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Are you interested in the experiences of others working in smart city projects and organizations? The Smart City Academy provides available knowledge about smart city projects and can help you with project development. This Smart City Academy page provides you with information and researches about the impact and conditions of smart city projects. Professors, teachers and students study the initiation, management, collaboration and scaling of smart city projects and would like to share these results with you. They do so by organizing events and masterclasses, by developing smart city tools and methodologies and by making research and outcomes accessible. You can find everything here. And the good news is.... You can add your knowledge too! Are you working on Smart City research? Please feel free to share your knowledge in the Academy section, under ‘Other research and theses’. The Smart City Academy is powered by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. If you have any questions, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This evening we invited Zoe Scaman & Rutger van Zuidam to share their insights!
Zoe Scaman is founder @ Bodacious, a strategy studio + building fandoms, creators, brands, blockchain + entertainment: https://zoescaman.substack.com/
Rutger van Zuidam, who's building @OdysseyMomentum, an open Source Web3 Metaverse Stack for Collaboration.
Imagine wordpress for web3.0 where everyone can create & own their own space! https://momentum.odyssey.org/
This post is about the rise of the smart city movement, the different forms it has taken and what its future can be. It is the third edition of the series Better cities: The role of digital technologies.
The term smart cities shows up in the last decade of the 20th century. Most definitions refer to the use of (digital) technology as a tool for empowering cities and citizens, and a key to fuel economic growth and to attract investments. Some observants will add as an instrument to generate large profits.
Barcelona, Ottawa, Brisbane, Amsterdam, Kyoto, and Bangalore belong to the forerunners of cities that flagged themselves as ‘smart’. In 2013 approximately 143 ‘self-appointed’ smart cities existed worldwide. To date, this number has exploded over more than 1000.
Five smart city tales
In their article Smart Cities as Company Story telling Ola Söderström et al. document how technology companies crafted the smart city as a fictional story that framed the problems of cities in a way these companies can offer to solve. Over time, the story has multiplied, resulting in what I have called the Smart city tales, a series of narratives used by companies and city representatives. I will address with five dominant ones below: The connected city, the entrepreneurial city, the data-driven city, the digital services city and the consumers’ city.
The connected city
On November 4th 2011, the trademark smarter cities was officially registered as belonging to IBM. It marked a period in which this company became the leader of the smart city technology market. Other companies followed fast, attracted by an expected growth of this market by 20% per year from over $300bn in 2015 to over $750bn to date. In the IBM vision cities are systems of systems: Planning and management services, infrastructural services and human services, each to be differentiated further, to be over-sighted and controlled from one central point, such as the iconic control center that IBM has build in Rio de Janeiro (photo above). All systems can be characterized by three 'I's, which are the hard core of any smart city: Being instrumented, interconnected and intelligent.
The corporate smart city
In many cities in the world, emerging and developing countries in the first place, administrators dream about building smart towns from scratch. They envisioned being 'smart' as a major marketing tool for new business development.
Cisco and Gale, an international property development company, became the developers of New Songdo in South Korea. New Songdo was in the first place meant to become a giant business park and to enable a decent corporate lifestyle and business experience for people from abroad on the first place, offering houses filled with technical gadgets, attractive parks, full-featured office space, outstanding connectivity and accessibility.
Quite some other countries took comparable initiatives in order to attract foreign capital and experts to boost economic growth. For example, India, that has planned to build 100 smart cities.
The data driven city
The third narrative is fueled by the collection and refined analyses of data that technology companies ‘tap’ for commercial reasons from citizens’ Internet and mobile phones communication. Google was the first to discover the unlimited opportunities of integrating its huge knowledge of consumer behavior with city data. Sidewalk Labs - legally operating under the umbrella of Alphabet - responded to an open call for a proposal for redevelopment of Quayside, brownfield land around Toronto's old port, and won the competition. Its plans were on par with contemporary urbanist thinking. However, that was not Sidewalk Labs’ first motive. Instead, its interest was ‘ubiquitous sensing’ of city life’, to expand Google’s already massive collection of personalized profiles with real-time geotagged knowledge of where people are, what they are whishing or doing in order to provide them with commercial information.
As could be expected, privacy issues dominated the discussion over the urbanist merits of the plan and most observers believe that therefore the company put the plug out of the project in May 2020. The official reason was investors’ restraint, due to Covid-19.
The consumers’ smart city
The fourth narrative is focusing on rise of urban tech targeted on consumers. Amazon, Uber and Airbnb are forerunners disrupting traditional sectors like retail, taxi and hotel business. They introduced a platform approach that nearly decimated the middleclass in in the US. Others followed, such as bike- and scooter-sharing companies Bird and Lyme, co-working companies like We Work and meal delivery services like Delivero.
