The Netherlands as the center of the Startup world
5 March, 2021 by
The Netherlands as the center of the Startup world
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Amsterdam, 25th of March 2016


Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb) joins Tim Cook (Apple), Travis Kalanick (Uber) and Mark Rutte during the unique startup-week of the European presidency.

For one week the Netherlands will be the center of the global startup community. Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, hackers, investors and corporate innovators will get together to createtomorrow’s economy. Startup Fest Europe takes place from 24 – 28 May and aims to bring the world together and help startups grow faster. More than 28 events will take place in 14 cities across 5 days. Today the organization adds three more names to the already impressive speaker line-up.
Alongside Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb), Gillian Tans ( and Reshma Sohoni (Seedcamp) have confirmed to give their keynotes at Startup Fest Europe in The Netherlands.
The opening event, where the aforementioned speakers will perform, will take place in Amsterdam’s former stock exchange, the Beurs van Berlage. 
The following week will see startup hubs throughout the Netherlands organize events where the aim is to build, connect and disrupt.

Chairman Startup Fest Europe, Constantijn van Oranje: "We welcome the world's leaders in technology to Startup Fest Europe, where they'll inspire a next generation of entrepreneurs. They will discover the Netherlands as a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship. The place where startups from Europe meet for a full week of match making."

Current highlights of the Startup Fest Europe Week    

Campus Party brings together young technical talent and aspiring entrepreneurs. An estimated 5.000 European students, so called ‘Campuseros’, work together for five days, 24 hours a day in workshops and challenges and spend the night in special tents. Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop – Elon Musk’s grand scheme for superfast public transportation – will present his vision on future transportation and the consequences for our cities and jobs. Dutch icon Bas van Abel, founder and CEO of Fairphone, represents a social enterprise that is building an international movement in fair development of electronics. He will exemplify innovation from an ethical point of view.

During the YES!Delft Students E-Forum, Dutch former finance minister Jan-Kees de Jager will share experiences from his days as an entrepreneur. Nijmegen will be the stage for a conference about ‘Our Future Health’. The theme of the conference is how to create sustainable health(care) with the help of  #patientsincluded innovations and startups. The conference will split into two tracks, a national conference in Nijmegen and a global stream on the internet. The global stream will connect with over 20 cities worldwide. In Nijmegen will be on stage i.a. Oscar Kneppers from Rockstart, Neelie Kroes and Prof. Maarten Steinbuch (TU/e Eindhoven). Martijn van der Zee, Suit Supply’s head of marketing, will speak at E-commerce Live! on May 25th, and explain how its controversial campaigns have made the company to what it is today. The Future of High Tech in Enschede will see Chris Anderson take the stage. Anderson has an impressive track record as a writer and as an entrepreneur. He has founded several successful companies, including DIY Drones, and GeekDad Book Tour. Currently, Anderson is at the helm of the American company named 3D Robotics which he co-founded and which has raised more than $ 100 million in venture capital.

Startup Fest Europe will come to a close in epic fashion during the Startup & Dance  event at the stunning Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam on May 28th.

About Startup Fest Europe

For the past year-and-a-half StartupDelta, the initiative led by Neelie Kroes, former vice president of the European Commission for the digital agenda, has put the Netherlands on the map internationally as an attractive and leading Euopean startup ecosystem, resulting in a nr 1 ranking in the Startup Nation Scoreboard.

Startup Fest Europe is initiated by StartupDelta, as a crown to the ambitious results that have been achieved. For a full week, the Netherlands will showcase the fields of expertise in which it  excels: food and agriculture, health, energy, high tech and water technology. Chaired by Constantijn van Oranje and led by Jim Stolze, this world-class  event brings the most exciting speakers to the Netherlands  whilst facilitating worldwide matchmaking between funds, startups, talent and centres of excellence. The main goals: deals, deals and deals. Startup Fest Europe is an official EU presidency event, supported by the ministry of Economic Affairs and the ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences.

Founding partners

Ziggo is a leading provider of communication and entertainment services in the Netherlands. Ziggo offers video, broadband internet and mobile and fixed telephony to millions of consumers and businesses. Ziggo is part of Liberty Global: the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries. Ziggo and Liberty Global support entrepreneurs to help innovation flourish. We target young innovators and SMEs that need an initial boost of support to help develop and commercialize their creativity and capability. And we help today’s kids and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to develop their digital skills. Our support for Startup Fest Europe with organizing CoderDojo’s is part of this ambition.

Shell is an integrated energy company that aims to meet the world’s growing demand for energy in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. In order to enhance the speed of innovation in our industry and obtain access to exciting technologies and innovations outside Shell, we collaborate with innovators from within and beyond our industry. We have strong relationships with universities, research institutes, entrepreneurs and with our supply chain partners. Shell actively encourages entrepreneurship because innovation enables us to accelerate the energy transition. More information can be found on
Deloitte is a proud founding partner of Startup Fest Europe. Deloitte Center for the Edge partners with CEOs to make sense of and profit from emerging opportunities on the edge of business and technology. We believe that ecosystems are crucial for future success. Startup Fest Europe mobilizes a unique European ecosystem, where all participants can engage and grow faster together. We aim to bring corporate CEOs to  Startup Fest Europe to unlock innovation potential for an impact that matters.

Google began in a garage, and we remain a startup at heart. Because of that, we’re committed to supporting entrepreneurship through this partnership. It's in line with what we've done previously – announcing a partnership with The Next Web, creating a space for 150 Dutch startups. It’s the same reason we recently launched the Digitale Werkplaats road show with a goal of bringing digital skills to 30,000 Dutch entrepreneurs and independents to help them grow their businesses online. Google has a special relationship with startups. We bring together startup communities and create spaces for entrepreneurs to learn and work. Also we develop special programs like the Google Developers program and the Google for Entrepreneurs network to help them grow and reach the best of their potential.

Rabobank wants to contribute to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands. And Rabobank aims to contribute to a food secure future for all. Innovation is key on both accounts. Start-ups, Scale-ups are important for entrepreneurship and the economy in the Netherlands; they drive innovation and represent the future of ‘The Netherlands Inc’. In food chains worldwide, innovation is vital to produce more with less ecological impact. That’s why Rabobank is Founding Partner of Startup Fest.

Further information

Startup Fest Europe takes place from the 24th to the 28th of May 2016. On you can find an up-to-date overview of all the events that will take place.


For questions please contact Maarten Snijders at [email protected] +31 6 295 659 23 or Katrien Westendorp at [email protected]

+31 6 303 197 08

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