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Greater Rotterdam-The Hague area, hotspot for mission-driven AI

We are very proud to share the 2021 edition of our market map of the AI startup and scaleup ecosystem for the province of Zuid-Holland. Last year our market map included almost 100 startups. This number has grown to almost 150 startups this year. This is about a quarter of all AI startups in the Netherlands.

ai artificial intelligence data science netherlands

Tim Franken, Senior Business Developer Digital Technology at InnovationQuarter: “I am very excited by the results of our yearly AI ecosystem analysis. We have noticed a steady growth in both the number and size of startups and scale-ups, contributing to the development and application of Data Science and AI. It is remarkable how many of these companies address societal challenges, both in The Netherlands and beyond. They solve complex logistical challenges in the world’s largest port areas, contribute to the energy transition, improve medical care and help to solve global food supply issues.”

We have seen more and more companies reaching the scale-up phase, attracting serious investment and expanding their teams. A couple of notable investment deals this year include: Doculayer, Spotr.ai, Samotics, EnVision, UbiOps, Gradyent, Fizyr, Focus and Orchest.

Ras Lalmy, Managing Director at Yes!Delft The Hague confirms the growing ecosystem of AI startups. “At Yes!Delft The Hague we work hard to guide early-stage digital startups and to develop the ecosystem supporting them. In our validation labs, we welcome a growing number of high potential AI startups. In the coming year, we see this region developing into a leading AI ecosystem where startups and scale-ups can thrive.”

From our research, we learned that Zuid-Holland has a particularly high concentration of startups with applications in the fields of Life Sciences & Health, Port, Maritime & Logistics, Energy & Sutainability, Agri/Horticulture & Food, Security and Manufacturing (Smart Industry). Our region is well-positioned to generate great impact in these domains. Also, there is a very substantial pool of companies with more general (supporting) AI services.

Anita Lieverdink, chair of the working group Startups & scale-ups of the Netherlands AI Coalition (NL AIC): “It’s great to see such substantial growth in the number of startups and scale-ups in this region. The NL AIC supports these young tech companies, as we collaborate on a national level to break down their barriers for growth. I am very pleased with this overview created by InnovationQuarter, and look forward to scaling this landscape on a national and EU level.”

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Tim Franken

Senior Business Developer Digital Technology