Why Amsterdam is the perfect home for an IFE company
A bustling and diverse city where ideas converge, Amsterdam is a rising star in the tech start-up scene.
When we think about the home of the inflight entertainment industry, most of us consider the golden coast of Southern California as the nucleus. But all around Europe, cities formerly known best for their long cold nights, craft beers and even red-light districts are making a name for themselves as hotbeds of creativity, feeding technological innovation into our industry.
The shift is remarkable, and well documented by tech news outlets like Tech Crunch and Tech.eu. One of the fastest growing breeding grounds for some of the world’s most exciting tech and travel start-ups, a city with boundless energy and an international outlook, is AirFi’s home: Amsterdam.
“We’ve never looked back since forming our company and setting up our production facilities for AirFi Boxes right here in Amsterdam,” says Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi. “We’ve been very well supported by institutional investors and big business here, like Dutch flagship carrier KLM. We’re in close proximity to Amsterdam Schiphol airport (the fifth-busiest airport in the world), where dozens of international airlines have offices and major operations. The rich start-up community here constantly drives and inspires us. The Dutch mindset is always one of positivity, encouragement and exploration.”
The city of Amsterdam has been in an all-out push to attract and nourish fledgling tech and travel companies and talent, billing itself as “Europe’s Best-Connected and Largest Ecosystem” for start-ups. In a recent Bloomberg article, Dutch entrepreneur Chris Hall (who’s start-up Bynder recently raised €20M in venture capital), explained how Amsterdam has become one of the most prominent players in the start-up sector, rivalling cities like Berlin and London to become a heavyweight in the global tech arena.
The Netherlands played a major, high publicised part in the start-up scene at CES last week in Las Vegas with Crown Prince Constantijn – who is also special envoy for the Dutch Startup Delta organisation – in attendance, leading a delegation of 30 pioneering Dutch tech start-ups.
A major trend AirFi sees in the passenger experience industry is airlines and major suppliers partnering more closely with start-ups and tech disruptors to offer a wider range of content and services. Airbnb working with Virgin America, Uber helping American Airlines, all to deliver a more seamless travel experience. It’s really coming together, smaller high-growth businesses helping legacy companies meet rapid shifts in passenger demand. Being in Amsterdam puts at the heart of this action.”
In recent years, the city of Amsterdam has also hosted a series of conferences and trade shows looking into the future for travel tech and inflight services. Last year saw the APEX Multimedia Market, Future Travel Experience and MRO Europe held in the area, and in 2017 we look forward to welcoming the Passenger Terminal Expo and a packed calendar of events for the tech and start-up crowd.
Amsterdam has shifted from a small tech hub to a key city for tech agencies. It is on a mission to become the Silicon Valley of Europe and has all the ingredients to kick out seriously successful technology and travel companies, just like AirFi, move from start-up to scale-up.
If you’re in the business of innovating your passenger experiences, come and see firsthand the fantastic developments taking shape at AirFi in Amsterdam this year!
About the Author:
Martijn Moret is Co-Founder & CIO of AirFi, the world’s leading portable IFE streaming platform for airlines and other mass transit operators. Martijn is passionate about helping clients find the best creative technology solutions to entertain passengers, engender loyalty, reinforce brand identity, create new revenue streams and discover true operational freedom.