Since the founding of (1991) and TomTom (1996), Amsterdam’s startup scene has taken off enormously. The city is now home to the incubator Rockstart, technology conference The Next Web, and cloud-storage powerhouse WeTransfer. More recently, both Netflix and Uber have decided to establish their European headquarters here. 

Why Amsterdam? Quality of life and more

One of Amsterdam’s big advantages, the article explains, is that “it’s a place where people want to live,” and live affordably. The city's museums, restaurants, architecture, parks, and bike-friendly cobblestone streets also make Amsterdam one of Europe's cultural gems.

Also helpful is the high level of English spoken here; the Netherlands currently ranks second among the world’s non-native speaking countries. Likewise, the Dutch education system consistently ranks high in terms of math and science. 

The country’s favourable tax regime, international travel infrastructure, and various forms of work visa also make things easier for entrepreneurs. Amsterdam’s sophisticated consumers, known for their early adoption of tech products, makes the city “an ideal launching pad for startups.”  Critically, Amsterdam is also where the venture capital is. The article mentions local VC firms such as Prime Ventures, Van den Ende & Deitmers Venture Capital Partners, henQ, and the EU-backed Dutch Venture Initiative.

Startup city

The City of Amsterdam, too, has played a role. Its Startup Amsterdam initiative, for example, was launched in 2014 to attract new businesses to the Dutch capital. As Startup Amsterdam program director Bas Beekman told TechCrunch, “We have a huge labour pool coming to Amsterdam, because it’s a beautiful city that’s still affordable.”