Startup initiative looks to bring investment in Amsterdam

StartupAmsterdam, a new initiative to ensure the city's place as a top European start-up city, was announced by the city this week. The City of Amsterdam, training institutions, and the trade & industry sector are working together to increase opportunities for success for the city's quickly booming start-up companies, the city revealed in an announcement on Friday.

StartupAmsterdam is working with the national program, StartupDelta, also launched this week. A spillover effect is likely throughout the Netherlands, with an increase to start-up development expected in cities such as Eindhoven, Delft and Utrecht following the anticipated success in poster-city Amsterdam.

Alderperson for Economic Affairs Kajsa Ollongren (D66) will be working with institutions, industry and start-up companies as part of a new program of action called StartupAmsterdam. The program sees the city investing in attracting international talent to Amsterdam, increasing opportunities for young people to obtain skills in coding and programming, and connecting start-ups with investors.

In a statement, Ollongren describes the motivation behind the project. "Our ambition is to secure a place alongside London and Berlin. Companies rapidly expanding in the technology sector are vital to the city's economy. It's a fast-changing, dynamic economy that presents opportunities to all entrepreneurs, innovators and great minds who feel like an Amsterdammer, but think on an international scale."

Sebastiaan Meijer from Amsterdam's press office told NL Times that "everyone is coming together to develop the best way to boost start-ups". He described existing programs like Startupbootcamp Amsterdam as helpful for expanding useful courses at Amsterdam institutions and increasing involvement from young people. Another strategy to be employed involves inviting experts from the start-up scene to do coding at schools. Meijer said schools are enthusiastic to be involved, with teachers offering support to Ollongren over Twitter.

Amsterdam has been described as the "most creative global city" in a press release by Rocket Internet. A priority is branding the city's start-up community, said Meijer. "Amsterdam has a lot of stuff going on, but it's not visible enough." Amsterdam will collaborate with start-ups to develop new portals to increase interest and involvement to encourage international interest. A flow of international start-up talent is expected to increase following the regulation introduced by the national government at the start of this year which allows aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for temporary Dutch residency.