"We came to Rotterdam to build a leading innovation ecosystem"

“We build large scale communities of exceptional entrepreneurs. We came to Rotterdam to build one of the leading innovation ecosystems in the world.” Melissa Ablett, CEO of CIC Rotterdam doesn’t hide her ambitions nor her love for Rotterdam.


CIC, Cambridge Innovation Center in full, was founded in 1999 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The company brings together hundreds to thousands of exceptional entrepreneurs min central locations, who together form a dynamic hub full of entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and the will to help each other succeed.

Great potential in Rotterdam

A couple of years ago CIC chose Rotterdam to set up their first location outside of the USA. “When we look at locations for CIC, we are really looking through  the eyes of an entrepreneur who is trying to build a business. Looking for the ideal location for our first company outside of the USA, we quickly decided Rotterdam was the place to be. We saw great potential in Rotterdam, with the port, two airports with 25 minutes of the city centre, the medical cluster and TU Delft close by. We chose the iconic Groothandelsgebouw, next to the Central Station and in a high quality office environment.”

It wasn’t only the hard ‘location specs’ that made CIC go for Rotterdam. The ‘vibe’, the culture and the general will to work together were also important factors. “Rotterdam has a great quality of life, great culture and a start-up community that was already being built here. Such a community is vital for entrepreneurs, because it is so often the power of the physical network that leads to success in the business world.”

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