Amsterdam’s tech community joins forces to attract foreign talent

project: a sees 10 innovative companies coming up with 10 future-defining projects. However, to complete these projects, they need the help and knowledge of business analysts, software engineers and artificial intelligence & machine learning experts. Therefore, highly skilled international talent is invited to Amsterdam to live, work and – of course – define what’s next _ for the city.

Via the platform, specialists are invited to apply for projects at TomTom, Adyen, Picnic, bloomon,, Bynder, Growth Tribe, Squla, 3D Hubs and Alliander. These projects include everything from autonomous cars and digitising the flower industry to the world’s most intelligent energy grid and smart supermarkets. The collaborating tech companies are expecting a high influx of international talent to start working with them on their latest technologies.

“For centuries, Amsterdam has been defining what’s next. Today, we invite foreign talent to our international city to work on world-changing ideas. It is truly unique that tech companies from the same city collaborate in this way to attract top talent” – Kajsa Ollongren, Deputy Mayor Amsterdam

Not only is Amsterdam home to the European headquarters of some of the world’s leading tech companies – including Tesla, Netflix, Uber, Atlassian, Optimizely and NextDoor – but it also has a thriving startup scene. The European Commission even named Amsterdam as the European Capital of Innovation (“iCapital”). Needless to say, the city is quickly developing into Europe’s centre point for all things tech, and its attractive work-life balance and village-like charm never fail to attract young professionals. According to a study by Nestpick, Amsterdam is ranked as the best city worldwide for millennials. And for the last three years, the city has been consistently named among Europe’s top three in various startup city rankings.

“Picnic tackles one of the world’s most meaningful problems by developing a truly sustainable food supply chain. This requires the smartest engineers, front-running AI-tech and a thriving startup ecosystem. We are proud to take part in project: a and look forward to crack together with all the new talent the greatest challenges of our time.” – Daniel Gebler, CTO at Picnic

project: a is a fantastic opportunity for global talent to get acquainted with Amsterdam and its role as one of Europe’s leading tech hubs. The top 10 candidates will be flown into Amsterdam in October – all expenses paid. They will stay in the city for five days, get a tour of the local tech scene, meet with the relevant companies and get interviewed by their preferred employers. They will also attend World Summit AI as a VIP guest; the convention is a monumental occasion that assembles the world’s AI community. project: a is accepting applications starting from the 23 August 2017, with an application deadline of 25 September 2017. The top 10 candidates will be announced on 26 September 2017.

“In Amsterdam, we were among the first to introduce bouquets in our homes, dating back to the 18th century. At bloomon, we now use the latest technology to create the smartest and shortest supply chain in flowers. Our goal is to spread the happiness of fresh bouquets around the globe. We are proud to be a project: a member, as we need to attract a unique mix of international tech talent, data scientists and creatives for our mission. Trends come and go. But flowers are forever.” – Patrick Hurenkamp, founder and CEO at bloomon

project: a is one of the efforts of the StartupAmsterdam programme to further develop and strengthen the local startup and tech scene. Ensuring access to talent is part of that, and we do this by working on expanding the local talent pool and helping to attract international talent. More in-depth information on project: a, the 10 participating tech companies and the city itself can be found at

About project: a

project: a aims to attract the world’s top tech talent – highly skilled developers and engineers – to join the Amsterdam tech scene. It is the first-ever initiative where several tech companies based in the same city team up to attract talent.

The focus is on international tech talent, specifically software developers, business analysts and experts in AI & machine learning – either with an academic (post doc) or business background.

From all applications, the top 10 talented individuals will be flown to Amsterdam in October, all expenses paid. They will stay in the city for five days, get a tour of the local tech scene, meet the companies and get interviewed by their preferred employers, as well as attend the World Summit AI as a VIP guest - a monumental occasion where the world’s entire AI community will gather. Many applicants will eventually receive an offer to stay in Amsterdam and work on different projects, varying from autonomous driving and smart supermarkets to developing the world’s most intelligent energy grid.


