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Felix Guttmann

Founder, Canal Company


Felix Guttmann is a successful entrepreneur in Amsterdam, working in various fields for over 30 years. He is initiator and chairman of Amsterdam Light Festival, a not for profit cultural festival celebrating the beauty of light art in Amsterdam’s public space. The yearly exhibition -started in 2012- has become exemplary in its field, and the artworks which are developed for it tour the world.

Felix built Canal Company, active in tourism, to become the market leader in sightseeing in Amsterdam. The company was successfully sold to the Scandinavian Stromma Group in 2016.

Felix holds and has held a variety of board positions, varying from the tourism industry (a.o. co-chairman of European Tour Operators Association (ETOA, London)), business education (co-founder of the European Business Plan of the Year Foundation, a competition among MBA schools), to Arts & Humanities (a.o. Humanity in Action, New York; the Jewish Cultural Quarter, Amsterdam; and the Henry Hudson 500 Foundation). He was for over ten years involved in the entrepreneurship curriculum at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University as Adjunct Professor and served in various competitions stimulating entrepreneurship.

Since the start of his career, Felix is committed to socially responsible entrepreneurship and the ecological footprint: Canal Company, started as Canal Bike with 100 human powered pedal boats, was the first in Europe to introduce clean CNG-engines in its boats in the early nineties and was frontrunner with electric boats and hydrogen. Today Felix is investor in various social impact companies.

Felix became Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 2009, was honoured ‘Amsterdam Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2010 and was awarded the Frans Banninck Cocq medal of the city of Amsterdam in 2019.

Felix is married to Yolanda, has 2 wonderful daughters and goes to work by bicycle.


Updated May 2019