The freshly published StartupBlink Global Rankings Report 2019 ranks 100 countries and 1000 cities based on the strength of their ecosystem(s). In the Netherlands, ranked 6th among countries, Rotterdam follows Amsterdam as the second most developed ecosystem in the Netherlands.
Over the past several years Rotterdam’s momentum has reached a critical mass. The city is now home to 500+ tech startups, nearly two-thirds as many as Amsterdam. With access to talent from both the technology sector (TU Delft) and the business sector (Erasmus University), all ingredients for founding and scaling successful startups are locally brewed. Even the ever-changing architecture and skyline have contributed to increased attention from international students and tourists alike.
Ingredients for success
As home to the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam has been a culminating point for maritime and trade industries for decades. More and more, however, companies focused on software, digital platforms, algorithms, and similar technologies are also making a name for themselves. Since the electronics giant Coolblue, we have seen companies like Mendix (software), Helloprint (print), Shypple (ocean freight), Quantib (MedTech) and other software- or platform-based scaleups add to the diversity of Rotterdam’s tech ecosystem. A similar phenomenon has taken place in the hubs that connect and support this ecosystem. The Cambridge Innovation Centre set up its third location in Rotterdam, 42workspace opened the first tech- focused workspace, and RDM, ITCampus, Erasmus Centre of Entrepreneurship, PortXL, and YES!Delft have coloured in the education and accelerator landscape.