Everything you need to know about the startup scene in Rotterdam

Want to network with the best startup people in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam startup ecosystem

Rotterdam's startup ecosystem is a testament to its pioneering spirit and forward-thinking mindset. With a strategic location at the heart of Europe's busiest port, Rotterdam has become a thriving hub for startups, attracting visionary investors and fostering a collaborative network of coworking spaces, events, and mentors. As the city continues to redefine itself, new clusters of innovative startups and cutting-edge innovation centers are reshaping Rotterdam's entrepreneurial landscape.

Mentors in Rotterdam

Helping companies spot and execute growth opportunities, with a holistic view on customer journeys and growth marketing strategy. I have built up experience working with +50 start-ups, (international) scale-ups and corporates and am specialised in defining growth strategies as well as execution.

Fay Lodder
Growth Marketing Consultant

Justyna has led growth at agencies and designed strategies for giants like Cisco. Currently, she’s the founder of Experimenterra.com, innovating products for startups and solopreneurs.

Justyna Ciecierska
Head of Growth at Beducated

I want to help you improve your digital brand experience so you can become a top 1% company. Graduated MA in Media & Business. I’ve worked on both the client and the agency side for a wide range of startups, scaleups and corporates.

Thomas Stoffer
Growth Specialist

I’m an entrepreneurial marketeer with a Dutch no-nonsense mentality and a desire for impact. Love to get in touch and think about how to move you to the next stage of growth. ☑️ Growth Hacking ☑️ Marketing Strategy ☑️ Manage scaling

Yvo Wander
Startup Founder & Growth Marketing Consultant @ Dapper Rhinos - 🔥 Let me roast your online marketing

Serial entrepreneur with experience in B2C and B2B, bootstrapped and venture funded. Can help with all stages of your business, from getting your MVP off the ground and customer research to optimizing existing growth processes, building out a scalable inbound acquisition channel, fundraising etc. .

Lyubima Petrova
Demand Generation Manager at Mobilexpense

I have a lot of experience helping early stage startups getting ‘funding ready’. I helped many founders receive investments by creating a better more coherent & convincing stories of their pitch & deck. You can send me your deck for an honest audit & edit.

Nira de Waele
Pitch deck audit & edit/ Startup coach & mentor/ Ex-founder

GrowthMentor events in Rotterdam

Frequently asked questions?

What industries or sectors are dominant in the Rotterdam's startup ecosystem?

Dominant sectors in Rotterdam’s startup ecosystem include logistics, clean energy, sustainability, tech, and health. The city’s port and emphasis on sustainability have created a thriving ecosystem for startups in these sectors.

What are the key accelerators available for startups in Rotterdam?

Key accelerators in Rotterdam include PortXL, a maritime accelerator, and the Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship. These accelerators offer training, mentoring, and investment opportunities to startups across different sectors.

What local funding opportunities are available for startups in Rotterdam?

Rotterdam startups have access to various local funding opportunities, including government grants, private venture capital funds, angel investors, and crowdfunding platforms. The Rotterdam Capital Days event provides a platform for startups to meet potential investors.

Are there any tax incentives designed to support startups in Rotterdam?

Yes, Rotterdam has tax incentives for startups. These include the Innovation Box tax regime, R&D tax credits, and startup-specific payroll tax reductions, designed to support innovation and encourage entrepreneurial activities.

What is the cost of living and operating a business in Rotterdam?

The cost of living and operating a business in Rotterdam is lower compared to Amsterdam, yet still higher than the European average. Factors such as rent, utilities, salaries, and taxes need to be considered. However, the high standard of living and well-developed infrastructure balance the cost.

What is the talent pool like in Rotterdam?

The talent pool in Rotterdam is diverse and highly educated, with a strong focus on sectors like technology, logistics, and sustainability. The city’s universities, including the Erasmus University, are renowned for business and technology courses, producing a steady stream of qualified graduates.

How is Rotterdam's infrastructure conducive to startup growth?

Rotterdam’s infrastructure is conducive to startup growth. It boasts world-class logistics and digital infrastructure, coworking spaces, and business hubs. The Port of Rotterdam also offers unique opportunities for startups in logistics, sustainability, and tech industries.

Are there any major networking events focused on startups in Rotterdam?

Several networking events focused on startups occur in Rotterdam annually, including Rotterdam Capital Days, Startup Weekend Rotterdam, and Rotterdam Tech Meetups, facilitating networking, idea sharing, and collaborations.

What is the regulatory environment like for startups in Rotterdam?

The regulatory environment for startups in Rotterdam is generally favorable. The Dutch government actively supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable business practices. The legal framework is transparent, with various support programs to help startups navigate the regulatory landscape.