Old to New

Taking in the erupting entrepreneurial scene in Amsterdam on my short break from my internship. Sometimes referred to as Appsterdam, this city is spawning startups — Booking.com, 3D Hubs and Silk are among the better known ones.

One area that this windy city is taking the lead in is Smart Energy, with the world’s first focused accelerator program at Rockstart.

This isn’t surprising, since the Zaanse Schans area north of the city was the first industrial site in the world, with over 600 windmills producing a range of goods such as oil, wood products, paper, and paint. On my trip, I visited a handful of functioning windmills, providing a glimpse into the area’s pioneering past.

Energy consciousness is pervasive, from pedal power and electric trams to smart streetlights and trash collection — it is exciting to see this cobblestoned city working on a future of smart things.