City tech embodies the influence of entrepreneurship backed by venture capitalists and at the same time the necessity for city governments to establish a democratic legitimized framework to manage these initiatives.
The smart services city
Thanks to numerous ‘apps’, cities started to offer a wealth of information and services to citizens concerning employment, housing, administration, mobility, health, security and utilities. These apps enable city administrators, transit authorities, utility services and many others to inform citizens better than before. With these apps, citizens also can raise questions or make a request to repair broken street furniture.
Some cities, for instance Barcelona and Madrid, started to use digital technologies to increase public engagement, or to give people a voice in decision making or budgeting.
All aforementioned narratives suggest a tight link between technology and the wellbeing of citizens, symbolizing a new kind of technology-led urban utopia. In essence, each narrative puts available technology in the center and looks for an acceptable rationale to put it into the market. The fifth one witnesses an upcoming change into a more human-centric direction.
An upcoming techlash or a second wave of smart cities
It is unmistakably that business leaders, having in mind a multi-billion smart city technologies-market overstate the proven benefits of technology. Garbage containers with built-in sensors and adaptive street lighting are not that great after all, and the sensors appearing everywhere raise many questions. According to The Economist, it is not surprising that a techlash is underway. As I accentuated in last week’s post, politicians are becoming more critical regarding behemoths like Google, Amazon and Facebook, because of their treatment of sensitive data, their lack of transparency of algorithm-based decision making, their profits and tax evasion and the gig economy in general. Skepticism within the general public is increasing too.
Nevertheless, a second wave of smart cities is upcoming. The first wave lacked openess for the ethics of urban technology and the governance of urban development. The second wave excels in ethical considerations and intentions to preserve privacy. Intentions alone are insufficient, politics will also have to break the monopolies of Big Tech
Besides, in order to gain trust in the general public, city governors must discuss the city’s real challenges with residents, (knowledge) institutions, and other stakeholder before committing to whatever technology. Governance comes prior to technology. As Francesca Bria, former chief technology officer of Barcelona said: We are reversing the smart city paradigm. Instead of starting from technology and extracting all the data we can before thinking about how to use it, we started aligning the tech agenda with the agenda of the city.
Apart from Barcelona, this also happens in cities such as Amsterdam, Boston, Portland and the Polish city of Lublin. The question is no longer which problems technology is going to solve, but which exactly are these problems, who is trusted to define them, which are their causes, whose intersts are involved, who is most affected, and which ones must be solved most urgently. Only after answering these questions, the discussion can be extended to the contribution of (digital) technology. In a next contribution, I explore digital social innovation, as a contribution to a revised smart city concept.
This post is a brief summary of my article Humane by choice. Smart by default: 39 building blocks for cities in the future. Published in the Journal of the American Institution of Engineers and Technology, June 2020. You will fine a copy of this article below:
MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF IMPACT ENTREPRENEURS
Get inspired by early-stage impact entrepreneurs during the Pitch Event of the Impact Hub Business Model Challenge #21! These ambitious entrepreneurs will share their business cases with an audience of Impact Hub members, experts and potential partners.
And you are invited! After every pitch, you can support the entrepreneurs with their next steps by giving them feedback and providing them with valuable contacts. At the end of the program you will also help to decide, together with our jury, which startup deserves a special prize!
This pitch event will be held online.
This event takes place during the Impact Hub Collaboration Day.
16.00-16.10: Welcome and introduction to BMC
16.10-17.00: Listen to 9 fresh pitches, meet the entrepreneurs here!
17.00-17.15 Keynote by BMC#20 winner: Plant Based Fashion
17.15-17.30: Winner announcement
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS MODEL CHALLENGE (BMC)?
In our three-month BMC incubator, we help impact entrepreneurs unlock the potential of their innovative ideas, and turn these ideas for a better world into scalable business models!
This post is about the omnipotence of Big Tech. So far, resistance mainly results in regulation of its effects. The core of the problem, the monopoly position of the technology giants, is only marginally touched. What is needed is a strict antitrust policy and a government that once again takes a leading role in setting the technology agenda.
A cause of concern
In its recent report, the Dutch Rathenau Institute calls the state of digital technology a cause for concern. The institute advocates a fair data economy and a robust, secure and available Internet for everyone. This is not the case now. In fact, we are getting further and further away from this. The risks are pressing more each day: Inscrutable algorithms, deepfakes and political micro-targeting, inner-city devastation through online shopping, theft of trade secrets, unbridled data collection by Google, Amazon and Facebook, poorly paid taxi drivers by Uber and other service providers of the gig economy, the effect of Airbnb on the hotel industry and the energy consumption of bitcoin and blockchain.