23 August  – Launch of the campaign

25 September – Applications close

26 September – Announcement of the 10 candidates

9 October – the 10 applicants arrive in Amsterdam

12 October – Official closing of project: a

About the 10 projects

1. TomTom is defining what’s next _ in autonomous driving


Apply for TomTom's vacancy to advance and impact the future of autonomous driving. The company is using sensor input from various sources, such as LiDAR and cameras, to define and build a detailed, high-quality map. This is essential for the precise localisation and navigation of driverless vehicles. Approaches to fully automate and scale this process are key for TomTom’s research strategy.

TomTom’s mapping algorithms and models are cutting-edge developments in machine learning, helped by some of the largest labelled maps-related databases in the world. The company makes use of the latest advancements in deep learning – such as generative adversarial networks and active learning techniques – to solve both supervised and unsupervised learning problems. The latest SLAM and visual odometry algorithms help them to align separate data sources and represent them in a common coordinate frame.

From TomTom’s headquarters in Amsterdam, the successful candidate will research world-class algorithms and models to innovate the company's map technology for self-driving cars. They will work together with professionals in an open, friendly environment where creativity is key. Of course, the successful candidate also have access to a huge amount of labelled maps-related databases, and their innovative solutions will be put to practice – changing people’s everyday lives.

Job: TomTom is looking for a R&D computer vision engineer for their Autonomous Driving Team.

Read the full job description.


2. Adyen is defining what’s next _ in payments technology


Adyen is the technology company that's reinventing payments for the global economy. As the only provider of a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard and consumers’ globally preferred payment methods, Adyen delivers frictionless payments across all channels: online, mobile and in-store. Last year, $90 billion in transaction volume was processed on the Adyen platform. However, this FinTech unicorn is still in the early stages of growth, so the opportunity ahead is enormous. Adyen needs you to join and work alongside the most experienced software developers in the industry today and help build a truly global FinTech infrastructure.

The successful candidate will communicate with stakeholders and customers, and monitor impact. They will oversee the design, implementation, testing and monitoring of new functionalities, identifying and improving parts of the platform to make them more robust and scalable. They will also collaborate across teams and time zones, reviewing code and learning from feedback.

Job: Adyen is looking for a senior Java developer.

Read the full job description.


3. is defining what’s next _ in food delivery

Website: is the leading food-ordering website in continental Europe, with a proven business model that provides an effective revenue stream for restaurants and convenience for consumers. Headquartered in Amsterdam with established operations in nine countries across Europe and Asia, the business has grown rapidly in recent years. Thanks to millions of orders and double-digit growth, is the fastest-growing player in many markets; yet, it still sees a lot of untapped potential.

Project: This Amsterdam-based tech giant is looking for a business analyst to join the new Customer Analytics Team – one of the driving forces behind the creation of in-depth customer analysis and operational marketing analytics. The role involves developing metrics and KPIs with various stakeholders, making information and KPIs available for other departments in dashboards and helping with the numerical justification of business cases. The successful candidate will also play a key role within the new Customer Analytics teams, which are responsible for implementing a cutting-edge data-driven strategy for the company.

Job: is looking for a business analyst.

Read the full job description.


4. Picnic is defining what’s next _ in online grocery shopping


Picnic is the world’s fastest growing online supermarket. They make grocery shopping simple, fun, and affordable for everyone! They launched in 2015 after building the platform in stealth-mode with a team of 30 engineers. Then things came quickly together: 2015 challenger award, 2016 best startup award, 2017 most innovative company award. What started as a mobile-first venture is now a true AI-first company where all innovations and operations are powered by a machine learning core engine. At Picnic, it’s all about Think. Dare. Do!

Their project: a is from 1-click buying to 0-click fulfilment. Picnic owns and operates the entire supply chain. Food supply chain logistics is highly complex: there are perishable products, different cooling requirements, intricate transportation requirements, complex packaging, varying product quality, and a non-trivial quality identification process.

The successful candidate will work on the automation of Picnic's warehouse operations by autonomous and networked mobile robots and ultra-fast conveyor belts for fully machine-operated splitting, receiving, replenishment and dispatching. This can include, for example, motion planning (path, trajectory and graph search), pick device and vehicle control (kinematic model, path stabilisation, trajectory tracking, predictive control and linear parameter varying controller) – there are no constraints!

