Tour Diary: The Innovative Ecosystem of London and Amsterdam

As part of a corporate tour, TilTech Capital visited 17 companies in two countries between September 17 and 25.

As part of a corporate tour, TilTech Capital (an investment fund supporting entrepreneurial projects that develop products based on modern management practices and platform solutions) visited 17 companies in two countries between September 17 and 25.

TilTech Capital employees in London!
Day 1
Meeting at Accenture, Visit to Founders Factory and Meeting a Co-Founder at Enterprise Academy

Meeting at Accenture

Founded in 2012, Fintech Innovation Lab London is part of a competitive global acceleration program with centers in Hong Kong and New York. It offers ambitious startups three months of mentorship, networking and advice, helping them to improve and test their value propositions. For start-ups, the program is free, without any fees or equity.

The laboratory aims to find to ways to support the financial services industry.


The laboratory immerses startups in a global community of their peers, consultants, experts, and decision-makers, as well as prospective clients and investors. Interaction within this ecosystem brings insight, feedback from mentors, and support from influential global financial companies. 

Founders Factory 

Founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory brought together industry-leading corporations and a team of 60 operators to help founders create great companies. Here, investors include L’Oreal, easyJet, Reckitt Benckiser and others.  

Visit to Founders Factory

Founders Factory was established to help early-stage businesses quickly become viable and stable. The accelerator offers a variety of services that startups require in the early stages of their development such as accelerated pre-funding, flexible technology development and world-class mentors. 

Meeting a Co-Founder at Enterprise Academy 

The expert shared fresh insights into the creation, development and support of new businesses, as well as the passion for teaching the world new ways of thinking and alleviating the problems faced by enterprises when developing new solutions and putting them on the market. 

The speaker is engaged in corporate education, study program development, investment and public speaking. His achievements include: 

  • Launching training programs for business founders with a team of trainers, mentors and entrepreneurs from all over Great Britain in collaboration with the British Council in Africa. 
  • Developing innovative programs with AXA, PwC and GKN to support employees in solving major problems associated with the future of employment, through cooperation with startups and new technology experts. 
  • Consulting the largest venture fund in South Korea investing in some of the fastest-growing tech companies in Great Britain.
Day 2
We continue to study the ecosystem of accelerators, incubators and venture funds

Meeting RocketSpace

RocketSpace Startup Services is an exclusive program aimed at smarter and faster financing of the top 1% of tech startups by means of a structured and streamlined process. By bringing top-level corporate innovators, startups and investors to a single platform, RocketSpace contributes to the collective growth of the entire innovation ecosystem. 

At RocketSpace

RocketSpace was founded in 2011. The team of RocketSpace Startup Services uses an extensive network of investors to accelerate the funding and development of startups. RocketSpace’s three-stage, three-month program is designed to provide high-quality personalized coaching in order to bring startups to the right investors and finding quickly. RocketSpace investors include Uber, Spotify, Avast and others. 

Visit to Tech City Ventures

Tech City Ventures is a small but dedicated network of companies operating in the very heart of the London technology scene. Companies within the network share a vision of innovation that focuses on community development and collaboration between leading startups in the UK, as well as its corporate, social and educational institutions.

The key service offered by Tech City Ventures is a half-day or full-day session for groups of up to 30 people. Each such session involves an experienced representative of Tech City as well as industry-related startups, accelerators and venture capitalists. 

The problems they solve include: 

  • Over-reliance on outdated technology;
  • Data misuse;
  • Insufficient employee engagement due to lack of resources.


Visit to Market Minds

Market Minds is a membership-based InsurTech community. The company works with global corporations and startups to develop and improve the insurance ecosystem of the future. The Market Minds community and team are made up of an unusual combination of insurance business leaders, influential entrepreneurs, brokers, big data gurus, investors and InsurTech experts who work together to foster long-term growth.

Through the power of community, Market Minds collects first-hand information and reliable knowledge to facilitate business growth.

Market Minds can be used as a business development tool and a marketing platform that monitors the participants’ interests in digital insurance.


Market Minds regularly hosts events, including IFT Summit and Insurance 3.0, the world's largest one-day InsurTech event. Insurance 3.0 provides a level playing field for entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, young professionals, development agencies and insurance companies, allowing them to get involved, discover and build big ideas.

At the office
Day 3
New business visits to four innovative companies: Makerversity, The Accelerator Network, YSYS, Autopsy

Meeting at Makerversity

Makerversity is the most vibrant and interesting community of emergent manufacturers and entrepreneurs in Europe. Makerversity combines co-working spaces with offices and production workshops. 

Marketversity is more of a facilitator than an accelerator. For a fairly low price, it provides 300 of its members with co-working space in central London, including five rooms for seminars, an opportunity to participate in a training program, free negotiations over business support with mentors and most importantly access to industry-related communities. 

Its mission is to inspire and support entrepreneurs and develop communities of maker businesses in city centers across the world.


Marketversity provides space in Somerset House, its main creative hub on the banks of the river Thames in central London, which includes 400 offices, exhibition spaces, various cafés and restaurants. 