The limits of legislation
Numerous publications are calling on the government to put an end to the growing abuse of digital technology. In his must read 'the New Digital Deal' Bas Boorsma states: In order to deploy digitalization and to manage platforms for the greater good of the individual and society as a whole, new regulatory approaches will be required… (p. 46) . That is also the view of the Rathenau Institute, which lists three spearheads for a digitization strategy: Strong legislative frameworks and supervision, value-based digital innovation based on critical parliamentary debate and a say in this for citizens and professionals.
More than growing inconvenience
In recent years, the European Commission has launched a wide range of legislative proposals, such as the Digital Services Act package, the Digital Market Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, these measures do not get to the kernel of the problem. The near-monopoly position of Big Tech is the proverbial monster behind the curtain. The Rathenau Institute speaks in furtitive terms of "the growing inconvenience" of reliance on American and Chinese tech giants. Even the International Monetary Fund is clearer in stating that the power of Big Tech inhibits innovation and investment and increases income inequality. Due to the power of the big technology companies, society is losing its grip on technology.
To curb the above-mentioned risks, the problem must first be named and measures must then be tailored accordingly. This is done in two recent books, namely Shoshana Zuboff's 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power' (2019) and Cory Doctorow's 'How to destroy surveillance capitalism' (2021). Zuboff describes in detail how Google, Amazon and Facebook collect data with only one goal, to entice citizens to buy goods and services: Big Tech's product is persuasion. The services — social media, search engines, maps, messaging, and more — are delivery systems for persuasion.
Big tech's monopoly
The unprecedented power of Big Tech is a result of the fact that these companies have become almost classic monopolies. Until the 1980s, the US had strict antitrust legislation: the Sherman's act, notorious for big business. Ronald Reagan quickly wiped it out in his years as president, and Margareth Thatcher did the same in the UK, Brian Mulroney in Canada and Helmut Kohl in Germany. While Sherman saw monopolies as a threat to the free market, Reagan believed that government interference threatens the free market. Facebook joins in if it sees itself as a 'natural monopoly': You want to be on a network where your friends are also. But you could also reach your friends if there were more networks that are interoperable. Facebook has used all economic, technical and legal means to combat the latter, including takeover of potential competitors: Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
In the early 21st century, there was still a broad belief that emerging digital technology could lead to a better and more networked society. Bas Boorsma: The development of platforms empowered start-ups, small companies and professionals. Many network utopians believed the era of 'creative commons' had arrived and with it, a non-centralized and highly digital form of 'free market egalitarianism' (New Digital Deal, p.52). Nothing has come of this: Digitalization-powered capitalism now possesses a speed, agility and rawness that is unprecedented (New Digital Deal, p.54). Even the startup community is becoming one big R&D lab for Big Tech. Many startups hope to be acquired by one of the tech giants and then cash in on millions. As a result, Big Tech is on its way to acquire a dominant position in urban development, the health sector and education, in addition to the transport sector.
Thanks to its monopoly position, Big Tech can collect unlimited data, even if European legislation imposes restrictions and occasional fines. After all, a lot of data is collected without citizens objecting to it. Mumford had already realized this in 1967: Many consumers see these companies not only as irresistible, but also ultimately beneficial. These two conditions are the germ of what he called the megatechnics bribe.
The only legislation that can break the power of Big Tech is a strong antitrust policy, unbundling the companies, an absolute ban on acquisitions and rigorous taxation.
Technology does not develop autonomously. At the moment, Big Tech is indisputably setting the technology agenda in the Western Hemisphere. China is a different story. With Mariana Mazzocato, I believe that governments should take back control of technological development, as they did until the end of the last century. Consider the role of institutions such as DARPA in the US, the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands. Democratic control is an absolute precondition!
In the chapter 'Digitally just cities' in my e-book 'Cities of the future: Always humane, smart where it helps' (link below), I show, among other things, what Facebook, Amazon and Google could look like after a possible unbundling.
On 4 October 2021, Startup in Residence published 12 new challenges on the themes of sustainability & circularity. The City of Amsterdam is looking for the best entrepreneurs (start-ups, scale-ups, innovative SMEs, and social entrepreneurs) with creative and innovative solutions for the city’s issues. The application deadline is almost here! Finish your application before 24 November 23:59 (CET).
Solutions are sought for the following challenges
What's in it for me?
Join the 7th edition of Startup in Residence Sustainability & Circularity and get:
- an intensive six-month training programme;
- support from an experienced mentor;
- access to the entire network of the City of Amsterdam;
- opportunity to test and validate your product or service with and within the City of Amsterdam;
- the City of Amsterdam as your potential launching customer.
