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Dutch liberal party VVD presents agenda to help startups

startupnl logoThe Dutch liberal party VVD launched a startup agenda last week, with measures proposed to help Dutch startups. They recognize that startup entrepreneurs have guts, take risks and differ from other entrepreneurs by investing in completely new products and services. With their agenda, they hope to grow a few successful startups in The Netherlands, making the whole Dutch economy more innovative. For those who do not read Dutch, we summarized the agenda.

annewilThe agenda (accessible via www.startupnl.nl) is written by Anne-Wil Lucas Smeerdijk, a member of the Dutch parliament. She asks the Dutch government to create a policy agenda based on this agenda piece. The main points of the agenda are the following:

The agenda uses the startup definition of an “organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model” (definition from Steve Blank) and estimate the number of startups at 7000. This seems rather high, at least a few of these companies have already found a business model. Overall it is good that at least one party sees the importance of innovative companies (current and former startups) for creating high-value jobs. One can criticise certain points (overemphasis on subsidies, a focus on the earliest stages of a company) but overall the agenda is a good step in the right direction. Not only would it help startups, but access to knowledge and talent would help the whole Dutch economy.

We are looking forward to hear the views from actual startup entrepreneurs to this agenda. Which measures do you support? Which ones should be changes, or skipped at all? What parts are missing? Let us know this week what you think (in the comments or at Sieuwert @ startupjuncture.com ).

Sieuwert van Otterloo
Sieuwert van Otterloo is IT expert by day and startup enthusiast by night. IT expert via Softwarezaken | innovation expert via Node1 | editor and cofounder of StartupJuncture | member of StartupDelta | startup investor. Reach out to Sieuwert via otterloo @ gmail .com
  1. To me, three points are vital: tax benefits, lenient bankruptcy policies, lenient employement regulations. Tax benefits would have to be very lenient for investors like in the UK, for it to work. Also, going bankrupt in the first three years should be delt with in a very simple form. Third, firing employees should be an easy task, with the upside for employees to receive equity under lenient tax regulations. This will promote investing, cut back risks of failure and hiring. Which are key to startup venturing.I am not sure how this will be implemented in the plan, however I feel the current ideas are not really what I hoped they would be. But, it’s a start and the first sensible thing I have heard from a politician in terms of business since the elections.

    • I’d prefer some sort of “co-investment scheme” (like in Singapore) over tax breaks. There’s not that many (real) startups (with daring ideas) that benefit from tax benefits…

  2. I do agree with Wouter on co-investment – but only if a professional and responsible authority is following up. I’m against of any uncontrolled subsidization with tax (public) money.

  3. […] week was dominated by the news of the Agenda #StartupNL of the Dutch liberal party. Also, two more Startupbootcamp Amsterdam alumni got funded pretty well. […]

  4. […] be enthusiastic about the measures, that were initiated by VVD last week. We wrote about the agenda here. The proposal, presented by liberal representative Anne-Wil Lucas, contained over 40 adjustments, […]

  5. […] and grow their startups into the next big thing. November 1, last year Lucas launched ‘Agenda StartupNL’, a proposal with over 40 measures to improve the Dutch startup […]

  6. […] (starting with leading lady Neelie Kroes but also in the Netherlands by Anne-Wil Lucas and the VVD startupNL action plan) and have taken action to change the laws so that entrepreneurs can stay in The Netherlands. Below […]

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