Job: Picnic is looking for an AI software engineer.

Read the full job description.


5. Bynder is defining what’s next _ in digital asset management


Bynder is developing a cloud-based SaaS tool on a global scale infrastructure. It helps marketers automate and streamline their workflow in today’s globalised business environment. Bynder evolves their product and architecture continuously by introducing new microservices that communicate with event streaming services such as Kafka. One of the challenges they now face is that they lack a scalable centralised authentication service.

This completely isolated service will be the centre point of the company’s request authentication and authorisation. Bynder’s intention is that this service must be able to communicate with all their internal and internet-facing services. Performance is key, so the service should be able to consume global scale traffic in a minimal amount of time with a high-security mindset.

You will be responsible for designing and implementing their new authentication and authorisation microservice (AAA). Together with the team, you'll chose the most suitable language and database engine. You will be the main back-end engineer for the microservice architecture, so you'll need to communicate directly with product owners, designers, the architecture team and other members of the development team.

Job: Bynder is looking for a senior software engineer.

Read the full job description.


6. bloomon is defining what’s next _ in the flower industry


The bloomon team has two driving forces: a little rebellion and a lot of disruption. They’re the new guys taking on the traditional players, turning the flower delivery industry on its head. For their project: a, they need your help developing a grower platform to forecast future purchasing and production needs. 

The company works with the latest technologies to promote rapid development – think React.js, Redux, Webpack, Material UI, Node.js, Hapi, Kubernetes, RabbitMQ and more. The successful candidate must be comfortable writing decoupled micro-services, challenging those writing monolithic APIs and indirectly communicating through an event stream or PubSub. 

Job: bloomon is looking for a senior full-stack developer.

Read the full job description.


7. 3D Hubs is defining what’s next _ in 3D printing


Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Amsterdam, 3D Hubs is world’s largest online marketplace for 3D printing services. With a network of 3D printers in 160 countries, 3D Hubs provides over 1 billion people with access to a 3D printer within 10 miles of their location. In the coming weeks, 3D Hubs will cross the magical number of 1 million parts printed since the inception of the platform, with close to 100,000 parts being printed every month. Help them scale up to achieve the next growth stage.

3D Hubs is looking for an experienced data engineer who wants to help solve marketplace challenges (B2B2C) by discovering data patterns that can help the business to learn and predict consumers’ choices. The role involves working on the core engine behind the company's platform. You'll need to firstly build data flows and data structure to provide the Finance, Product, Business Development or Marketing teams with valuable data from different internal and third-party systems. Essentially, the successful candidate will help build a unique experience for engineers, designers and architects who use 3D printing to prototype their next big idea.

Job: 3D Hubs is looking for a data engineer.

Read the full job description.


8. Growth Tribe is defining what’s next _ in digital growth skills


Growth Tribe teaches the skills of the future: digital growth skills (data-driven marketing through experimentation). In order to deliver an excellent experience to its course participants, the company is continuously optimising its understanding of their profiles. Growth Tribe relies on a set of well-defined metrics that measure how likely a participant is to refer a course to others. Also, it collects a set of demographic, psychographic and situational data from its participants. In this sense, machine learning algorithms are applied to better personalise the learning experience.

Growth Tribe are looking to recruit a skilled AI teacher and data scientist to help better personalise their customers’ learning experience. Teaching artificial intelligence makes up 80% of the role, and 20% involves developing machine learning models. The successful candidate will create content for the courses, collect and analyse survey data, generate descriptive reports and dashboards, develop predictive models and clustering analysis, evaluate the impact of different online and offline interventions, and prescribe actions based on data analysis.

Job: Growth Tribe is looking for an AI teacher and data scientist.

Read the full job description.


9. Alliander is defining what’s next _ in energy distribution


As a distribution system operator, Alliander is responsible for the distribution of energy such as electricity, (bio)gas and heat. The rapid transition to a more sustainable use of energy creates a challenge for Alliander. They will need to make a change and start leveraging the benefits of AI to transform old ways of working in order to guarantee the availability and reliability of energy distribution.