Don’t wait, apply now! www.startupinresidence.amsterdam
Next months, I will post a weekly contribution answering the question how digital technologies can contribute to the development of better cities. Here's what to expect from these posts:
According to the WEF Global Risk Report, anyone committed to the contribution of digital technology to solving the problems facing society should realize that technology and the underlying business model itself is one of those problems. The last thing to do is uncritically follow those who see only the blessings of technology. Some of their prophecies will send shivers down your spine, like this one from tech company Siemens: In a few decades, cities will have countless autonomous, intelligently functioning IT systems that are perfectly aware of users' habits and energy consumption and provide optimal service. The aim of such a city is to optimally regulate and control resources through autonomous IT systems. The company precisely articulates the fear expressed by Lewis Mumford who wrote in his seminal book The Myth of the Machine: Emerging new mega-techniques create a uniform, all-enveloping, super-planetary structure, designed for automatic operation in which man will become a passive, purposeless, machine-conditioned animal. This was in 1967, before anyone could even think about the impact of digital technology.
Fortunately, there are of governments, companies and institutions committed to developing and adopting technology to address the challenges the world faces: Energy transition and other impacts of climate change, pressure on mobility, setting up a circular economy; making society inclusive and improving the liveability of cities. However, technology alone cannot reach these goals. Far-reaching social and economic reforms are needed, also to ensure that the benefits of digitization are shared by everyone.
I join those who 'believe' in the potential of digital technology for society, if done in a responsible and value-driven way, but also are skeptical whether this will happen indeed. This ambivalence will not have escaped the notice of those familiar with my previous publications. In my first ebook Smart city tales (2018) I explored the use and abuse of technology in so-called smart cities. In the second ebook Cities of the future, always humane, smart if helpful (2020) I presented the problems of contemporary cities, collected possible solutions and mapped out which digital techniques can contribute. The conclusion was that humane cities are still a long way off.
What you are reading now is the first post (Read the Dutch version here) in a new series that focuses on digital technology itself. In the first part of this series, I discuss the demands that can be placed on the design of digital technology for the sake of better cities. In the second part, I apply these requirements to a broad range of technologies. The integration of digital technology into urban policies will be discussed in part three.
I foresee the publication of about 20 articles. The link below opens a preliminary overview of their topics. I will take the liberty of adapting this plan to the actuality and advancing insight.
Ben jij een MKB-er, start-up of scale-up die wil bijdragen aan een schone, duurzame en gezonde wereld? Dan weet je als geen ander hoe lastig het soms kan zijn om je idee of product aan de man te brengen. En je bent niet de enige! Provincie Noord-Holland heeft speciaal voor ondernemers zoals jij het GO!-NH versnellingsprogramma ontwikkeld om je te helpen bij het op de markt brengen en opschalen van jouw innovatieve, duurzame product of dienst. Ons doel is om jou te helpen impact te maken op de maatschappij!
GO!-NH biedt drie verschillende trajecten die aansluiten bij de fase en omvang waarin je bedrijf zich bevindt: het Accelerator traject voor MKB bedrijven en start-ups met een idee maar nog geen of beperkte markt, het Growth traject voor bedrijven die in de volgende fase willen groeien, en het Scale traject voor grotere MKB bedrijven en scale-ups die al flinke omzet hebben maar nieuwe markten aan willen boren.
In het voorjaar starten de Accelerator en het Growth traject. Je kunt je vanaf nu aanmelden voor de selectie! Surf voor meer informatie naar de website van GO!-NH: https://go-nh.nl/meer-informatie/
Ben jij een MKB’er, start-up of scale-up die wil bijdragen aan een schone, duurzame en gezonde wereld? Dan weet je als geen ander hoe lastig het soms kan zijn om je idee of product aan de man te brengen. En je bent niet de enige! Provincie Noord-Holland heeft speciaal voor ondernemers zoals jij het GO!-NH versnellingsprogramma ontwikkeld om je te helpen bij het op de markt brengen en opschalen van jouw innovatieve, duurzame product of dienst. Ons doel is om jou te helpen impact te maken op de maatschappij!
GO!-NH biedt drie verschillende trajecten die aansluiten bij de fase en omvang waarin je bedrijf zich bevindt: het Accelerator traject voor start-ups, het Growth traject voor bedrijven die in de volgende fase zitten en willen groeien, en het Scale traject voor scale-ups en grotere MKB bedrijven die nieuwe markten aan willen boren.
In 3 tot 6 maanden word je verder geholpen met trainingen, tools en professionele coaching door experts. GO!-NH zorgt er ook voor dat je jouw innovatie kunt presenteren aan serieuze investeerders, partners, potentiële klanten en andere relevante partijen in de markt.