Marketversity offers membership in a dynamic community, an easily-accessible workspace, tools and equipment for workshops, as well as opportunities for cooperation, projects, investment and funding. 

At the Makerversity

Marketversity began more than five years ago thanks to the support of Somerset House. It has five workshops in total: Wood Workshop, Assembly Space, Textile Workshop, Engineering Workshop, and Digital Workshop. The community works in various fields including product design, experimental architecture, materials science, IoT, VR, AI, games, etc. 

Marketversity also runs youth education programs to inspire a new generation of creative and practical minds and increase diversity in the creative industries.


Visit to The Accelerator Network

Accelerator Network Ltd is the parent company for a number of entrepreneurship support programs and initiatives. The programs for startups and corporations that the accelerator network offers are topic-based study modules that employ the most advanced education practices and are taught in collaboration with corporations and/or the government for maximum impact. 

Its initiatives and programs include the following: 

  • Accelerator Academy (;
  • Fast Forward Pre-Accelerator program ( - a joint venture with London City University);
  • Bootcamps (Sirius Global Entrepreneurship Program) and hackathons (BIS Cyber ​​Security, Agile Innovation Challenge, www.CyberHack.Technology);
  • Startup and innovation competitions (Visa, Dell, Virgin).

In addition to its own programs, Accelerator Network also licenses out its business education formats to brands, corporations and governments in the UK and overseas.

Visit to YSYS

YSYS (Your Startup, Your Story) is a thriving startup community for founders, developers, creators and investors looking to make a difference. It’s a place where participants can share ideas and mingle with like-minded people. The community brings together those who are passionate about fighting inequality in the ecosystem of startups in London.

YSYS is a place for people who share values and are interested in launching a startup, joining a team, or creating a diverse and inclusive culture.


Together with the community, the company supports accelerators, incubators, venture capitalists, startups, nonprofit universities, and corporations in initiatives that foster diversity, integration and social change. 

They run programs themselves and help diverse talent launch startups, develop new skills and kick-start their business. In each program, the company cooperates with organizations that seek to hire diverse talents and nurture inclusive cultures.


Autopsy is a UK-based startup analytics company. Together with Forward Partners, one of the leading early-stage venture capital firms in London, Autopsy analyzed the data on 300 unrealized startups that failed at different stages (from pre-seed to series A). The information obtained in these studies is the company’s main product.

Autopsy works for two types of consumers: startups and investors. By acquiring research on company failures in selected industries, startups can refine their strategy and gain access to case studies and content packages. Investors can also acquire data to analyze cases of previously failed portfolio companies and understand common pitfalls. In the future, this will help to avoid mistakes and improve investment opportunities.

At the office

The information obtained facilitated the launch of Autopsy Academy, the first online course where unrealized startups and experts study products, sales and marketing, HR, and recruiting.

Day 4
Tour Day
Buckingham Palace - the London residence of the Queen

The tour participants took a walk in Trafalgar Square and saw the Houses of Parliament as well as the world-famous Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.

Additionally, our short walk through St. James’s Park, one of the most beautiful parks in London, to Buckingham Palace, the London residence of the Queen, was a truly unforgettable experience.

Day 5
From prim and proper London to romantic Amsterdam 

Having studied the British ecosystem of accelerators, we can now move on to the Netherlands to see how things are going with incubators and venture funds there. 

We visited four companies and had amazing insights galore. 

Meeting Michael Koenka 

At the meeting with Michael Koenka

Michael used to work as a pitch consultant at TED Conferences and a business mentor the Rockstart accelerator. As a promotion consultant, he helps professionals to find deeper meaning, articulate business proposals more clearly and influence others using behavioral psychology, speech and negotiation techniques. Currently a partner in several consultancies, Michael has been involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem for more than ten years, giving lectures on accelerators and incubators in Amsterdam.

Visit to RockStart

One of Europe’s first multi-vertical accelerators, Rockstart was founded in Amsterdam in 2011 to give startups access to market, capital, knowledge and community. Since then, Rockstart has become an expert in creating entire ecosystems around particular fields such as Digital Health, Smart Energy and Artificial Intelligence.

Since its inception, Rockstart has invested in more than 150 startups to support their actualization. As a result, more than 69 million euros have been invested and more than 700 people hired. Initially, the company implemented holacracy, but has since moved away from it. Rockstart has experience in developing and implementing programs for Maersk, Shell, the Ministry of Health of the Netherlands and many other.

Rockstart has invested in more than 150 startups to support their actualization

Visit to The Founder Institute 

The Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator that has helped launch more than 3,500 companies in over 180 cities on six continents. The company was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi and his colleague, Jonathan Greechan.

The idea was born out of, which made it clear that most entrepreneurs at the idea and launch stage lacked structure, feedback and a support network they needed to succeed.  


The launch of Founder Institute was announced on TechCrunch. 

Founder Institute’s first program methodology was crowd-sourced by more than 10,000 members of, while the very first program started in May 2009 in a small classroom at Stanford University.  Initially, there were no plans to expand beyond Silicon Valley, but as there was a lot of interest in launching the program in other cities, Founder Institute started growing.

