Entrepreneurship has been anchored in the Dutch blood since the exploration of new routes to Asia by the VOC in the 17th century. Over time, social traits such as the importance of freedom, creativy and tolerance have become prevalent in Dutch society. Combined, this has created a moderate and lean approach to life and the starting of new companies. The city has a gravitational pull on alumni from the best technical, design and business institutes in the Netherlands and has a large, creative, entrepreneurial scene.
These elements, combined, have led to Amsterdam becoming one of the largests hubs for startups in Western Europe. International success stories such as Booking.com, E-buddy and Layar were born in Amsterdam and there’s a growing number of high potential startups on the verge of international breakthrough.
Amsterdam is a tolerant multicultural city with many different nationalities living together. Since everybody speaks English, expats quickly adopt to the Dutch lifestyle. Combine this with a high standard of living, (relative) inexpensive housing, a great nightlife and affordable and quick public transportation to other major cities in the Netherlands, and you understand why everyone inside and outside of the Netherlands wants to live in Amsterdam. You won’t find tullips and there’s only a few windmills in the city, but there’s bikes everywhere. Ask any Dutchman and you’ll quickly find out that people own 1,5 bike on average. Bikes are just a great, easy and fast way to get around.
There are many Amsterdam meetup groups focussed around entrepreneurship, tech, art and design such as OpenCoffee, Online Tuesday, the Arts Lounge, Hackers&Founders and Startup Weekend. One of the biggest new initiatives is Mike Lee’s Appsterdam, which helps foreign technology entrepreneurs become settled and make new friends in the Netherlands by hosting 1-2 events every week. Around half of the surface area of the Netherlands is located below sea level. The Dutch have been battling against floods and the natural elements for centuries and have succeeded through innovation, perseverance and cooperation. These are some of the core values we believe in at Rockstart Accelerator.