Amsterdam makes it easy for entrepreneurs

Amsterdam is setting its sights on becoming Europe’s third biggest hub, after London and Berlin. On its way to achieving this goal, Amsterdam has a number of things going for it. For example, a government and private sector initiative called StartupAmsterdam makes it easier for new companies to operate in Amsterdam.

Kajsa Ollongren, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor and the government official behind the initiative, recently told Computer Weekly that projects like StartupAmsterdam are helping to create the perfect environment for both Dutch and international startups.

The City of Amsterdam offers a startup visa to help companies bring in new staff, and has a regulation that allows foreign staff to pay less income tax. “If you need talent, we have it here, and if we don’t have it, we will make it easy for the talent you need to come and live and work here,” Ollongren said.

Collaboration with other Dutch cities

What also makes Amsterdam different is its close ties with other Dutch startup cities, such as Eindhoven and Rotterdam. “We see each other as one startup ecosystem,” said Ruben Nieuwenhuis of StartupAmsterdam. This is not the case in many other European countries, whose individual city hubs are largely separated from each other. 

Established companies showing interest in Amsterdam startups 

Lodewijk Bonebakker, head of the customer experience centre at Dutch bank ING, said that a local startup scene is crucial to helping large Dutch businesses learn how to innovate. “Having a local startup scene allows corporates to explore and collaborate on new solutions, technologies, and directions,” he said.