Rotterdam as 'rising star' within European innovation ecosystem

UPSTREAM celebrates its 4th edition this year and is more international than ever

Rotterdam, March 15, 2023 - From May 23 to 25, the Rotterdam Metropolitan Region will transform into a hotbed of talent, capital and growth. More than 40 collaborative partners, three full days and one common mission. Upstream 2023 is the international tech festival for a future-proof economy. It is the place to be for any startup or scale-up looking for sustainable growth and impact. This annual festival is a co-creation of the Dutch innovative ecosystem, international companies and investors. With a three-day agenda of some 50 events, Upstream 2023 offers a chance to connect with inspiring entrepreneurs, investors and change-makers. The past three editions attracted more than 2,000 participants per edition from all over the world.

Photo: Upstream Festival 2022

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

The Rotterdam Metropolitan Area is a rising star in the global startup ecosystem. It is home to a thriving community of nearly 1,700 active startups with prominent clusters in Smart Logistics, Life Sciences, Deeptech, Megatronics and Cleantech. This makes it the perfect location for a festival to promote and accelerate the transition to a future-proof economy. Upstream 2023 begins 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 with leading international investors. The final day is all about growth, with innovative SMEs, companies, startups and scale-ups coming together to gain new insights for the future and make connections for collaborations.  

Inspiring founders, tech specialists and a climate activist 

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 has a diverse lineup of speakers including 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 companies. A great opportunity to meet an international community of like-minded people."

Transition to a new economy 

Upstream is the annual festival connecting international changemakers driving the transition to a digital, carbon neutral, circular and inclusive new economy. Entrepreneurs, investors and bold companies are invited to share, connect and create meaningful innovations for sustainable growth. This year's event will take place from May 23-25, 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. A range of activities and events will be offered, ranging 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 thinkers and experts in the field.