Amsterdam: the centre point of the European startup and tech scene

Firstly, here are a few facts about Amsterdam's startup and tech community:

  • Leading tech giants choose Amsterdam for their European headquarters or development teams: Tesla, Uber, Optimizely, Netflix, Atlassian and Nextdoor.
  • Amsterdam has many homegrown unicorns (in the making): Booking.comAdyenCatawiki (fastest growing scale-up in Europe), PICNIC (100 mln series B – among the highest series B rounds in Europe), TomTom and Elastic.
  • Amsterdam is the proud host of world-leading tech & funding events: Summit AIIBCAmsterdam Capital WeekStartupFestTNW Conference (15,000 attendees in two days and among the top three events in Europe, together with Slush and the Web Summit).
  • Amsterdam is the centre point for growth hacking: Growth Tribe Academy has educated over 1,400 people so far, while an abundance of bootstrapped scale-ups – including UsabillaSqulaWeTransfer – prove that Amsterdam lives and breathes growth.
  • Amsterdam is home to Europe’s biggest (and best!) startup incubator and co-working space: B.Amsterdam (40,000 square meters and three buildings in total).
  • Amsterdam hosts an abundance of accelerators: Startupbootcamp – the leading startup accelerator outside the US – for ecommerce, fintech & cyber security and Smart City & living , Rockstart, Let it Grow, Open House, ACE Venture Lab, Fashion for Good and many more.
  • Amsterdam has the most well-connected startup and tech ecosystem that collaborates via the StartupAmsterdam programme, with over 35 initiatives and projects that push for more skilled talentcapitallaunching customerscontent and a more startup-like environment.
  • Amsterdam’s corporates form a powerful player in the ecosystem: StartupAmsterdam Corporate Network consists of 80+ corporates that act as sponsors, mentors or launching customers for startups.
  • The local government acts as a launching customer themselves! Thanks to the Startup in Residence programme, not only can startups work with the municipality of Amsterdam on innovative urban solutions for the city, but civil servants receive training on Lean Startup, the Business Model Canvas and Growth Hacking to better understand the startup mentality.
  • Amsterdam has an abundance of local talent thanks to a variety of tech academies: there are over 250 data science courses under one roof at Amsterdam School of Data Science20+ startup & coding academies, various upskilling programmes and four main universities with 100,00 students overall. We’re even bringing coding classes to primary schools via CodingforAmsterdam.
  • Amsterdam is always buzzing with activity: 900+ yearly events, from meetups to conferences, that everybody can find on StartupAmsterdam’s Event Calendar.

Now the question is: How can your foreign startup benefit from all of this?

Let us explain: Amsterdam has two unfair advantages: Access to Launching customers and Access to Talent. Not only do we consider our city a hotbed for startups, but the best gateway for expansion into Europe. How can these two unfair advantages help you grow your startup into Europe? First, it is super easy to get access to launching customers. Second, Amsterdam has an impressive pool of tech talent. Let us elaborate on this.

Access to Launching Customers: Dutch corporates are launching customers and lead users by nature. Our corporates, like ING, Heineken, Philips and KLM are the frontrunners in this. Now Amsterdam is ahead with corporates that have joined the tech scene. Get in contact with them via our Corporate Network. We also co-organise Launchpad Meetups on a regular basis, giving startups a platform to meet, pitch to and collaborate with corporates. If your startup has a solution for our local government, you can apply for the Startup in Residence programme. Last but not least, get in contact with our counterparts in other European startup cities via the SCALE (Startup City Alliance Europe) network. We’re happy to be of help and connect you!

Abundance in (Tech) Talent. People love to live and work in our city. Not only because of the best hiring conditions (i.e. Liveability, 30% tax ruling and working visas are ready within two weeks), but also because the tech scene offers many job opportunities and challenging projects. In recent years, we ramped up the tech curriculum within and outside of our educational system. As a result, talent is pouring into the ecosystem via Growth TribeBSSAAmsterdam School of Data Science, the Talent InstituteCodaisseurthe App Academy and internationally renowned academies such as Hyper Island and the New York Code + Design Academy. With initiatives such as TechConnect and StudiStartupJob, we make sure startups and corporates get the right talent as quickly as possible. Last but not least, attracting and hiring talent is extremely easy: we speak English here, it is affordable, you only need a bike to get from point A to point B, it is extremely safe and the Dutch are among the smartest, most tolerant nations in the world. We welcome your talent, your ideas and your innovation!

Why Amsterdam quickly grew into Europe’s centre point for tech

There is no ecosystem in Europe that is as collaborative and forward driven as Amsterdam. We, the ecosystem, work as a tech cluster as a whole – including startups, scale-ups, universities, accelerators, incubators, tech companies, multinationals, innovation hubs, research institutions and the local government. That is something special. Thanks to this, the public-private StartupAmsterdam action programme is packed with projects and initiatives. Some are directly focused on startups, yet almost all other initiatives are focused on helping the supporting players and boosting the startup climate in Amsterdam for everybody to benefit from.

Growth happens in a place where people are open-minded and make you feel included. A city where people build the future instead of complaining about why it is doomed: Amsterdam is that place.