How to Enter the Startup World

Startups are a hot topic these days. But what is/could be your place there? First ask yourself. Do you (primarily) want to be:

a) A founder (co-founder is an option too).

b) An employee of a startup / scaleup / corporate innovation lab, or an employee of support organisation such as an incubator, accelerator, investor or public policy/think tank.

It all starts with access to information.

I get asked about the ‘ins and outs’ of the startup world. Having almost accidentally stepped into it myself by entering a Startup Weekend hackathon all these years ago, I used to think that tech was not for me. I was more the creative one, I wasn’t interested in building the next unicorn, so what was I to do in the startup ecosystem?

Turns out, I was wrong.

This article is not a rocket science, to be honest. If you are already in the scene, it doesn’t really offer anything new. This is meant for the ones (especially for women), who don’t know where to start but are still rather curious about it.

These are some of the first steps:

LinkedIn is the best way to connect to relevant stakeholders. Use and ‘abuse’ it (more on that in another post).

Choose an industry of interest. For example, you can search for FinTech, HealthTech, MediaTech, FashionTech, Commerce, etc. and follow industry organisations, media & influencers/experts

⁃Search for and attend startup events (online and offline) – you can segment it for free events only and based on location for example.

⁃You can enrol in a Startup School or a (free) digital innovation course, for example TechNation’s Digital Business Academy GrowthTribe, or AcceleratorSquared here. In the Netherlands, you can also make use of the gov-subsidised STAP Budget of 1000 eur.

Follow these companies on Linkedin:

TechNation,, La French Tech

⁃If you are interested in coding (for any experience level).

⁃Join Ada’s list to get access to one of the best communities for Women In Tech.

Subscribe to newsletters – I love Sifted, Monocle Minute, Wired, Ben Evan’s Weekly edit

Listen to podcasts – for example Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffmann or The Entrepreneurs show on Monocle

-Useful for anyone looking for work by the Canva Talent Acquisition team Mastering your job search. 60+ pages on:

  • Effective networking
  • Creating a personal brand
  • Writing the perfect CV
  • Nailing that interview

Which resources do you find most helpful?

Send suggestions to

Until next time!


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