Er zijn al meerdere succesvolle edities van GO!-NH afgerond, en maar liefst 100 bedrijven hebben met hulp van GO!-NH inmiddels hun duurzame innovaties versneld kunnen ontwikkelen. Om mee te doen moet je aan een aantal voorwaarden voldoen.
Je bedrijf is actief in Noord-Holland én in een van de volgende sectoren:
- Duurzame Mobiliteit
- Duurzame landbouw en voedsel
- Circulaire Economie
Daarnaast wordt van je verwacht dat je gedurende het traject (die tussen de 3 en 6 maanden duurt) tijd en mankracht kan vrijmaken voor je deelname. Veel ondernemers gingen je voor en allemaal zijn ze het erover eens: alle tijd die je erin steekt krijg je dubbel en dwars terug!
Een intensieve en hands-on workshop waarin de mindset, skillset en toolset wordt geleerd van het versneld innoveren.
Er wordt ingegaan op de theorie van “Lean Start-Up” en gaan we verschillende waardeproposities opstellen, waarmee inzicht verkregen wordt in de unieke en onderscheidende factoren van jouw innovatie.
We gebruiken een gestructureerd proces en 'best practices' uit de markt en uit jullie eigen praktijk; om zo de risico’s aanzienlijk te verminderen en de kans op succes te vergroten.
Aansluitend op de werksessie maak je kennis met het GO!-NH programma en ondernemers (oud deelnemers van GO!-NH) die met baanbrekende innovaties en vernieuwende businessmodellen de markt veroveren. Zij vertellen over hun ervaringen, leermomenten en successen van hun innovaties en ondernemingen.
Tijdens de Masterclasses en introductiebijeenkomsten kom je meer te weten over GO!-NH en leer je wat de verschillen tussen de 3 programma’s (Accelerator, Growth en Scale). Vaak zijn de bijeenkomsten aansluitend aan één van onze masterclasses of events.
Aanmelden via de website van GO!-NH: https://go-nh.nl/agenda/
In the city center of Amsterdam, residents, companies and knowledge institutions are joining forces for a sustainable city center. We aim to preserve the cultural-historical heritage as well as prepare it for the future. This challenging area for sustainability asks for smart solutions. Upscaling is necessary in order to create historic and sustainable city’s of the future.
Scaling sustainable impact
In this workshop we look at what is necessary for (heritage) experts and property owners to be able to advise about sustainability faster and easier while still securing a high quality standard. We show that even with custom energy advises it is possible to have a scalable approach. In this workshop, the brand new advisory tool for sustainable historic buildings is launched. Tom Huizer will give a demonstration of the tool on behalf of De Groene Grachten and share the results of the first 100 recommendations made using this tooling in the Green Light District.
The workshop takes place on Thursday 25 November. Sign up for Workshop 3 on the registration form to attend.
Green Light Festival
This workshop is part of the Green Light Festival. Two years ago we renamed the Red Light District to the 'Green Light District'. Together with residents, companies, knowledge institutions and partners, we are transforming the city center of Amsterdam into a sustainable and future-proof heart of the city. Discover how we can make a sustainable impact together during the Green Light Festival. What have we achieved together in recent years? And what will the next 10 years look like? In interactive workshops, walk&talks, events and symposia you get to know the area in a whole new way.
Green Light District
Green Light District is a collaboration between De Groene Grachten, NV Zeedijk, Municipality of Amsterdam, De Gezonde Stad, Rooftop Revolution, TU Delft and EIT Climate-KIC.
We work together with these partners and our community of residents and other frontrunners in the city. The project is part of the ‘Nieuw Amsterdams Klimaat’ and together we map out a smart route to a future-proof city.
Check out the Green Light District website!
Zin om mee te bouwen aan de beste, meest duurzame digitale
infrastructuur ter wereld? Laat je horen! We zoeken een Kwartiermaker die helpt
de digitale infrastructuur van Nederland verder te verduurzamen.
We gebruiken allemaal steeds meer data, zowel zakelijk
als privé. Om dat te kunnen doen is een hoogwaardige digitale infrastructuur
essentieel. Nederland heeft één van de beste digitale infrastructuren ter
wereld en die moeten we koesteren!
Met de groei van onze data-economie, neemt de schaarste op het energienet en op kritieke materialen verder toe en daarmee ook de noodzaak om bestaande en nieuwe oplossingen op het snijvlak van energie en ICT te versnellen. Om zo verder te verduurzamen.
Om LEAP te laten groeien tot een volwaardig programma, een sterk
samenwerkingsplatform en community, zoeken wij een ondernemende, bevlogen
kwartiermaker met kennis over energie en ICT, en een hart voor #duurzaamheid.
Een stevig verbinder die LEAP die samen met partners verder werkt aan
innovatieve oplossingen, structureel voorziet van funding en een heldere
Reageer t/m 19 november op de vacature hieronder.
