Amsterdam may not be as big as London or as hip as Berlin, but it has a valid proposition for your startup that will make you seriously consider it for your EU base. Amsterdam is home to risk-takers, entrepreneurs and creatives. After Copenhagen, the bicycle capital of the world is the second smartest city in Europe, constantly improving the quality of life for all its residents and visitors (according to Fastcoexist). It’s a city oriented to innovation with tech savvy and open minded A’dammers eager to try out new, innovative solutions on the market and about 500 active angel investors looking to back them up. Moreover the Netherlands is a great playground to pivot your product!
5 reasons why you should startup in Amsterdam
1. Events where ideas are born
There are lots of ongoing events where creatives – from developers, designers to business majors – meet to discuss about their ideas and how to make them happen. You could find your co-founder, your lead designer there or who ever you need to help you rock it as a startup. There’s lots of talent from all around Europe in Amsterdam, so it’s even possible to find an intern from Greece that could build you an awesome iOS app for €500 per month (of course after 3 months of internship you should hire him for doing such a great job).
2. Startup accelerators & startup mentors
Startupbootcamp, a global network of industry-focused startup accelerators, has won the award for Best Startup Accelerator 2014 at The Europas – European Tech Startup Awards, and Startupbootcamp Amsterdam is said to be the best one of them all (unofficial, based on opinions of some European startups rocking it in the Silicon Valley – good enough).
We had the pleasure to finish the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam program which helped us get Leapfunder to where we are now: From an Idea to One Million Euros. If you are not sure whether you should join a startup accelerator, you can read more about our experience and experience of our startup bros in 5 Reasons Your Startup Should Join a Startup Accelerator.
Another amazing accelerator in Amsterdam is Rockstart accelerator that invites early-stage startups to surround themselves with the best people that will help you build a radically successful company and to take your startup to the next level.
A great number of amazing mentors gathered both around Startupbootcamp and Rockstart accelerator, and they will ask the right questions, break your illusions and assumptions, put you on the right track and connect you with the right people.
3. Active angel investor scene in the Netherlands
There are about 500 active angel investors in the Netherlands today, all looking for their next investment, another startup to add to their portfolio, the one that will hopefully return 10 times of what they invested. You can meet many of them in the form of mentors in the above-mentioned accelerators or after your demo day. They will be there, it’s your chance to impress them.
Recently we did an interview with one of our angel investors, Rutger Kemper. To find out how a Dutch angel investor thinks: Get Inside the Mind of a Leapfunder Investor.
4. Small country with global ambitions
The Netherlands is a small country with an open mind and an international sense of doing business. Its global ambitions are obvious from history and the Dutch Golden Age when they even managed to rule the world. The desire to rule the world stayed, but not in the colonial way, in business. Any company in the Netherlands looking to achieve great success, must expand its business abroad and it’s something we know better, way better, than the US companies which will struggle and won’t even dare to do business abroad until they achieve radical success in the US. In the Netherlands, we have the infrastructure and government support to do business abroad which makes it easier to do international business.
Another great advantage of starting up in the Netherlands is that by being a small, tech-savvy and English-speaking market, Netherlands is also a good playground to pivot your product.
5. The city itself
Amsterdam is a great city to live in, it is very vibrant, it has the advantage of having a healthy base of startup evangelists and a strong international community. You will fall in love with its architecture, openness, vivid colours, artistic vibe, parks, nightlife, La Chouffe (Belgium beer) and its awesomeness all together.