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Becoming a Dutch Local(ie)

Soon after arriving in the Netherlands for a corporate job, Nick Nedelchuk got inspired to start his own travel and tourism startup, Localie. Originally from Ukraine, Nick aims to reinvent tourism and make it more sustainable for local communities. Ambitious and dedicated, the CEO of Localie shares the ins and outs of moving to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur while highlighting the tourism ecosystem here.


Localie: Finding a Local Friend

Localie is a unique platform designed to connect travellers with inspiring and verified locals who can show them around the city. It's an alternative to guided tours or for travelling alone, and we believe it's much better. After all, some of the best trips are where we visit friends, right?

At Localie, we aim to build a unicorn like or Airbnb because we're addressing a huge industry that generates over 10% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our approach of creating decentralised local communities that provide recommendations for places, hotels, and flights and even help travellers decide where to go next has the potential to be a game-changer in the travel industry.


Moving Made Easy

So far, the settling process has been swift and straightforward. I obtained a startup visa, which I later converted into a self-employed permit with a five-year extension. Dealing with the immigration process was really easy, and I appreciate that as an entrepreneur. I can focus on my product without spending too much time on immigration matters.


Building Business in the Netherlands

Setting up my business here just happened. I moved to the Netherlands in 2017 because I was working as an IT project manager for IKEA, and I got a job offer for their headquarters in Delft.

 We were looking for a place where we could expand internationally with as little bureaucracy as possible and with a supportive tech ecosystem that could help us move forward.

However, after one and a half years, I decided to venture into my own business. I considered whether I should stay in the Netherlands, weighing the pros and cons. We were looking for a place considering factors such as where we could expand internationally with as little bureaucracy as possible and with a supportive tech ecosystem that could help us move forward. It's motivating to see other people here who are as crazy as you working after hours, which may seem a little bizarre to some. I also appreciated the transparency, democracy, and efficiency of government services in the Netherlands and other aspects of living and doing business here. It seemed like a perfect place to continue my entrepreneurial journey.


Tourism Ecosystem in the Netherlands

Being in the heart of the most visited continent in the world, Europe makes the Netherlands an ideal location for our startup. Yet, although we have companies like and other Dutch scale-ups in the travel segment, there is not much of a travel tech ecosystem here. We see potential in developing the tech ecosystem in South Holland, as it seems less developed than the ecosystem in North Holland. We aim to provide local tech startup founders with meetups, gatherings, and events to boost the ecosystem further.


Consideration for Moving Abroad: Relocating with Partners

I've realised that moving to a new country can present unique challenges for partners. When relocating for a startup or work, it's critical to have a proper strategy, including an action plan and a daily routine. It's slightly more complicated for partners as they are joining you. When they find themselves in a new country, they must figure out what to do next. It would be great if someone or something could help partners find their way here, especially if they don't speak English very well.


Here to Stay

I plan to stay here to develop our startup further and eventually scale up into a big tech company based in the Netherlands. We might also expand our presence to the USA in the future. 

Every day consists of great memories and moments that inspire me to push forward, work more, and generate new ideas and accomplishments with my startup.

The Dutch architecture looks stunning, and the transportation from one city to another is convenient since everything is nearby. Most countries with a good business climate and a developed startup ecosystem don't have this advantage. Every day consists of great memories and moments that inspire me to push forward, work more, and generate new ideas with my startup. I can't say if the Netherlands is for everyone because weather conditions can be harsh. But if building innovative products is your focus, I would definitely recommend moving here to my friends from my home country. That's what I'm doing right now.

Localie is embarking on a mission to connect travellers with local friends they didn't know they had and to provide experiences that can surpass well-planned guided tours. Nick Nedelchuk's experience illustrates the favourable space for startups in the Netherlands with its smooth visa application process, the atmosphere that boosts growth, and the diverse cities filled with bustling streets and beautiful architecture. The Netherlands is a beneficial central location for businesses and also provides the right atmosphere to innovate.


Explore your options in the Netherlands

Learn more about The Rotterdam region and the startup & tech ecosystem in the Netherlands.