Hello! Let me introduce myself, I am Laetitia, a learner of the Business Team Academy in Switzerland. The Team Academy is a learning-by-doing system, where our goal is to initiate and manage concrete projects, without the help of teachers or courses. I wanted to get in touch with companies in Amsterdam because me and my team will be coming for three weeks to meet the Team Academy in Amsterdam. In order to be able to finance our trip and learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Amsterdam, we want to collaborate with local companies and come up with ideas together for a possible exchange of services. We are also looking for company visits once we are there. I thank your community in advance for your ideas and suggestions!
On November 18, we are organizing a LIVE event at C-Bèta about Circular Building in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.
The theme around this dynamic event is 'Future or Tradition?'.
We offer various stages to innovative thinkers and doers, tantalizing circular demonstrations and a lot of interaction!
We will, for example, look at old materials with a new perspective and we offer a insight the program of Regional Program Circle City.
When: Thursday, November 18th
Time: 13.30 walk-in, start program 14 - 18.00, including drinks
2132 MN Hoofddorp
This post is the third and last in a series of articles about the startup ecosystem in Amsterdam Delta (Amsterdam metropolitan region). The first dealt with the dual challenge for start-ups to become socially and environmentally sustainable and to empower employees to be entrepreneurial through shared leadership. The second one was a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the Amsterdam startup ecosystem by the authors of the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystems Ranking.
Weaknesses and strengths
The 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report revealed several weaknesses in the Amsterdam startup ecosystem, which – I accentuate - should not overshadow the city’s position of Amsterdam as the world number 13 startup ecosystem. In terms of market reach, the overall score is satisfactory (7), but the Amsterdam Delta startups are primarily focused on global markets and score low on the local market. In the field of talent, the overall score is more than sufficient (7), due to the quality of technology students and graduates, but their number is inadequate, resulting in high vacancies and salary costs. Partly related to this, the growth potential (scalability) of the Amsterdam startup ecosystem is also insufficient, due to a limited reservoir of experienced entrepreneurs. Overall knowledge success is assessed as poor (1!) due to the unsatisfactory number of life science patents.
Amsterdam Policy plan 2019 - 2022
Most of the underlying data of the 2021 report is from 2019 – 2021, a time frame that coincides with the start of the new policy plan for startups in Amsterdam in the period 2019 - 2022. The inventory of challenges in this report mirrors several weaknesses mentioned above. Looking at the future, the report states: We have reached a point where growth of the local ecosystem does not have to mean that the local government wants to encourage as many companies in Amsterdam as possible but encourages activity that adds value to the city in new ways. In the coming years, we must also lay the foundations for a more inclusive society, in which the local startup and scaleup ecosystem also plays a role. A step towards inclusiveness means significantly increasing the business sector’s ambitions for social responsibility. In other words, a focus on quality in general that is aligned with at least the first challenge in the first post I referred to above.
How cities can support their startup ecosystem?
Below, I discuss highlights from the policy report 2019 - 2022 within a broader vision of possibilities for municipalities to support start- and scale-ups, partly based on an earlier edition of a The Global Startup Ecosystem Report.
According to the 2021Global Startup Ecosystems Report, the funding of new businesses is not a big problem in Amsterdam Delta, also because of the generous tax facilities(!) in the Netherlands. However, investment relies heavily on local investors and governmental grants: 54% of the capital flowing into the ecosystem comes from domestic sources, 25% from the rest of Europe, and just 21% from the rest of the world.
The City of Amsterdam subsidized the Innovation Center for AI (ICAI) at Amsterdam Science Park, requiring that at least 20% of its revenues will be reserved for innovative SMEs and startups.
While funding is not an overriding problem, Amsterdam can improve its coordinating role in providing financial support, as for example Seoul has done by the creation of the Dream bank, a one-stop agency for all financial matters.
Growth of markets
The market position of Amsterdam start- and scaleups can be improved, especially in the home market, but also internationally. Besides, every new startup must start from scratch by creating a market. An agency called Amsterdam Trade and Innovate has commissioned trade developers to organize domestic and international activities that support promising companies in clusters such as technology, health, life sciences, and creative industry.
Expanding the reservoir of entrepreneurs
Amsterdam focuses on women and young people with a migration background, most of whom never received tech-related training. Initiatives such as House of Skills, Action Plan W&T, House of Digital offer a range of technology-based courses to make up for these shortcomings, alongside startup schools such as BSSA, Growth Tribe and The Talent Institute.
In December 2020, the City of Amsterdam announced it will invest yearly US$ 856,500 in RISE, the Female Hub Amsterdam. There is a high demand in sectors such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, life science and energy storage, while relatively many university students in technology seem to prefer media studies and gaming and the fintech market is almost satorized. Studying will become more attractive by combining study and jobs and affordable (co-)housing and childcare options, both of which are both are seriously lacking.
