Skyline of Rotterdam

Top Startups in Rotterdam

2022-04-05

Top Startups in Rotterdam: A Complete Guide

Rotterdam's startup ecosystem is a hotbed for innovative entrepreneurs. 

Located in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is the second-largest city, with a population of over 623,000. The city is known for its large port, the busiest one in Europe.

Rotterdam has become a popular destination for startups and entrepreneurs in recent years. The city offers a variety of resources and support for businesses, including several incubators and accelerators.

There are many reasons why Rotterdam is a great place to look for startups to work at. The city has a strong economy, a supportive business environment, and a talented workforce. Additionally, Rotterdam is home to many leading universities, which provide a talent pipeline for startups. 

In this guide, we will look at the top startups in Rotterdam. These ventures are making a name for themselves in various industries, and one of them could lead you to your next job opportunity.

Why Rotterdam?

According to Up!Rotterdam, the city's Make It Happen mentality has helped innovate key economic sectors such as smart logistics, energy transition, life sciences & health.

Rotterdam's innovation ecosystem is the ideal place for people looking to set up a company or work at a startup in the Netherlands

Let's take a look at some statistics by Up!Rotterdam showcasing why this is true:

Statistics describing the Rotterdam startup ecosystem

Statistics by Lars Crama from www.uprotterdam.com.

With all these numbers in mind, it is no wonder that Rotterdam is considered a top city for startups!

Five cool companies based in Rotterdam

Rotterdam attracts thousands of startups and scale-ups every year. Some of the coolest startups to based in Rotterdam include:

 

Coolblue 

Coolblue is a Dutch online retailer that sells a wide range of electronics and appliances. With its boasting philosophy that puts people first, the friend-owned company maintains a positive company culture that reflects its core values, including honesty, flexibility, and a go-for-it attitude.

 

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is a nonprofit organisation that develops technologies to eradicate plastic globally. With their unconventional aim to shut down their business once the oceans are clean, this sustainable startup also helps educate people on waste and plastic management.

Click here to browse available opportunities at The Ocean Cleanup!

 

Mendix

Mendix, which has recently expanded its office due to rapid growth, is an app platform that allows businesses to be involved in the application development process and quickly bring their most refined concepts to life with software. In 2019, Mendix organised the largest global event on low-code.

Click here to browse available opportunities at Mendix!

 

Hardt Hyperloop

Hardt Hyperloop creates an affordable, emission-free transport system for traveling long distances in a short amount of time. In 2021, Hardt Hyperloop was awarded €15M by the European Commission to accelerate the hyperloop development.

 

Helloprint

Founded in 2013, Helloprint is an e-commerce platform that provides digital and personalised printed products such as business cards, flyers, and posters. With a focus on quality, sustainability, and customer service, Helloprint has scaled rapidly and become one of the leading players in its industry.

Click here to browse available opportunities at Helloprint!

Next to all these five cool Rotterdam-based companies, you can also explore the top 10 startup jobs you can find in the city.

Top industries in Rotterdam

Let’s deep-dive into some of the most important industries that startups are active in within Rotterdam: 

 

Maritime

Rotterdam is the maritime capital of Europe. Undoubtedly, the maritime industry is one of the most important sectors in Rotterdam. The city is home to Europe's largest port, and it is considered a global leader in maritime logistics.

Given that global trade is on the rise, Rotterdam has a responsibility to manage port development sustainably and responsibly by ensuring that the port and its environs are safe, healthy, and attractive.

This sector seeks to counteract climate change while assuring that the port region contributes to Dutch prosperity and employment. The Rotterdam Port Authority and the Municipality of Rotterdam have made ambitious plans to apply AI in the maritime sector.

 

Smart Digital

As we move through the digital age, so does the demand for companies that can help organisations transition to a more digital way of working. The Rotterdam Smart Digital sector is home to many of these companies. This sector is thriving; from startups that focus on developing innovative software to larger companies offering digital marketing and IT support services - Rotterdam has it all. 

The city is not only committed to researching and developing novel solutions - instead, it also collaborates closely with its residents and organisations to help solve issues, overcome barriers, and achieve common goals. Simultaneously, the city is continuously optimising its infrastructure to prepare for future technologies.

 

Smart Energy - Carbon Neutral

The municipality of Rotterdam has set the ambitious target to become carbon-neutral by 2030. To achieve this, the city must develop and implement new technologies in renewable energy.

