• Hypermotion

Cities of Innovation: Amsterdam

Additional information

ICT Infrastructure

The Netherlands is renowned for having one of the fastest average broadband speeds in the world.


Fastest ISPs: Digital Ocean, T-Mobile Thuis BV, KPN Mobile LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V., Ziggo, KPN, T-mobile Netherlands bv, Euronet Communications B.V., and XS4ALL Internet BV.


Amsterdam has made its city data open source. Everyone can access the information, download it and link it to its own system, or add further data sets.


Amsterdam is home to the largest data transport hub in the world, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS- IX). Thanks to its investment in increased capacity and additional connection points, AMS- IX grew its total internet traffic volume by 35% to 5.6 exabytes in 2013.


Many major players in the international data centre sector, such as Interxion and Equinix, have chosen the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area as a base. Datacentre.com opened the 100% sustainable-energy- powered AMS1 data centre. Equinix also launched the state-of-the-art AM4 data centre at the Amsterdam Science Park campus.


The Netherlands is ranked 1st in the DHL Global Connectedness Index. According to DHL, “global connectedness refers to the depth and breadth of a country’s integration with the rest of the world, as manifested by its participation in international flows of products and services, capital, information, and people”.

Local, national and international transport links

Schipol airport

If you want to transfer conveniently from Amsterdam airport directly to your hotel, you can book a personal airport taxi service through http:// www.airporttransfer.amsterdam. Amsterdam Airport Shuttles run by Connexxion depart every 10 minutes, with services to more than 100 hotels throughout the city (https://connexxion.nl/amsterdam- airport-express/1241).


Additional information on nearby airports: Eindhoven Airport significant network of budget airline f lights; Rotterdam–The Hague Airport–2nd airport of the Netherlands.; Lelystad Airport (LEY)–the country’s busiest general aviation airport; undergoing expansion to handle budget airline f lights from 2020.



There are at least 10 different international trains are running everyday from and to Amsterdam). Most common connection: Paris (Thalys), London (Eurostar), Berlin, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Antwerp.


Alternatively, Amsterdam is accessible by sea; the Port of Amsterdam ranks fourth in Europe.


Amsterdam is surrounded by motorways which link the city to numerous destinations in Europe (car and international bus services).


Public transport in Amsterdam city centre is operated by GVB company which provides integrated metro, tram and bus services. A transport OV chipcard loaded with money or timeframe product is used. Ferries and trains are also available for longer commute.


Cycling is firmly built into the Dutch DNA – there’s an estimated 880,000 bicycles in Amsterdam.


Transport sharing initiatives



Felyx is an a e-scooter and bike- riding platform, which allows for a quick, affordable and carefree ride all through the city with its e-scooter hailing service. Felyx will charge €0.30 per minute without any hidden charges. Felxy e-scooters can be parked anywhere and the parking is free of cost.



Snappcar was founded in 2011 and is a peer-to-peer car sharing platform with its headquarters in Utrecht.


car2go (now SHARENOW)

car2go it is one of the most common car-sharing services in Amsterdam. With the car2go app, the user can book a car whenever and wherever without the hassle or cost of owning a car or dealing with the strict reservation times.



Another car-sharing service, Greenwheels lets users share cars with each other, as the team is focused on being more environment-friendly.



Founded in 2016 by Henry Mentink, MyWheels believes in the power of communities and neighbourhood car sharing.



Based in Amsterdam, TaxiElectric is the first electric taxi service to operate in Europe. The startup aims to make the taxi market more sustainable and the cars offered by the startup are fully powered by green electricity.

University links and access to talent

Amsterdam has a network of top quality universities within 1 hour of the city. Amsterdam itself is home to two universities: the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and VU University Amsterdam (VU). These universities offer a wide range of economics, business and legal courses at bachelor, master and postgraduate level.


Amsterdam Institute of Finance

The Amsterdam Institute of Finance (AIF) specialises in providing high-level executive education for finance professionals from around the globe. AIF selects its faculty from internationally- renowned business schools such as Berkeley, Cambridge, ESADE, INSEAD, Kellogg and NYU Stern. In addition to open enrolment and in-company programmes, AIF also provides training in partnership with a number of Dutch and international associations including the international CFA Institute, NYU Stern School of Business, PRMIA (the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association), Hawkamah and the Netherlands Finance Development Company (FMO).



The Tinbergen Institute (TI) is one of Europe’s leading graduate schools and research institutes in economics, econometrics and finance. TI is operated jointly by the Schools of Economics of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU) in the Netherlands. The Tinbergen Institute offers a research master’s programme in economics, econometrics and finance as well as PhD opportunities under expert supervision by international research fellows.


Tech and Start-up Academies Thousands of students graduate from Amsterdam’s top universities every year. There is an abundance of tech and start-up academies where people educate and re- educate themselves. Codaisseur, New York Design and Coding Academy, The Talent Institute and other organisations train a workforce that can code and grow your tech company.


Startup academies B. Startup School Amsterdam (BSSA) and the Growth Tribe Academy invite startups to provide trainee and intern positions for pupils. In addition, they organise matchmaking events for graduates and start-up teams.


Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA) is the expert interface between Amsterdam-based academic institutions and parties interested in their research findings and knowledge, such as companies, educational institutions, investors, health care providers, entrepreneurs, government bodies and societal organisations. Being an interface, IXA deploys its expertise in both directions: assisting researchers in generating societal and economic impact from their work and assisting external parties in navigating the academic landscape to find a solution or spot an opportunity.


Additional information on tie-ups between academia, research and business:


Elsevier Artificial Intelligence Lab opens in Amsterdam
— In an exciting joining of forces between science and business, the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) and information analytics business Elsevier have opened the Elsevier AI Lab. The lab, situated on ICAI’s grounds in the Science Park in Amsterdam, will help further establish the Amsterdam region as a Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) centre of excellence at a national and international level.


— The collaboration allows Elsevier’s data scientists to work closely with data scientists in academia, contribute to education and science, and pursue a PhD. Academics in turn gain a better understanding of how AI is used to innovate research platforms to solve real-world societal problems. The Elsevier AI Lab closes the gap between the two worlds.


Amsterdam Data Science

Their mission is to develop world-class data science and artificial intelligence talent and technology within the Amsterdam region. We are the focal point for research, innovation and education.http:// amsterdamdatascience.nl/about/ data science/

Amsterdam Science Park

Amsterdam Science Park is home to one of the largest concentrations of beta sciences in Europe. With the University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science, the Amsterdam University College, dozens of renowned research institutes and some 120 companies–from start- ups to multinationals–all working in the fields of IT, Life Sciences, advanced technology, and sustainability, Amsterdam Science Park has become a vibrant melting pot where business, science and innovation meet. https://www. amsterdamsciencepark.nl.

ACE Incubator

An incubator and accelerator that combines the activities of UvA, VU, HvA and AHK, it is their ambition to become a leader in accelerating science-based and technology companies that are the drivers of innovation, economic prosperity and job creation.


The technology sector in Amsterdam is responsible for roughly 60,000 jobs, or 11% of the total, according to a survey by corporate analysis bureau Dealroom, and commissioned by the city’s Startup Amsterdam organisation. Of the 1,000 plus companies represented in the report, 33 are identified as grownups (500+ employees), 263 as scale-ups (51-500 employees) and a ‘whopping’ 756 companies were identified as startups (2-50 employees).


Costs and availability of workspace

A continuously updated list of co- working spaces can be found here: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/business/startupamsterdam/coworking-spaces

City support for start-ups and SMEs

— StartupAmsterdam: One-stop shop for international and local entrepreneurs.


— Get regular updates from StartupAmsterdam and answers to content-related questions, comments or requests. info@startupamsterdam.org


— Facebook group: Amsterdam Startups.


— National Program: Startup Delta  https://www.startupdelta.org


— Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency: https://investinholland.com


— Local Expat Centre: IN Amsterdam – https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/our-network/in-amsterdam


— Amsterdam Inbusiness: https:// www.iamsterdam.com/en/ business/setting-up/our-services/ about-us

Financial support and access to investors & accelerators

— Amsterdam is home to numerous accelerators and incubator programmes for startups, making it a breeding ground for new companies and an ideal place to validate and tweak your business model. For example, Europe’s best-performing accelerators Rockstart and Startupbootcamp were founded here, and hundreds of teams have successfully graduated from their programmes. There are numerous networks and events to get involved in, making it easy to build meaningful connections.


One of the biggest projects connecting startups to city is Startup in Residence: the City of Amsterdam invites Dutch and international startups to tackle a variety of social challenges with innovative solutions.


Founded in Amsterdam in 2015, Startup in Residence is a collaboration between startup companies and the local government. Learn more: http://startupinresidence.com


Nationwide, there are several options for startups to benefit from public allowances, exemptions and subsidies. These are provided on a European, national, regional and local level. Some of the options are highlighted on this page. Check the Startup-box to see what kind of public financing schemes suits your startup the best. For more information, contact the Finance Desk of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce or visit the Answers for Business website.


Additional information on access to investors/accelerators:


Venture Capital

Venture capital is an important form of additional finance for startups which have already gained some market experience. Venture capital is usually invested in return for shares in your company. Not only do they provide the financial means, but usually the private equity is provided by experienced companies who can help you to continue your growth with their expertise and experience. The Netherlands Venture Capital Association is the representing organization of most venture capital funds in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the blogs from VEECEE and Peak Capital offer advice on how to meet investment criteria. Finally, don’t forget to check out nlfunding.co for an overview of the entire investment landscape.



Angels can play an important role in prolonging the life expectancy of your startup. Find angels who are active in Amsterdam on the iamamsterdam Startup Map (https://startupmap.iamsterdam.com/investors/f/all_locations/Amsterdam/investor_type/angel/ locations/Amsterdam)


Amsterdam Capital Week

Amsterdam Capital Week is held each year in the last week of September and is completely focused on creating as much interaction between the Investor Scene and the Startup Community. The week hosts lots of different events focusing on the specific niche areas of investment with one main event at the centre of it all to provide the investor world with the latest trends from some of the leading minds in the area. http://capitalweek.amsterdam