To decide on how to allocate a budget of 700 million euros a year (to improve and maintain their energy grid), Alliander has an annual project portfolio planning process. It is increasingly challenging and complex to link performance outcomes to investment decisions. The new age of energy requires a faster, flexible and self-learning decision making process. Therefore, Alliander is looking for a senior artificial intelligence consultant to create provoking and mind-blowing solutions to enable automated portfolio planning and optimisation in a day, every day!

Responsibilities include discovering and inventing new ways of working by applying expert knowledge of AI and machine learning, designing and developing AI systems to automate and optimise budget planning, and collaborating with internal stakeholders on projects (as well as partner institutes and universities worldwide.)

Job: Alliander is looking for a senior AI consultant.

Read the full job description.


10. Squla is defining what’s next _ in children’s online learning


Squla, founded in 2010, is an amazingly fun and educational learning programme, designed to fuel children’s curiosity for knowledge anytime, anywhere. Squla is developed by educators and gaming experts to cultivate lifelong learners. Day after day, Squla’s 70 employees strive to make a difference in learning and gaming. Building new game-types, adding new quiz questions and tailoring it all to the lives of children through the use of colourful designs and fun animations. In their test labs, with the help of children and teachers, Squla ensures that their new features are engaging and motivational to those that matter: children.

The successful candidate will build innovative features on the fun-learning platform, at scale and in a distributed architecture, for multiple country-deployments. They will also utilise machine learning algorithms and work with data scientists to solve the company's biggest challenges, deploy code to the live platform using a continuous deployment pipeline, commit code to github, build and run automated tests in Jenkins, deploy to AWS, and design and create automated and performance tests.

Job: Squla is looking for a senior full-stack developer.

Read the full job description.

About Amsterdam

Amsterdam as Europe's leading Tech hub

Amsterdam combines all the best parts of a European capital with a creative, modern and respectful atmosphere. The Dutch capital is a famously long standing champion of acceptance and openness, which makes the city a very attractive place to live – not just visit. 

Home to the European headquarters of global tech tycoons such as Uber, Netflix, Tesla & Optimizely and the birthplace of unicorns such as, Adyen and Usabilla, Amsterdam also has a thriving startup scene. With two leading universities in the city itself and four more in the greater city area, knowledge and research are core values of the city. Several leading research institutions are based in Amsterdam as well.

Amsterdam has a very well-connected startup and tech ecosystem that collaborates via the StartupAmsterdam programme, with over 35 initiatives and projects that push for more talent, capital, launching customers, content and an ever-improving startup environment. It is a city that is always buzzing with activity within its tech scene, boasting over 900 yearly events in 2016 alone – from meetups and workshops to conferences and startup festivals. And the city proudly hosts some of the world’s leading tech and funding events, such as World Summit AIIBCAmsterdam Capital Week, StartupFest and TNW Conference.

Facts and figures


  • Over 2,900 startups in the city’s 60 mile radius, including 1,000 in the centre itself! Explore the Startup Map to learn more.

Tech & startup academies:

Accelerators & incubators:


  • Over 900 meet-ups, workshops, talks & conferences every year, including  IDC, TNW Conference and WorldSummitAI. Check out our Event Calendar for more. 

Co-working spaces:

  • Over 150,000 metres squared of co-working space in total, including Europe’s biggest incubator: B.Amsterdam.


  • An abundance of VC capital, thanks to the involvement of Dutch pension funds and private equity.

Unicorns and local heroes:

  • Over 10 tech companies disrupting industries and making the international news: TomTom,, Adyen, Usabilla, Catawiki, Picnic and more.


International/global BigTech:

  • International tech tycoons – such as Tesla, Uber, Netflix & Optimizely – chose Amsterdam for their European headquarters and gateway into Europe.



Video 1 – project: a | Come to Amsterdam to define what's next _

Video 2 – project: a | Amsterdam-based tech talent invite their peers