Angel Island: connecting the unconnected

Angel Island

No suit & tie, no name cards. Last week Angel Island brought startups together with potential angel investor, sailing together towards the fortress island of Pampus, near Amsterdam. No less than 17 companies from Groningen joined and met up with potential investors in a deliberately informal setting.

Startups often have trouble finding the right angel investor, but the opposite is also true. Enter angel island, where the two can meet and talk in an informal setting. Breaking the traditional pitching and investor meetings, Angel Island connects the unconnected with a sailing trip to the old fortress island of Pampus, where there are workshops, a good meal and DJs ready and waiting.



Pampus is an abandoned fortress island and part of the old defense line of Amsterdam, dating back to the 19th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the informal meetings on the ships, entrepreneurs and investors could join a few workshops, like one about startups pitches and how investors judge whether or not it’s attractive enough to invest in.


BBQ in comfy boots

Danielle Nijkamp, founder of Donation Application (DAPP), an app that handles all the logistics, from the moment a donor organ becomes available up to the organ transplantation, really enjoyed the event: “It was all about networking for us, from the bus ride to Amsterdam, on the ship and during the workshops. It’s great to meet other startups and learn from the highs and lows of other entrepreneurs.I especially liked talking to the CTO of Picnic, the online supermarket”, she continues. “All in all, a very cool day for both startups and investors.”

Gijs Bekenkamp, co-founder of Chordify, agrees: “No better circumstance to put on comfy boots, a windbreaker and have a bbq on a desert island and meet interesting people. I’ve met some pretty interesting people and I expect to have a couple of follow up meetings too.”

“It was also good to meet fellow entrepreneurs from Groningen”, Gijs continues. “It always surprises me just how many entrepreneurs with really good ideas were not on my radar yet.”