Northernlands 3 - Scarcity in IT talent is not needed, (when we look at talent differently!)

About Ruben Nieuwenhuis

Managing Director, TechConnect

Ruben is an entrepreneur and now an Entrepreneur in Residence acting as the Managing Director TechConnect, a program spearheaded by the Amsterdam Economic Board.

He was the former director of StartupAmsterdam and a driving force in connecting and strengthening tech-ecosystems around the world.

In 2018 his focus shifted from ‘strengthening the startup & tech ecosystem’ to —“something that I've been passionate about for years”— equality & inclusiveness via Talent Development & Education.

Roles include:

  • Managing Director TechConnect — Tech Talent program to activate, re- and upskill and attract 50K tech talents in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in the coming 4 years.
  • Educating Cities to grow as a Tech hub — advisory roles to cities Cologne, Ukraine and others.
  • Board Roles in Educational Initiatives — Codam, FutureNL, Chair Entrepreneurship Minor UvA/VU, and Growth Tribe Academy.

Nieuwenhuis was involved in various startups and innovation projects: i.e. DutchBasecamp (founder), CodeUur (co-founder, now FutureNL), FellowForce (co-founder & CEO), StBC (founder & CEO), Amsterdam Capital Week, Startup in Residence, SCALE network, Growth Tribe Academy, Dutch Student Investment Fund, TechMeUp Fund, TechGrounds (co-founder) & TekkieWorden (co-founder).

Co-author of the book StartupCity. StartupCity is designed to provide civil servants and public-private initiatives the guidance on how they can think and work as a startup. It gives a comprehensive look at how the public sector can boost their startup ecosystem and nurture the city as a breeding ground for innovation and job growth.


After the conference we would really appreciate your feedback about what you found useful and what we could do in the future.


Nothernlands 3 is a collaboration between ODI Leeds and The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the start of activity to create, support, and amplify the cultural links between The Netherlands and the North of England. It is with their generous and vigourous support, and the support of other energetic organisations, that Northernlands can be delivered.

  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • West Yorkshire Innovation Festival