Amsterdam has always been a popular tourist destination, from its picturesque canals to beautiful buildings, and impressive museums to world-famous art galleries. But this isn’t just a city for weekend breaks and stag parties.
Amsterdam is quickly becoming one of the most exciting tech hubs in the world. Often overshadowed by Berlin, this amazing city is finally being recognised in its own right thanks to various tech conferences, accelerators, and incubator programmes.
Almost 500 multinationals including Tesla, Netflix, and Miele X now have their European headquarters in Amsterdam and it’s not hard to see why. The Netherlands is ranked as the world’s best market for tech companies, plus its strategic location in the middle of Europe is a huge pull.
Here’s everything you need to know about the city’s exciting tech scene.
In the beginning
The Netherlands has long been renowned for digital innovation. After all, the country has given us everything from CDs to DVDs and Wi-Fi to Bluetooth.
For developers, Amsterdam’s most noteworthy contribution is probably the Python programming language, which was created by Guido van Rossum in 1989 at the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science.
However, in the ‘90s, Amsterdam really began to rise to prominence as a tech city. The first big players to arrive on the scene were Booking.com and TomTom, and others weren’t far behind.
In recent years, the startup scene has flourished due to political interest, heavy investment, and government supports such as the StartupDelta, which promotes the Dutch tech scene.
Naturally, IT is one of the biggest employers in Amsterdam. The city is the ideal breeding ground for exciting developments thanks to its highly educated workforce and exceptional internet speeds.
Around one-third of European data centres are now based in the Amsterdam Area, ensuring the region is one of the most exciting choices for networking and hardware specialists.
The Dutch capital is home to major international hubs like the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) and the Netherlands Internet Exchange (NL-ix). The sector is expanding rapidly and increasingly using cutting-edge technology to be more environmentally friendly.
Major employers in IT include Google, Facebook, ReachLocal, and Microsoft.
Amsterdam also has a thriving Biotech sector. Both of the city’s two major universities (University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam) have a strong biomedical focus.
Since 2019, Amsterdam has been home to the European Medicines Agency in charge of regulating new therapies within the European Union. In addition, Biotech startups in the region can benefit from a national network of investors specialised in the life sciences industry, including venture capital firms such as LSP and Forbion.
One interesting company to keep an eye out for is Leyden Labs. Founded in 2020, this innovative team develops nasal spray medicines for infectious diseases. In March 2021, Leyden Labs raised a €40 million Series A round, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for protection against future pandemics.
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The history of international trade and logistics in the Amsterdam Area goes back over 700 years. Today, the city is the base for hundreds of logistics firms thanks to the city’s strategic location and expertise.
In fact, over 180,000 jobs in Amsterdam are in the logistics industry according to IAmsterdam statistics. In 2018, the Global Logistics Guide even gave the Netherlands a perfect 10/10 score, calling the country “the model for European logistics excellence”.
Sustainability greatly influences Amsterdam’s logistics sector. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a huge employer that attracts a lot of talent. The world’s third-most connected airport is actively pursuing eco-friendly endeavours such as electric transport, biofuel, and wind power.
Amsterdam Science Park
We can’t talk about the Amsterdam tech scene without mentioning Amsterdam Science Park. This 175-acre campus (it’s bigger than 98 football pitches) is home to one of the largest concentrations of beta sciences in Europe.
ASP is a major hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship thanks to its world-class research institutes, universities, and more than 120 companies. The park offers unique opportunities for collaboration.
Amsterdam doesn’t just attract the best tech workers because of the amazing job opportunities or innovative start-ups. The Dutch capital is one of the most liveable cities in the world. According to the most recent OECD Better Life Index, Dutch residents have the word’s best work-life balance.
There is also a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Amsterdam, which is unusual for a big city. According to the same findings, 91% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need.
When you couple this with a great transport system, an impressive international airport and wonderful concerts and exhibitions, you’re on to a winner.
If you are hunting for an exciting new job in tech, then you should head straight over to Information Age Jobs!