I‘ve been involved in Berlin’s startup scene since I first came to the city in 2015, but last week I had the opportunity to expand my horizons, connecting with startup ecosystem leaders from all across Europe.
A combined “soft-landing” mission to the Netherlands was organised by Crosspring & Soft-Landing EU. With a diverse group of startups, scale-ups and ecosystem leaders from Germany, Portugal, France, Lithuania, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Australia & The Netherlands we got to explore the Dutch FinTech scene. We went to a number of cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Zoetermeer (our home base for the delegation).
We visited different coworking spaces across the country, met with financial & legal experts, connected with local FinTech entrepreneurs at networking events and got to meet some of The Netherlands most successful FinTech startups (such as LiteBit).
The main takeaways?
- If you are a startup looking for a supportive and nurturing environment to get started… go to the Netherlands!
- If you are an entrepreneur looking to make connections with some of the nicest people in the world… go to the Netherlands!
- If you want to combine business with pleasure; fun with finance… go to the Netherlands!
- Whatever you’re looking for… go to the Netherlands!
In all seriousness, there are a lot of positive things to be said about the Dutch Startup Ecosystem. It’s young, vibrant, and highly encouraging for startups, scaleups, entrepreneurs & freelancers. The government also offers plenty of incentives for innovative businesses to open shop in Holland (including visa support and tax reductions).
Asides from this, major cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, offer a great quality of life (and nightlife) — from food, music, art, architecture, culture and more! It’s also super easy to get around the Netherlands with highspeed trains connecting all the major cities and well-connected airports making it super easy to travel around Europe & beyond!
Whilst I’m not quite ready to say good bye to Berlin just yet, the Netherlands is certainly proving itself a worthy opponent of Europe’s traditional startup capitals… Berlin, London & Paris - you’ve been warned!