Dutch startup news update: food delivery wars, StartupFest and too many Dutch hubs

It’s the month of May and only two weeks before StartupFest Europe kicks off, so let’s enjoy the calm before the storm. Here’s your weekly update on Dutch startup news.

News & Updates

Startup Fest Europe (24 – 28 May) brings together founders, investors, business leaders and developers around specific verticals and events throughout The Netherlands. A joint effort of startup hubs in the cities of Amsterdam, Arnhem, Delft, Eindhoven, Enschede, Geleen, Leeuwarden, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Wageningen and Zwolle.

The grand opening event on May 24 includes key note speeches from Tim Cook (Apple), Nathan Blecharczyk (Airbnb), Travis Kalanick (Uber), Gillian Tans (Booking.com), Pieter van der Does (Adyen), Andrus Ansip (Vice-president of the European Commission), Reshma Sohoni (Seedcamp) and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte.

Check the updated full program here

Innovation hotspots in The Netherlands are stumbling over each other. The Netherlands counts a staggering 122 initiatives that aim to put out country, a city or certain region on the map as place to be for innovation, writes Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch).

“The Netherlands has fragmentised policies when it comes to innovation”, says professor Frank van Oort in the paper. “This is why most initiatives stay small and lack the ability to compete on an international level.”

Cottonwood has settled comfortably in the Twente region. “The high tech ecosystem is really impressive for such a small area”, said Ray Quintana, general manager of CTF to StartupJuncture.

Monday reads

Israel is often mentioned as one of the world’s primary startup hubs. The first quarter of 2016 however saw private equity investments in this country take yet another dive, with $265 million invested in 15 private equity deals. IVC research center data show a drop in both the number of deals and dollar proceeds, with a 46 percent decrease from the $488 million invested in 21 deals in Q1/2015.

The food delivery wars in Europe may not be over, but funding has certainly dried up. A closer look at food delivery funding data by TechEU shows that investment in the sector has decreased steadily since early 2015, from a peak of €486 million in Q1 2015 to €32 million (and five investments) in the first three months of this year.

When friends who are not in tech (luckily that’s many of mine) ask what it’s like building a startup like Beme, here’s how Medium explains it:

"We’re playing a game. In order to make it beyond the first level, we need to build a product that holds the focused attention of at minimum 100 million people. We have 3–4 years to do it, maybe. If we do not stay on a trajectory toward that goal, we will quickly cease to exist."

Image credit: Flickr