcus’ blog post about that here), it’s thrilling to see how much we’ve grown in the past year.

Some numbers from 2016 – the year in which CIC Rotterdam officially opened:

The CIC Rotterdam community grew from 15 brave companies who were our true CIC pioneers to 96 companies in our co-working and brand new private offices. The majority of these clients are startups in the industries of software/web/mobile, life sciences and health, and clean tech/sustainability.

Our team grew from four of us – Marcus, Wendy, Lisette and myself – to a rocking group of 11 with diverse backgrounds in everything from sustainability, to hospitality, to architecture, to the sociology of art and culture.

We hosted over 140 events at CIC Rotterdam, both from our clients and outside groups. One major one was the Dutch Open Hackathon, when close to 300 coders filled every room at CIC for an awesome weekend hacking the data of partners like the police, PostNL, Schiphol, Phillips, and more.

CIC Rotterdam, along with our sister non-profit organization Venture Café Rotterdam, were approved as facilitators for the Startup Visa program, to help international entrepreneurs establish and grow their companies in the Netherlands.

Our opening party on October 13th welcomed close to 2.000 attendees, featured demonstrations and talks from more than 50 clients, partners, and friends, and opening remarks from His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Special Envoy Startup Delta; Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb; and Rotterdam Vice Mayor Maarten Struijvenberg.

Venture Café Rotterdam finished the year with over 11.000 attendees at their free, and open-to-the-public weekly Thursday gatherings. These gatherings included more than 300 educational sessions, helping entrepreneurs, students, and members of the innovation community learn about topics from crowdfunding to virtual reality.

And we’re just getting started.

We can’t wait to see what 2017 holds, and to keep growing the incredible community at CIC. Make a resolution to stop by for a tour or join us at a Thursday Venture Café gathering.

We’ll see you soon!