Amsterdam ranked 2nd in new Digital City Index

Amsterdam ranked 2nd in new Digital City Index

The European Digital City Index (EDCi) has ranked Amsterdam second, out of 35 major EU cities, on how well it supports digital entrepreneurship.

The index was produced by Nesta, an independent UK-based charity that works to increase innovation, as part of the European Digital Forum which aims to support digital startups and scale-ups across Europe.

A new index for digital startups

The purpose of the index is to support digital entrepreneurship by providing a holistic and local view across Europe. 

The EDCi describes what ecosystem factors are most conducive to encouraging digital startups and scale-ups, which are companies that have already achieved a scalable business model.

It looks at a wide set of factors clustered into ten themes that summarise the environment of a given city, including the availability of sufficient and appropriate finance, the skillset of the workforce in the area and the quality of the supporting infrastructure and networks.

The study includes 28 capital cities in the EU, plus seven additional European cities including Barcelona and Munich.

EDCi 2015 Top 10 startup cities

Rank City
1 London
2 Amsterdam
3 Stockholm
4 Helsinki
5 Copenhagen
6 Paris
7 Berlin
8 Dublin
9 Brussels
10 Munich

Amsterdam top in supporting digital entrepreneurship

Amsterdam achieved a top-three ranking in both the start-ups and scale-ups categories. London was ranked the best city overall in the index.

According to the EDCi, Amsterdam is considered an exciting and diverse city, adding to its allure as one of the best places in Europe to start a business.

Amsterdam scores strongly in capital, culture and connectedness. The city's size also permits a level of experimentation with policy conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Amsterdam provides innovation resources

The study mentions how the Dutch capital has been investing resources into its overall innovation strategy in the last few years with incentives like the Smart City initiative, the startup visa and Startup Delta, which aims to link established tech-clusters across the Netherlands.

Notable startups in Amsterdam include payment provider Ayden and scale-ups include travel firm Travelbird, file-transfer platform WeTransfer and blockchain infrastructure provider BitFury.

It is envisioned that the 2016 index will include more EU cities. "Research has indicated that location does matter, and this illustrates ways which top cities can create supportive environments, where lessons can be learnt," said Chris Haley, Head of Startups and New Technology Research at Nesta.

Parvinder Marwaha


Parvinder Marwaha

British-born editor Parvinder studied architecture in the UK. Amsterdam’s architecture and design scene led her to the city, as well the obvious perks of canal-side living. She writes for various...

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