This article is part of a series of city guides to innovation hubs around the world. Each guide features a set of locations to help connect innovators and entrepreneurs to like-minded communities across the globe. A city local—who’s also a leader of the SingularityU Chapter in that city—has curated these destinations to get you plugged into the network in no time.
Today’s post focuses on Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Check out our other city guides and make sure to visit the SingularityU Global Hub to connect with Singularity University community members worldwide.
Amsterdam is a perfect innovation hub, as well as a great launchpad into the Dutch and European markets. Although small in size, Amsterdam has it all: a creative and stable business environment, a diverse talent pool and entrepreneurial mindset, and a perfect city to live in, with great hangouts and a friendly and vibrant atmosphere everywhere you go. Its work-life balance is among the best on the planet. So, be part of a thriving business ecosystem while enjoying the great life in Amsterdam.
Meet Your Guide
Singularity University Chapter: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Profession: Peter Maarten Westerhout is a creative innovator, entrepreneur, and speaker. Passionate about bringing technology to life, he is a co-founder of TimeLabz, an agency that helps managers and entrepreneurs set their course in the new digital age.
Your City Guide to Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Top three industries in the city: Creative, ICT, financial, and business services.
1. Coworking Space: FreedomLab
FreedomLab is both a co-working space and a consulting agency. It offers consulting, coaching, and small-group sessions as well as spacious, light-filled desks and lounge areas.
2. Makerspace: Makerversity
Makerversity, which recently opened in Amsterdam, is a makerspace that will have a textile workshop, 3D printers, vinyl and laser cutters, and an assembly space. The woodworking and general making facilities are now open and available for use.
3. Local meetups/networks: Startup Boot
Startup Boot attempts to connect founders, startup CEOs, and entrepreneurs by hosting meetups and workshops on blockchain innovation, strategies to reach out to potential clients, and other topics. Many of the organization’s events have taken place on boats on Amsterdam’s famed canals.
4. Best coffee shop with free WiFi: De Stadskantine
De Stadskantine offers affordable food, friendly staff, and a great environment to meet locals who work and live in Amsterdam. Although the coffee is not the finest in town, DeStadskantine is definitely one of the best local spots for nomad innovators.
5. The startup neighborhood: NDSM Werf
Once one of the largest wharfs in the world, the NDSM has morphed from an industrial shipyard into a cultural hub. It hosts vintage markets, rotating festivals, and a waterfront café constructed from old shipping containers.
6. Well-known investor or venture capitalist: Patrick de Zeeuw
Patrick de Zeeuw is cofounder and CEO of Startupbootcamp in Amsterdam and an active angel investor in media, online, and mobile companies.
7. Best way to get around: OV-fiets
OV-fiets is a convenient bicycle rental service that costs only €3.85 for a 24-hour rental period. Bicycles can be borrowed from nearly 300 locations all over the Netherlands, including train stations, bus and metro stops, and town centers.
8. Local must-have dish and where to get it: Kroket & Frikandel speciaal at Febo
Febo is a chain of Dutch walk-up fast food restaurants of the automat type, where food can be purchased from vending machines. Founded in 1941 in Amsterdam, Febo’s most popular items are krokets, frikandellen, hamburgers, and Kaassoufflés.
9. City’s best-kept secret: De Ceuvel
On the heavily polluted site of a former shipyard, De Ceuvel is the creation of a team of architects who converted old houseboats into a workspace and cultural center. The development also includes a café-restaurant on the waterfront with good food and creative programming.
10. Touristy must-do: Foodhallen
The Foodhallen is an indoor food hall inside a former tram depot that has over a dozen independent restaurant stands and a wide variety of culinary options.
11. Local volunteering opportunity: Amsterdam Cares
Amsterdam Cares is an active network of socially-minded young professionals. With over 9,000 registered volunteers, the network supports more than 100 community organizations.
12. Local university with great resources: University of Amsterdam (UvA)
The UvA’s mission is to provide academic education for tomorrow’s leaders and innovators, carry out pioneering research, and use the results to develop socially relevant applications. Visit one of the many open buildings and libraries in the historic city center.
This article is for informational purposes only. All opinions in this post are the author’s alone and not those of Singularity University. Neither this article nor any of the listed information therein is an official endorsement by Singularity University.