Why to choose Amsterdam for your start-up
Amsterdam is alluring for many reasons, but the most important one for us is that Amsterdam is one of the most supportive places for start-ups to build their company.
Talent and Start-up Hub
The abundance of talent in Amsterdam is well-known, but let’s start with the facts: 44% of the Amsterdammers have attained a higher education degree, while 90% of them are fluent in English and 80% are bilingual. Prestigious art schools such as the Rietveld Academie, in turn, feed the design-based talent pool. Meanwhile, the geographically small city boasts over 60 co-working spaces and is home to over 180 nationalities. In short, Amsterdam is a location with a dense network of talent and highly skilled workers, while it nourishes a cultural diversity that helps to feed the city’s global connectivity.
As a result, Amsterdam boasts an enviable legacy of successful start-ups, with the likes of Swapfiets, Framer, and Adyen all hailing from the Dutch capital. It’s clear that the conditions here are conducive to success, which is reaffirmed by the abundance of accelerators and incubators available such as those at Startupbootcamp.
Quality of Life
Amsterdam is well-known for striking an effective work-life balance, which is reflected by the recent 9.5/10 ranking for work-life balance on the OECD Better Life Index. As one of Europe's cultural capitals, the city offers a plethora of diverse outlets to help maximize the enjoyment of leisure time and to provide a welcome counter-balance to the working week. World-famous museums reside in the city’s museum quarter, internationally renowned nightlife and music venues are in ample supply, and a collection of high caliber restaurants cooking food of all corners of the world are found citywide.
Despite the high population density, the plenitude of canals absorb a great deal of noise and ensure that a large portion of the city remains spacious and peacefully still. All you have to do is simply step outside for a canal-side walk and you will quickly understand the tranquility that Amsterdam's canals provide amidst the bustle of city life. For those hailing from foreign countries, there is also a vast ex-pat population, which makes it very easy to set up a life abroad without feeling too estranged from your home culture.
City Size and Atmosphere
The city’s geographical size and relatively low, yet dense population mean that it is very well-connected within its borders. The distance between business districts is rarely ever more than 20 minutes by bike or public transport and the thriving network of start-up companies have frequent interactions. These factors are conducive to fruitful networking opportunities and encourage a large volume of ‘in-person’ interactions. This ability to easily meet with others and gradually bump into more familiar faces overtime provides a framework of more meaningful and memorable interactions rather than endless online meetings and calls.
Since the city’s population still resides under the 1 million mark, its communities are markedly smaller compared to nearby capitals like London and Paris. As a result, Amsterdam is still famous having a town-like feeling with all the major perks of a big city. This town-like feeling, in turn, is adjoined by a noticeable sense of community all throughout the city.
Commuting and Transportation
The compact setup of Amsterdam makes the average commute lower compared to the rest of the Netherlands. In this, the city is built to favor cycling as a local means of transportation. Not only does the biking element offer a sustainable solution to fossil fuel transportation, it also fosters a healthier population.
Last but not least, every major startup city also needs flawless transportation links. Amsterdam has Schiphol Airport only 15 minutes from its city center. In offering over 300 flight destinations and by functioning as flight transfer hub, Schiphol is the 3rd busiest airport of Europe. Furthermore, Amsterdam was added to the Eurostar rail line last year, which offers high-speed journeys to Brussels, Paris, and London. Within the city, public transport adds a diverse and efficient means of getting around with trams, metro’s, trains, and buses all connecting to one another.
Altogether, these factors combine to make a very happy city, and more relevantly, a successful business environment for start-ups. While Amsterdam’s past legacy continues to exude rich undertones of success, the present is a bustling and connected ecosystem of opportunity, and the future is always open to innovation and change.