The startup ecosystem in The Netherlands is called the Startup Delta and it is heavily backed by the national government that aims to make Amsterdam, and The Netherlands at large, Europe’s best connected and largest startup ecosystems. If you have set your eyes on Amsterdam to find a startup to work for, you have picked the right place. Even though it’s a small capital compared to some of its European counterparts like London and Berlin, there are quite a number of startups scattered around the city.
Looking at the number of startups registered on CrunchBase in relation to the student population, Amsterdam is a great place to work for startups. Your chances of landing an internship or a job at the startup of your choice are high as there are 59 students per startup, compared to 213 in Berlin and 312 in London.
Read also: A guide to startup jobs and internships
Where to find the startups?
To find startups you have to look for accelerators, and co-working spaces. An accelerator is the startup equivalent of a semester at a university, with courses and an exam in the end in the form of a demo day, where startups present their products in front of investors, and potential clients.
The most notable accelerators in Amsterdam are:
- Rockstart, part of a global initiative called ‘The Global Startup Machine’. The programs in Amsterdam are focused on web & mobile, and smart energy.
- Startupbootcamp Amsterdam, part of the global Startupbootcamp. The Dutch accelerator focuses on ‘Smart City & Living’.
- ACE Venture Lab, is a collaboration between Amsterdam based universities.
- Impact Hub Accelerator.
Where to meet startups?
The best way to meet startups is to attend startup events and parties. The decisive factor for getting you onboard for an internship or a full-time job is how you will fit into the team, so a nice conversation and showing genuine interest might be all that is needed.
If you are on the lookout for these events check out the startup related meetups and the Amsterdam Startups Facebook group. For a better overview of all the events subscribe to the Amsterdam Startup Digest or browse through StartupInc’s startup event list.
Two of the bigger annual events with international exposure are worthwhile attending:
- The Next Web Conference brings together technology leaders, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.
- Crowdfunding Day, Europe’s biggest crowdfunding convention.
Your mind might be buzzing now from all this information…but remember ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Take your time to research all of the above-mentioned sources, starting by finding the startups you are interested in and then by finding the events where you have the possibility to meet them. From then on it’s all about you and your networking skills, or plainly put: have a nice and honest conversation with the founders.
It all boils down to three little words: enthusiasm + motivation + timing. Good luck, and don’t forget your elevator pitch!