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Amsterdam keen to secure position as one of Europe’s most important start-up cities

The City of Amsterdam, knowledge institutions and the trade and industry sector are keen to dramatically boost the opportunities for rapidly-growing start-up companies. As such, Alderperson for Economic Affairs Kajsa Ollongren (D66) will collaborate with these parties on a new action programme entitled StartupAmsterdam.

Amsterdam plans to invest heavily in attracting international talent in the years ahead. Young people and freelancers will be given more opportunities to learn skills such as coding and programming. Businesses introducing technologically-advanced, innovative ideas are vital for the economic growth of cities and countries. Such start-ups are the driving force behind job creation.

A start-up is a burgeoning enterprise looking to increase its scale of operations and that is also prepared to continuously adapt its business model to keep pace with changes in the market. The continued digitisation of society means that these companies are free to experiment with new ideas – an economic development that dovetails with an international, creative and open city such as Amsterdam. New products and services are quickly discovered and trialled by a group of relatively young Amsterdammers with a keen interest in the latest technology. As such, Amsterdam is the ideal testing ground for digital innovation.

Kajsa Ollongren: “Our ambition is to secure a place alongside London and Berlin. Companies rapidly expanding in the technology sector are vital to the city’s economy. It’s a fast-changing, dynamic economy that presents opportunities to all entrepreneurs, innovators and great minds who feel like an Amsterdammer, but think on an international scale.”

Amsterdam currently has a shortfall of technical and entrepreneurial talent to satisfy the demand of start-up businesses. The city is also keen to develop more links with Dutch and international investors in order to help businesses to expand. Several concrete objectives have therefore been developed for StartupAmsterdam:


  • Start-ups in Amsterdam are better equipped to attract Dutch and international talent with relevant expertise.
  • Amsterdam secures more Dutch and international capital.
  • More international start-ups set up shop in Amsterdam as part of further expansion.
  • Amsterdam secures its position as one of the top three European start-up cities, alongside London and Berlin.



  • Startup & Coding Academies: young people and freelancers learn coding and programming skills at various (existing and new) knowledge institutions in the city.
  • Coding as a core feature of the education system: StartupAmsterdam supports initiatives focused on ensuring that coding is as commonplace in primary schools, secondary schools and universities as numeracy and literacy.
  • Online start-up job advertising: StartupAmsterdam assists companies looking for personnel by helping with intelligent, focused advertising.


  • Capital Week Amsterdam: StartupAmsterdam is keen to bring the Capital on Stage event to Amsterdam. This major conference unites dozens of investors with hundreds of start-ups.
  • Connecting capital: a limited amount of Dutch capital – for example, held in pension funds and family companies – is currently invested in start-ups. StartupAmsterdam will organise meetings and events to help improve links between these groups.


  • The StartupAmsterdam Portal: a website featuring information for start-ups and investors regarding legislation, courses, the location of start-ups in the city, an event agenda and so forth.
  • Corporate partner programme: 25 major Amsterdam companies sponsor StartupAmsterdam and share their networks and expertise.
  • Global start-up events: well-known, acclaimed international events will be brought to Amsterdam, for example: Disrupt TechCrunch, Maker Faire and Wearable Wednesday.
  • Start-up city branding: high-visibility campaigns, both online and using posters and billboard advertising throughout the city.
  • Concentration of start-up activities: StartupAmsterdam collaborates with the sector to identify where the city’s most significant start-up clusters are located.

Startup Delta
The StartupAmsterdam action programme has been developed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry recently launched Startup Delta, headed by Neelie Kroes. The aim of Startup Delta is to unite the various high-potential regions of the Netherlands in order to jointly create a strong European start-up ecosystem. As such, Amsterdam will have robust links with the rest of the Netherlands, Europe and the world.

StartupAmsterdam is a public-private collaboration. More than 75 partners have pledged their support, such as accelerators (including Startupbootcamp, Rockstart and ACE Venture Lab), knowledge institutions (including the VU University Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and AMS), companies such as TomTom and, and start-up events and initiatives such as The Next Web, The Startup Orgy, Startup Weekend and Founded in Holland. The City of Amsterdam will contribute in excess of €5 million to StartupAmsterdam, drawn from resources allocated for strengthening economic structure, as outlined in the 2014-2018 coalition agreement.