Amsterdam Aims to be Top European Startup Hub

Amsterdam has set its sights on becoming Europe's third biggest hub behind London and Berlin.

A government and private sector initiative called StartupAmsterdam is being set up to promote its potential as a gateway to attract talented IT entrepreneurs to its startup community.

Representatives of Amsterdam's City Government connected with the city's entrepreneurial community and investors during the city's Capital Week.

Amsterdam's deputy mayor, Kajsa Ollongren, said: "One of the first things I noticed when I started in June 2014 is that we had lots of things going on in the startup scene but no policies or programmes. It wasn't really on the agenda.

"Amsterdam is a gateway to Europe and is attractive for companies all over the world," she said, adding that startups from the US and Israel had shown interest.

She said the city itself is a great attraction as are its talent and openness to foreign workers.

"The advantages that we have are the city itself, because it's a nice place to live and is more compact than London and Berlin; we have lots of talent here already and it is easy for talent to come here; and we have an entrepreneurial spirit and like to try new things."

Public lead at StartupAmsterdam, Bas Beekman, said although Amsterdam has a vibrant startup scene it lacks companies that are growing fast.

He said: "In Amsterdam, we have a lot of startups and a lot of talent, but we don't have many that are scaling up fast, like and Tom Tom, which are our most successful examples. We want more of these in Amsterdam."

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