At the start in 2006, the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was a research initiative by Mirjam van Praag and the University of Amsterdam. Later, in 2008, an educational purpose was added, as well as the collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. In 2013, the role of university incubator was added, via the Venture Lab. The management collaboration agreement on which ACE was based, ended with the beginning of this year, on December 31, 2016.
Via Mirjam van Praag, ACE has led a pivotal role in research in the field of entrepreneurship. This research is now embedded in different groups of the economical faculties and business school from the university and university of applied science. The educational role currently plays a permanent part in the university and hogeschool curriculum; more than 50 courses, big and small, have come about by the efforts of ACE since 2006. The interest students express has never decreased, and the time of pioneering of entrepreneurial education is over. Schools and programs can now take responsibility for the topic of entrepreneurship themselves, which is great news.
ACE’s role as incubator remains via the Venture Lab. This function has become an independent company in 2016 under UvA Holding. This function is growing fast, thanks to a strong team developing many initiatives, collaboration with the Innovation Exchange Amsteram (IXA) and the opening of the Startup Village at Amsterdam Science Park. And thanks to funding by the corporate world, the city of Amsterdam and the university.