Tech City News travelled to Amsterdam to explore what the city has to offer as a hub for tech start-ups. In our video from the visit, we speak to the top names from the Amsterdam tech space and find out what’s going on in the burgeoning technology scene. Turns out it’s an ideal place to set up and scale-up a technology company.
In the video, made in partnership with the City of Amsterdam, Spaces and Osborne Clarke, we speak with former European commissioner for the digital economy Neelie Kroes, who has now returned to the Netherlands to lead the Startup Delta programme. We also catch up with two of the city’s tech unicorns, Adyen and Booking.com to find out what they think makes Amsterdam so special. Blippar acquired Dutch augmented reality company Layar in 2014 and we get Dirk Groten, the firm’s CTO, on camera to talk about his experiences.
We also have a chat with Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, CEO and founder of media and events company The Next Web, which has made an impressive global impact.
With the likes of Netflix, Uber and Tesla choosing Amsterdam as their European base, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the city as a serious global tech hub. In fact, Amsterdam was built on commerce, which peaked during the Dutch Golden Age when the first stock exchange opened and the port was one of the busiest in the world.
With a relatively small population of 17 million, the Netherlands seems to have always looked to build its prospects internationally and welcomed the skilled foreigners arriving on its shores. This has created an open and tolerant society where more than nine in 10 people speak English and a large proportion speak another language too.
With internet penetration at 94%, it’s no wonder the country sees itself as a great testbed for new digital technology services, as well as a great launchpad for companies hoping to reach 500 million more people across Europe.
Amsterdam’s city centre population stands at almost 800,000, less than one tenth the size of London, meaning short and relaxing commutes, particularly if you opt for the Dutch vehicle of choice: the bike.
While Londoners work some of the developed world’s longest hours and have among the longest journeys to work, the Dutch regularly top the tables for having the best work-life balance in the OECD. That may be one of the reasons why the country is consistently featured on ‘happiest countries’ indexes.
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To learn more about the tech scene in Amsterdam, check out the next issue of our print magazine, due out later this month. Subscribe now for your free copy.
The City of Amsterdam’s official foreign investment agency Amsterdam inbusiness is available to help foreign companies considering expanding to the city. It provides investment and business climate information and once companies decide to set up in Amsterdam, it provides a soft landing service and helps firms get plugged into the ecosystem very quickly. It is free of charge and operates on a confidential basis. Visit the City of Amsterdam site for more information.