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The numbers behind Amsterdam’s thriving startup scene

4 MIN READ | 2021-06-29

In terms of size, The Netherlands sits a humble 31st when compared to our surrounding European neighbors. Despite that, the nation continues to boast one of the most exciting and lucrative ecosystems that allows startup businesses to develop, thrive and grow, particularly within the tech sector.

It’s no surprise then, that Amsterdam has become central to that success, bringing with it an abundance of startup vacancies that have transformed the city into a hotspot for the world’s best and brightest talent looking for somewhere they can truly innovate and make their mark.

According to a recent report from Dealroom, Amsterdam is now Europe’s third-biggest ecosystem in terms of the total value of tech companies founded since 2000. We must be doing something right.

The Amsterdam startup boom: Leaders in tech

Boasting around 2,700 young companies at varying stages in their scaling journey, the startup boom that has gripped Amsterdam shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.

From just €10bn in 2015, Amsterdam’s tech industry is now worth a staggering €73bn in combined value, a monumental rise for a city of just 820,000 people. 

A willingness to embrace Amsterdam’s startups, be it from locals or newcomers now calling the city their home, has been vital to that success. Now, look through any tech ranking list, and the Netherlands features prominently somewhere near the top.

  • Amsterdam boasts more than 80 Dutch startups in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 EMEA list.
  • According to KPMG, Amsterdam is fourth in Europe in a list of cities outside of Silicon Valley most likely to serve as a top tech innovation hub.
  • Amsterdam’s tech ecosystem ranks third in Europe when it comes to the value of tech companies founded since 2000. (via Dealroom)
  • Savills Tech City Index, which ranks cities by six factors (business environment, tech environment, ‘city buzz’ and wellness, talent pool, real-estate costs and mobility), places Amsterdam fourth globally and second in Europe.

English-speaking Amsterdam startup jobs

In terms of English-speaking capabilities, Amsterdam is a world leader according to EF’s English Proficiency Index for Companies Report. In fact, between 90% and 93% of the Dutch population can speak at least some English, making it a smoother transition and providing a constant flow of English-speaking Amsterdam startup jobs.

Startup and scaleup funding

One of the biggest challenges facing the Netherlands is attracting international investment, particularly in later funding rounds. However, local VCs have remained as willing as ever to give their backing to startups and scaleups, even in the wake of the pandemic. 

Despite the impact of COVID, Amsterdam’s venture capital investment throughout 2020 continued to kick on from a record-breaking previous year. As a result, last year Startup Genome’s annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranked Amsterdam 12th in a list of the world’s top ecosystems, up to three places from 2019.

The foundations have clearly been set. Amsterdam beat stiff competition to come forth in a study which rates cities based on promising prospects for startups, tech, and innovation investment. With two decacorns already born here, the ever-growing ecosystem is ready and waiting for the next startup to break through into similar status.

Startup incubators Amsterdam

That desire to nurture the scaling culture has led to an influx of incredible startup incubators and accelerators, each with its own unique offering that can provide a crucial stepping stone to any business looking to grow. Be it through mentors, high-value networks or access to funding, Amsterdam’s array of startup incubators is just another driver behind the Netherland’s thriving tech ecosystem. Techleap has compiled a list of some of the standout accelerators to help get you on your way.

Amsterdam’s exceptional work-life balance

The Netherlands is unrivaled when it comes to work-life balance and performs strongly in a range of factors taken into consideration by OECD's Better Life Index. This covers things like wages, education and skills, personal security, and health status.

Amsterdam also excels in terms of quality of life. Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings places the city 11th globally, again based on a variety of elements like housing, public services, schools and education, environmental factors, and transport. 

Between its willingness to welcome new ideas and a reputation as one of the happiest cities in the world, it’s little wonder why Amsterdam’s startup scene has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious in Europe - and the resilience shown throughout the pandemic is the biggest testament yet, that its longevity is in-line with the immense ambition.