The Smart Energy sector in Rotterdam is working on achieving this goal by experimenting with different types of energy, such as wind, solar, and geothermal. In addition, companies in this sector are working on developing new storage methods, intelligent grids, and energy-efficient buildings.

 

Next Society - Entrepreneurial & Inclusive

The Next Society sector is focused on developing new technologies that can help create a more inclusive society. In addition, this sector includes companies working on developing innovative solutions for social issues, such as poverty, inequality, and climate change.

This sector is also home to companies working on developing new technologies that can help make the transition to a circular economy. This includes companies working on developing new recycled materials and ventures finding new ways to reuse and recycle existing materials.

 

Life Sciences & Health

The Life Sciences & Health (LS&H) sector is focused on developing new technologies and products that can improve the health of individuals and society as a whole. This sector includes companies working on developing new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. In addition, this sector is also home to companies working on developing new treatments for diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Companies within LS&H is also developing new technologies that can help make the healthcare system more efficient and effective. This includes developing new ways to store and share medical data and exploring new methods of delivering healthcare.

 

Circular Economy

The Circular Economic sector focuses on developing new technologies and methods that can help make the transition to a circular economy. This includes companies developing new recycled materials and finding new ways to reuse and recycle existing materials. In addition, this sector is also home to firms developing new waste management methods, such as anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis.

 

Mobility & Logistics

The Mobility & Logistics sector is focused on developing new technologies and products that can improve the transportation system's efficiency. This sector includes companies developing new vehicles and improving logistics and transportation methods. 

 

What is Roadmap Next Economy?

The Roadmap Next Economy (RNE) is an action programme in the Rotterdam-The Hague-Delft region that addresses global challenges such as climate change, growing population in cities, digitalisation, the rise of new economies and world powers, and the exhaustion of our natural resources.

It has five transition paths targeting five thriving industries in Rotterdam, which aim to shape the new economy of the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Area. The five paths follow the industries below:

  1. Smart Digital
  2. Smart Energy
  3. Circular Economy
  4. Entrepreneurial Region
  5. Next Society

Startups per industry

Rotterdam is home to thriving startups and scaleups from a variety of industries. Below is a list of notable startups from all aforementioned sectors. 

Smart Digital

  • Gameye
  • Easygenerator
  • Billink
  • Mp Objects
  • Virtual Vaults
  • Mopinion
  • Yuki
  • Qblox
  • MoreApp
  • Turff

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €411 million in funding for this sector alone.

Smart Energy - Carbon Neutral

  • Solar Monkey
  • hello energy
  • EXASUN
  • SOLHO
  • aQysta
  • Tiler
  • Fesla Charge
  • UTURN
  • Airturb
  • Supersola

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €76 million in funding for this sector alone.

 

Circular Economy

  • The Ocean Clean
  • Infinite Acres
  • Blue City
  • Milgro
  • PATS
  • Blue Radix
  • Floating Farm
  • Urban Mining
  • Impact Forecast
  • VanBoven 

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €125 million in funding for this sector alone.

Next Society - Entrepreneurial & Inclusive

  • Equalture
  • Dojoko
  • Staffyou
  • Magnet.me
  • Part-up
  • College Life Work
  • SpeakSee
  • LessonUp
  • Enviu
  • Sensara
  • Scoozy

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €22 million in funding for this sector alone.

Life Sciences & Health

  • SkylineDx
  • Gyromotics
  • Reboocon Bionic
  • Quantib
  • VarmX
  • Medvice
  • Somnox
  • Delmic
  • BIOND Solutions
  • LeQuest

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €109 million in funding for this sector alone.

Maritime 

  • Fleet Cleaner
  • Next Ocean
  • Barge Master
  • Smart-Ship
  • Vertidrive
  • We4Sea
  • SeaState5
  • McNetiq
  • RadiantFleet
  • Sailrouter

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €22 million in funding for this sector alone.

Mobility & Logistics

  • Beequip
  • Fizyr
  • Routetitan
  • Plotwise
  • Tracefy
  • Shypple
  • Mywheels
  • Hardt Hyperloop
  • 4shipping
  • OceanOps
  • KlearNow

These and many other startups and scaleups in Rotterdam have raised €120 million in funding for this sector alone.

Conclusion

Rotterdam is a breeding ground for startups and scaleups from various industries. With the right environment and support, these startups can thrive and make a global impact. 

The city provides an ideal environment for entrepreneurs with the right access to capital, talent, and new markets. If you are looking to start a business in Rotterdam, these are some of the most promising sectors to consider.

Have you found the startup you want to work for in Rotterdam? Explore your options now.