In addition, the ‘Warm Welcome’ program aims to attract ambitious tech talent from abroad. Unfortunately, the pandemic has significantly reduced the influx of potential talent from abroad while market opportunities for innovative tech startups and scaleups were improving.
Innovative and research-oriented start-ups prefer the proximity of comparable small and medium-sized companies in campuses. They also prefer locations in mixed urban environments. A campus offers space for complementary companies, large and small, and facilities to collaborate, such as shared laboratory spaces. Amsterdam develops urban innovation districts through regional development and transformation. These areas that can accommodate rapid growth and opportunity for clustering ‘anchor companies’, leading (knowledge) institutions, startups, scaleups, incubators and accelerators. The main areas are: West Innovation Park, Amsterdam Sciencepark, Marineterrein , AMC-Amstel III and VU-Kenniskwartier/Zuidas.
Participation in the network of incubators and accelerators
Startups and scaleups need support. Incubators help companies to settle, accelerators help them to grow steadily. One of the best things any city can do is actively participation in these incubators and accelerators. They can become a one shop-stop for all prospective participants, providing virtually all the support start- and scaleups need. 31 of the 89 incubators and accelerators in the Netherlands, are active in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. A rich pallette of incubators and co-working spaces such as TQ, WeWork, Spaces, Startup Village, Rent24 and B.Amsterdam have been set up. Accelerators are Rockstart, Startupbootcamp, Fashion for Good, ACE and Collider.
Within an incubator or accelerator, the municipality can be primary responsible for legal matters, offering work- and living spaces (initially for free and later rented out at attractive rates), trade missions and procurement.
In some cities, startups can practice aspects of social and environmental sustainability in public administration. An example is the Startup in Residence program that started in Amsterdam and has now been spread over 20 other Dutch cities, regional governments, and ministries. The program is open to both Dutch and foreign entrepreneurs. Professional coaches provide intensive training and support. Workspace is available too. Under certain conditions, local, regional, and national governments become launching customers or partners. A report provides a detailed overview of the program in Amsterdam and its impact on the participants and the community.
Taking care of starters in general
Only a small but previously unknown part of all starters becomes a startup. Moreover, the number of starters outsizes that of startups and some can become valued companies too In the Netherlands, each year more than 100.000 starters are registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
Short evaluation Amsterdam policy plan 2019 - 12022
I doubt whether the current Amsterdam policy on start- and scaleups will result in a better ranking next year, also because in many cities startup ecologies are growing faster. Personally, I believe that consolidating a position in the top 20 is the best possible and still admirable result. This certainly applies if Amsterdam can achieve its ambitions in the field of qualitative rather than quantitative growth. Amsterdam wants to become an inclusive community and the first circular city in the world. The city wants that start- and scaleups becoming forerunners in reaching these objectives. I am partly disappointed in the content of the policy report 2019 - 2022 regarding this ambition. Indeed, becoming a more inclusive community is reflected in supporting the growth of the number female entrepreneurs. However, I looked in vain at policies encourage activity regarding developing start- and scaleups that add value to the city in new ways for instance contributing to the development of the circular economy. These businesses will make the difference in the future startup ecosystem.
I will regularly share ‘snapshots’ of the challenge of bringing socially and ecologically sustainable cities closer using technology if useful. These posts represent findings, updates, and additions to my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful, chapter 4 in particular. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.
I am a fourth year student at UC Berkeley studying data science and sustainable design. I currently live in Berkeley, California but am taking some time off to live in Amsterdam from January 2022 - May 2022. I am interested in volunteer/part-time work opportunities in data analytics for smart cities, given Amsterdam's impressive internet of things ecosystem. I am a motivated, hard worker with the ability to learn new things quickly, and am curious about many topics. Please let me know if there are any positions that are open to a person in my position, thank you!
Ondervind je obstakels bij het ondernemen, wil je het totaal anders aanpakken óf wil je vooruit in je huidige business? Dan kan jij wel een Frisse Blik gebruiken!
Schrijf je in voor de workshop een [Frisse Blik - Storytelling](Meld je aan & meer informatie via de website van Groen & Gezond Almere! ). Tijdens de workshop neemt Elisabeth van der Spek, Strategy & Business Development Director bij REGGS je mee om van een Fixed Mindset naar een Open Mindset te gaan. Samen met Ingrid Zeegers van PRICE, leer je hoe je jouw verhaal verder kunt uitdenken en hiermee nieuwe partners aan je onderneming kunt verbinden.
Tijdens de workshop gaan we na hoe je van dromen naar doen kunt gaan én hoe je een idee naar een business vormt.
