Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or you simply admire from afar, the Netherlands is known for its creative and innovative dynamism when it comes to tech. Often described as a ‘tech hub’ with a ‘flourishing startup ecosystem’ (according to the often-insightful Forbes.com), the Netherlands is an incredibly popular location for new and existing tech businesses. So, why do so many startups choose this beautiful country as their HQ?
Many established household names have already pitched their global or EMEA headquarters in the Netherlands: Heineken, Tesla, Nike, Netflix, ING and Philips to name a few, the last of which helped position Eindhoven as a ‘tech hub’ in its own right. On a wider level, the tech industry makes up 14% of Amsterdam’s local workforce (insight taken from iamsterdam.com) and the city was ranked fourth best global tech city in 2018.
The first reason for its popularity lies in its location: well connected, both digitally and geographically, the Netherlands has great transportation links on both national and international scales, making travel, face-to-face meetings, and networking easier to arrange. Recognized too for a different type of network, the Dutch network infrastructure is one of the best in the world. Plus, the broadband speeds are some of the fastest in Europe, all in all establishing a solid foundation for any online business to build upon.
Great connections go hand in hand with language diversity, and a multilingual workforce is certainly a powerful tool when trading across borders and seas; around 90% of Dutch residents speak English, for example. Opening its own borders to bright-eyed tech entrepreneurs worldwide, the Netherlands has its own Startup Visa, created by the government to incentivise fresh business.
Technicalities aside, the Netherlands manifests a culture of creativity that compliments the explorative nature of the Dutch people, as well as enticing tourists and new residents from all over the world. Famed for its windmills, canals, and fine art (as a big art lover myself, I appreciate this!!), the Netherlands is culturally rich and is an attractive place to settle down.
With this environment of creativity, the excellent links, and the government’s efforts to promote the startup scene, the Netherlands acts as an ideal platform for tech companies to extend to a wider customer base.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you’re a Netherlands-based tech professional or are looking to make the move. My contact details are:
Emily Vousden firstname.lastname@example.org