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Startups in the Netherlands to learn from

Business model written with sketch on the white boards

The startup ecosystem in the Netherlands is very dynamic and thriving. According to a recent report, Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 by Startup Genome, the Netherlands stands at third position for best startups ecosystems in Europe. But what are the factors driving the growth of startups? Well to start with, the Netherlands boasts an internationally competitive talent pool, a plethora of incubators, and a thriving IT sector. In addition, as the Netherlands is the world’s most connected economy, it is attracting forward-thinking entrepreneurs to establish a business in Holland.

Niche startups to look for

Dutch supports a plethora of startups across industries. In this article, we bring you some of the unique startups and their unique offerings that have made them successful in their industry.


Founders: Els van der Helm & Jöran Albers

Founded Year: 2016

Shleep is a digital sleep coaching service led by Dr Els van der Helm, a top 5 sleep specialist in the world. They have designed a complete corporate sleep program in collaboration with a group of sleep psychologists and neuroscientists to ensure leaders and their employees have better sleep and performance. This unique offering is widely accepted and they are working with companies all over the world such as Deloitte, PWC and

Virtual Reality Learning Lab

Founders: Robin de Lange

Founded: 2016

VR learning Lab focuses on exploring the potential of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in education. The VR Learning Lab operates with a network of students, researchers and freelancers and often collaborates with different companies and research institutions. The lab aims to increase knowledge about virtual reality as a learning tool, to expedite the implementation of virtual reality in education, and to share obtained knowledge and experience.

To achieve these objectives, they do basic research, teach courses at Leiden and Tilburg universities, organize seminars and masterclasses, create applications, and provide assistance to students and organizations on advancements in this field.

Also, read our article: How is the Netherlands working towards food wastage?

Light Year

Founders: Lex Hoefsloot, Arjo van der Ham, Martijn Lammers, Qurein Biewenga & Koen van Ham

Founded: 2016

Light Year is a high-tech company that creates long-range electric cars to provide clean mobility for everyone and everywhere. The company was founded by world solar challenge racing champions from Eindhoven University and is now backed by industry veterans. With ‘Efficiency’ as their core mantra, the organization aims to provide more range with less battery reducing weight and Co2 emission per vehicle. Their optimized solar roof allows a user to drive for weeks or months without charging. Lightyear presents a solution that can be adopted globally and grow quicker than existing EVs due to the reduced requirement for charging facilities.


Founders/CEO: Toine Verheul

Founded: 2009

Coosto is a one-of-a-kind marketing solution that is exclusively focused on assisting companies in improving their content and social media outcomes. The company allows you to track how people are talking about your organization online, helps in identifying new content ideas, allows you to reach your target audience across all of your social channels, and handles questions and comments on social media, messengers, and live chat. To help companies unleash the full benefits of social media, Coosto has developed in-house social media software that is fully focused on managing online conversations. Focused on providing all-in-one solution social media management, the company is working with brands such as ING, Lidl, Fletcher Hotels, Nutricia and many more.


Founders: René Janssen & Peter Kuperus

Founded: 2018

Lepaya is a (core skills) training firm that delivers high impact training to young professionals, and young leaders at crucial career stages. Certified by CRKBO (The Dutch central register for short vocational education) and NRTO (The Dutch training and education council), Lepaya provides a unique blended learning solution that combines (virtual) short classroom sessions with online learning, via its app.

By combining hard skills with soft skills, offered together as power skills, the Amsterdam-based company is growing faster in a market in which the demand for reskilling and upskilling continues to increase all over the world. Lepaya is the fastest growing organization to integrate with internal communication platform (teams) so that learning can be done without any additional software. As a contender in the competitive training industry, Lepaya meets the demands of Europe’s fastest-growing digital businesses, like Mollie, Takeaway, and Picnic. If you are an entrepreneur or want to start your venture, there is a lot to learn from these companies.

Also, read our article: Unleashing the potential of Conversational AI

Editor’s note : This article is written on 15 September 2021, therefore the information is as per the date. Image credits: Unsplash