💡Je leert hoe je je innerlijke criticus uitzet.
💡Er zijn meer mogelijkheden dan problemen.
💡Er is niets dat jou stopt om je doel te bereiken.
Met deze workshop kan je aan de slag om je ondernemersverhaal te verbeteren en je te verbinden met jouw droompartners. Reserveer je plek voor 3 november op het Upcyclecentrum via de website van Groen & Gezond Almere!
Metabolic is looking for a Marketing Manager!
They will help in increasing the reach and impact of Metabolic's work by putting the right content in front of the right people in collaboration with the digital communications manager.
If you are keen to contribute to a sustainable economy, check out this opportunity. Or if you know someone who fits the bill, kindly share with them.
2 great speakers at Sensemakers'monthly meetup;
- Armando Lucrecio (Sr. TechnIcal Program Manager @Amazon) on indoor and outdoor asset tracking;
- Aris Witteborg (Leading Professional Digital Smart Water at Royal HaskoningDHV Digital) on Digital Twins
Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the international leading event for cities held in Barcelona since 2011. The mission is to empower cities and collectivize urban innovation across the globe. Through promoting social innovation, establishing partnerships and identifying business opportunities, the event is dedicated to creating a better future for cities and their citizens.
The Netherlands will join the Expo with a trade mission. Dutch companies working in the smart city field are welcome to join a business event with The Nordics, get a role in the program on the Expo, contribute to matchmaking events and join a big amount of other side events!
Be quick and sign up for this trade mission before the 7th of October!
Not a company, but planning to go to Barcelona for knowledge exchange, inspiration and networking? Let us know! There will be programs for non-companies as well!
More information about the Smart City Expo: https://www.smartcityexpo.com/the-event/
More information about the Dutch trade mission to the Smart City Expo: https://www.rvo.nl/actueel/evenementen/smart-city-missie-naar-smart-city-expo-world-congress-barcelona
We zoeken iemand die deze business development ondersteunt. Je identificeert trends, kansen en behoeftes, breidt de sales funnel uit en schrijft sterke offertes. Je werkt nauw samen met de verschillende team leads in het uitvoeren en versterken van de commerciële strategie gericht op bestaande en nieuwe klanten.
Je bent zowel praktisch als strategisch en analytisch ingesteld. Je vindt het leuk om nieuwe relaties op te bouwen met klanten en partners. Je duikt in de diverse impact thema’s waar Impact Hub zich mee bezighoudt en ontwikkelt daar nieuwe kansen voor. Ervaring en een netwerk op het gebied van circulaire economie, duurzaam voedsel, sociale inclusie of duurzame mode is een pré.
- Nieuwe leads verzamelen, analyseren en contact mee leggen, mogelijkheden voor diensten zien en hier voorstellen voor ontwikkelen.
- Versterken en vullen van de sales funnel, en versterken van de outbound sales activiteiten
- Offertes inhoudelijk en financieel uitwerken, op basis van RFP voorwaarden en input vanuit relevante bronnen
- Marketing van onze diensten versterken
- Sales proces beheren
- 3+ jaar ervaring in business development en B2B sales; werken met MKB en corporates en (duidelijke interesse in) impact startups
- ervaring met lead generation en gedreven door hoge kwaliteit in de uitvoering
- ervaring in het vergroten van conversieratio’s
- ervaring in het schakelen tussen startup en corporate jargon
- ervaring met het schrijven van winnende offertes, inclusief budgetten
- gemotiveerd door het werken in een snelle, ondernemende omgeving en het aangaan van gesprekken met nieuwe contacten
- in staat om onder druk en met deadlines te werken
- bewezen netwerk van (impact) bedrijven en financieringslandschap in Nederland
- vloeiend Nederlands en Engels spreken en schrijven.
- Beschikbaar voor 24-32 uur per week
- Salaris is marktconform, gebaseerd op ervaring en capaciteiten
- Contract: we beginnen met een zes maanden contract, met de intentie om dit te verlengen op basis van de gerealiseerde prestaties
- Leidinggevende: CFO, je maakt onderdeel uit van het ‘business team’.
Impact Hub Amsterdam staat voor gelijke kansen; diversiteit en inclusie zijn integraal onderdeel van onze strategie. In ons team staat samenwerking en ondersteuning voorop en we bieden ruimte voor groei en het ontwikkelen van initiatieven.
Stuur je sollicitatie naar email@example.com!
- Curriculum Vitae
- Brief waarin je uitlegt waarom jij en Impact Hub Amsterdam voor elkaar zijn voorbestemd
- Een voorbeeld van jouw werk; een pitch of voorstel dat je hebt geschreven (specifieke details mag je verbergen)