Rotterdam: a ‘rising star’ within the European innovation ecosystem

From May 23 to 25, the Rotterdam Metropolitan Area will transform into a hotbed for talent, capital, and growth. Over forty partners, three full days, and one shared mission. Upstream 2023 is the international tech festival dedicated to a future-proof economy. It is the place to be for any startup or scale-up looking to increase business and impact in a sustainable way. The annual festival is a co-creation of the Dutch innovation community, international corporations, and investors. As the three-day agenda is packed with close to fifty city events, Upstream 2023 offers a unique chance to connect with inspiring entrepreneurs, daring investors, and bold change makers. The past three editions attracted over 2.000 attendees from across the globe.

The rise of startups and scale-ups in the Rotterdam – The Hague area

The Rotterdam Metropolitan Area is a rising star in the global startup ecosystem. As it hosts a thriving community of almost 1.700 active startups with prominent clusters in Smart Logistics, Life Sciences, Deeptech, Megatronics, and Cleantech. Hence making it the perfect location for a festival to promote and accelerate the transition to a future-proof economy. Upstream 2023 kicks off with Talent Tuesday, filled with career fairs, coding challenges, and other networking events to connect scale-ups with talent. Wednesday is Capital Day with a program revolving around connecting startups and scale-ups to leading international investors. The last day focuses on growth, with innovative SMEs, corporate partners, startups, and scale-ups coming together to gain insights for the future and create connections for collaborations.  

Inspirational founders, tech specialists, and a climate activist among speakers

Lars Crama, Private Lead at Up!Rotterdam, is one of the main organizers of Upstream: “The festival provides a platform for innovators, investors, and industry leaders to collaborate and accelerate sustainable growth. This year’s edition will feature a diverse lineup of speakers such as Techleap envoy Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, a climate activist from Extinction Rebellion, Hannah Prins, and Superscript CEO Cameron Shearer. A wide range of topics will be covered, including relevant advice from specialists, the latest trends and developments in tech, sustainability, social impact, diversity, and inclusion. Upstream brings together a growing community of founders and changemakers to connect, grow and transform their businesses. An opportunity to meet like-minded people from all over the world.”

Transition to a new economy 

Upstream is the annual festival that connects international changemakers who drive the transition to a digital, carbon-neutral, circular and inclusive new economy. Entrepreneurs, investors and bold corporates are invited to share, connect and create meaningful innovations for sustainable growth. This year, the event will take place from 23-25 May 2023 at Poppodium Annabel, a dynamic venue in the heart of Rotterdam. In cooperation with the cities of Delft, Zoetermeer, and Schiedam, a total of more than 40 independently organized city events are planned. There will be a range of activities and events offered, varying from keynote speeches and panel discussions to workshops, hackathons and networking events. In three days, startups, scale-ups, innovative SMEs and students can explore the latest innovations, attend city events, build new connections and learn from the leading experts and thinkers in the field.

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