Why Groningen is the coolest tech city you’ve never heard of

It’s no secret that the Netherlands is a European leader when it comes to the tech and startup sectors. The country attracted €1.8bn in investment in 2021 alone, more than double the €790m raised in 2020.

While many people think of Amsterdam as the country’s startup capital and a global tech powerhouse — and with success stories like Adyen, MessageBird and Mollie, they’re not wrong — the Netherlands’ lesser-known cities are becoming favorites amongst expats who want to be part of the country’s dynamic tech scene, without the hustle of big city life.

Take Groningen. Known as the country’s “capital of the north,” Groningen is a thousand-year-old city with a thriving student population thanks to its universities. This plethora of young, international talent, ground breaking research, and the presence of corporate powerhouses like IBM and Google, make Groningen’s tech scene one to watch.

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For international talent looking to launch their tech career abroad, Groningen may be the answer.

Small in size but big in opportunities

Groningen may not be big, but it’s quickly becoming recognized for its startup scene.

The province of Groningen has just had its second consecutive year as the fastest-growing region in the Netherlands in terms of job growth, with around 1.2k local jobs being created by local startups.

Margarita Bernal-Cabas, Operations Resource Manager at EV Biotech, a company that develops microbial cell factories for industrial production, tells TNW that Groningen is an exciting place to be for its emerging biotech sector, which is churning out innovative companies thanks to its proximity to universities and wealth of local professors, research, and sector meetups.

Margarita Bernal-Cabas, Operations Resource Manager at EV Biotech