Amsterdam: a hotbed for startups

Forbes notes that the Netherlands is making great strides in establishing itself as the European alternative to Silicon Valley. The magazine says that the Netherlands “has some of the most egalitarian legislation and attitudes in the world: international companies incorporate here thanks to a lack of overly burdensome red tape.” It also concluded that Amsterdam has everything it takes for startups to prosper.

StartupDelta and StartupAmsterdam

StartupDelta, headed by former EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes, is cited as playing a role in turning Amsterdam into the startup capital of Europe. The initiative works to facilitate connections between promising startups and potential investors. According to Forbes the City of Amsterdam is taking a proactive approach in creating the best possible circumstances for startups to grow. Its StartupAmsterdam programme aims to position Amsterdam as one of the start-up capitals of Europe. Investing in international talent is key to this public-private initiative. The City of Amsterdam is also keen to develop more links with Dutch and international investors to help businesses to expand.

Startup Visa

A new Dutch residence permit scheme for startups came into effect in January 2015. In an earlier article, Forbes said that the visa has the potential to transform the Netherlands “into a bright star of the global startup universe.” The so-called ‘startup visa’ gives ambitious entrepreneurs from outside the EU the opportunity to apply for temporary residence in order to start a business in the Netherlands (read more about the scheme here). The first entrepreneur to receive the residence permit was Finn Hansen from New Zealand, whose new business Med Canvas develops dashboards to present medical data to doctors and other medical professionals.

Great place to live

The article also touches on the outstanding quality of life expats find in the Amsterdam Area. “When you look at comparative measurements from the EU’s Knowledge Economy Index, you see that Amsterdam is #1 – outranking Berlin and London – in the available pool of qualified labour, and in Quality of Life. It shares the #1 position with London for intellectual property protection. And it boasts the Amsterdam Science Park, one of the largest collections of beta startup scientists in Europe, connecting business, education and research on a soon-to-be 66,000 m2 campus near the city’s 17th-century historical district.”

Amsterdam’s vibrant startup scene

Amsterdam’s excellent conditions for startups have not gone unnoticed by the international business community. The British Financial Times recently described Amsterdam as “a modern-day refuge for the startup crowd,” praising the ‘can-do’ mentality of the Dutch and the fact that non-Dutch-speakers find it easy to work and live in the city. Amsterdam’s vibrant startup scene has attracted the attention of investors and several local startups have recently received funding. Amsterdam-based payment startup Adyen, for instance, recently secured $250 million from investors. Other startups to have received funding include WeTransfer, TravelBird and Peerby.