More than a thousand windmills sprung up in Zaanstreek – right next door to Amsterdam – during the 17th and 18th centuries. Making it into a hot innovation spot with many startup windmill business. They sawed wood, threshed corn, pressed grain and nuts to oil, milled colored powder from chalk and ground snuff from tobacco leaves. All sorts of craftsmen moved into the area including tin founders, boat builders and sail makers.

Innovation Hot Spots

Although windmills are from a long time ago – the idea that startup business attract a creative economy that benefits a city’s growth and innovation is very much a concept that holds up still today.

Amsterdam has a thriving bottom up and creative culture that pushes innovation forward. Whether it is the Amsterdam stubborn mentality to want to differentiate from the rest of Holland – or the Amsterdammers allergy to rules, regulations and establishment – fact is – things that are perceived impossible elsewhere, are embraced Amsterdam’s creative scene.

In the city you can find creative places everywhere, and an increasing number of workspaces offer much more than a desk to work at. Commercial real estate has hastily embraced the Amsterdam creatives as these seem to be – with good reason – the catalyst for urban development and attracting new business.

Find (or list) them in Map Your City

You can find some of those places in your Map Your City app and on the Amsterdam community map – simply filter on “For Creators”. Here is just a few for your inspiration, a helpful collection if you are looking for a place to work, meet your peers, book a meeting room, find a maker space – or experience an event, enjoy yoga, do some running on a rooftop….or simply looking for a great cup of coffee 😉


👉B.1 houses 350 pioneering companies, rooftop restaurant Bureau, a rooftop park, coffee lounges, a cinema and gym.

👉WOW Amsterdam is an exciting new place in Amsterdam-West where the city’s people, travellers, temporary guests and resident artists come together to sleep, eat, work, share, relax, inspire and more.

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AmsterdamFor CreatorsIndustrial Heritage
August 12, 2017

There’s a reason Amsterdam has always been an innovation hotspot

More than a thousand windmills sprung up in Zaanstreek - right next door to Amsterdam - during the 17th and 18th centuries. Making it into a hot innovation spot with…
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