Currently, the program operates in more than 180 cities, having also been localized into 9 languages. Founder Institute’s alumni have raised $ 800,000,000 and are worth approximately $ 20 billion. 

The Next Women

Next Women NL is a business platform that brings women together for inspiration and possible collaboration. By becoming members of TheNextWomen and TheNextWomen Crowd Fund, participants connect with each other and with the ecosystem to increase the influence and opportunities for women. This way, TheNextWomen helps to build financially healthy and strong businesses.

Membership in TheNextWomen gives access to a global community of ambitious women founders, investors and executives, women who are looking for knowledge, capital and network to develop their companies or to move ahead in their careers.

TheNextWomen founded their own fund in 2014 to increase capital for women founders and attract more women to the investment field. 


  • organizes networking programs, workshops and business events for women;
  • offers interviews with startups, CEOs, investors, female heroes and experienced business experts. The focus is on starting a business, finding capital and running a successful business. 
Day 6
Getting to know Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship

The tour participants visited Europe’s main hub for high-tech startups to get a better understanding of how founders and their teams leverage the global entrepreneur network Techstars to connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporate partners who help their businesses grow. 

Meeting with ACE

Our group after the meeting

ACE (Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship) is a Dutch startup incubator that promotes entrepreneurship among students, young researchers, university professors and graduates, offering training, support and access to an extensive network of mentors, entrepreneurs and business professionals. Thus, ACE gives innovators an opportunity to build high-performance enterprises. 

ACE programs cover all stages of creating and developing a business to teach entrepreneurs how to turn an idea or concept into a real company.


The incubator offers: 

  • Programs and training (interactive lectures and seminars to enhance entrepreneurial skills);
  • VC (connecting with corporations and investors, access to potential customers and venture capital);
  • Mentors (a pool of dedicated mentors, individual consultations on key aspects of business development);
  • Service providers (a network of consultants and contractors);
  • Community (a living network of startup founders and experienced entrepreneurs in Startup Village, a place where thematic and networking events are held regularly).


Visit to HightechXL

HighTechXL is Europe's premier high-tech startup center. Here, the founders of startups are supported (starting with the initial idea and going all the way to building a prototype) and given access to a top community of entrepreneurs, corporations and investors. HighTechXL enables people both inside and outside the company to translate their ideas into reality and make an impact on the world of innovation.

The most popular format for working with startups is a three-month program aimed at developing a scalable, tested business case.

HighTechXL Accelerator is a special program designed exclusively for entrepreneurs in the field of technology and equipment.


The acceleration program includes:

  • Weekly workshops
  • Mentoring, with an access to a group of mentors including 300+ industry experts, entrepreneurs and partners
  • One-to-one sessions
  • Personal acceleration manager, the “right hand” that oversees progress
  • Pitch training
  • Design and video production
  • A team of brand architects: designer, copywriter and video producer
  • Support for business development,  from legal to finance to supply chain
  • Structural access to finance: advice on the best investment solutions and follow-up support
  • Demo day, a presentation for the community and over 200 investors.


Visit to Techstars

Techstars is a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs to succeed. Using the Techstars Global Entrepreneurship Network, founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporate partners to help their companies grow.

Techstars operates four divisions:

  • Techstars startup programs,
  • Techstars mentoring acceleration programs,
  • Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships,
  • Techstars Venture Fund.

Techstars accelerator portfolio includes over 1,000 companies with a market capitalization of $ 8.1 billion.

Amsterdam is part of a global movement. Techstars gives accelerator portfolio companies access to financial, human and intellectual capital to ensure the success of their business. After being admitted to Techstars' mentoring program, each company is offered a $ 100,000 convertible banknote. Techstars contributes $ 20,000, which is usually used as a scholarship to cover living expenses during the program, and in return receives 6% of common stock from each company.

Advantages of Techstars’ acceleration programs include:

  • Access to Techstars resources for life;
  • Acceleration under Techstars’ 90-day crash program with personal mentoring and office space;
  • Lifetime access to Techstars' worldwide network of entrepreneurs, including more than 10,000 mentors, 10,000 investors, 1,600 graduate companies and more than 200 employees;
  • Access to hosting, accounting and legal support of more than $ 400,000, plus other loans and incentives amounting to more than $ 1,000,000;
  • Demo days and other investor relations.


Join FastForward management tours, get unique experience and learn from industry leaders!

Participants’ impressions of previous management tours:
Having already taken part in educational tours, these people are happy to share their knowledge and impressions.
Anton Nesiforov
Anton NesiforovProcess Manager for fruit and vegetable preservation, beverages, and alcohol

On our tour of Germany, we visited the most famous food exhibition, the Green Week, as well as numerous retail chains and enterprises operating in various interesting industries. We have a lot to learn. We must take the best and use it. Thank you, FastForward, for your careful approach to creating this tour.

Alena Nesiforova
Alena NesiforovaUnified Concept Manager for Izbenka and VkusVill

We visited several retail stores in Germany, as well as manufacturing facilities. What we liked the most about the stores we visited was the high quality standards of German retail. Retailers know how to sell high-quality goods at affordable prices, and this is probably the main secret of Germany's retail success. As for production, we were inspired by some of the small family businesses we saw.