With Europe’s fastest broadband speeds, startup visas for overseas entrepreneurs, and a strong funding ecosystem for new companies, Amsterdam has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s leading GovTech cities.
The city of Amsterdam is sustained by one of the smartest urban infrastructures in Europe. This includes smart benches and street lamps, powered by connected solar panels, which emit localised WiFi networks and provide charging ports for local citizens. With their phones now charged, cyclists can download GeoLight, allowing them to control street lighting to help people feel safe when travelling at night. As soon as the cyclists have passed, the lights dim down again. Smart parking apps have helped drivers reduce the average time for finding a parking spot by 43%. This has resulted in lower congestion, fuel use and city pollution levels.
Amsterdam’s smart city ecosystem is supported by its open data source for developers and entrepreneurs, a resource that now includes over 12,000 datasets. It has helped grow constructive partnerships between local government and tech companies to design new local campaigns and technologies. This includes grocery store data about vegetable sales being used to evaluate a healthy eating campaign aimed at children, and a dynamic traffic management system using GPS data to manage traffic flow in real time.
Amsterdam is empowering creativity in its GovTech sector by providing an enviable environment for startups and entrepreneurs. The city has plenty of accelerator programmes (including Rockstart Accelerator, Startupbootcamp, and Ace Venture Lab), incubators and co-working spaces. It is also home to the world’s first IoT Living Lab which has established a network of iBeacons across a 3.4k stretch of the city and acts as an open IoT testing ground. StartupAmsterdam, a platform build by entrepreneurs and government, is also central to the startup ecosystem. The platform encourages innovation across sectors and helps startups connect with corporates, investors and talent.
Given its efforts, it is unsurprising that Amsterdam is ranked third in the European Digital City Index. This has resulted in over 1500 registered startups – receiving €194M funding in 2016, and an environment in which companies are facilitated to use their vision and IoT to develop socially beneficial technologies. The GovTech ecosystem in Amsterdam has produced leading innovations in HealthTech/MedTech, as well as in trade and maritime technology. The prevalence of these verticals in our top 10 is a product of the city’s efforts in these areas.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
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