Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Naussau will be the new special envoy for startups, taking over from Neelie Kroes on July 1, 2016. Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp announced his commitment to startups on the grand opening day of StartupFest Europe in de Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
“The startup ecosystem is growing fast, I want to create even better opportunities”, Kamp said. Legal barriers must be lowered and at least 50 million euro each year must be invested in startups and scale-ups, the government official promised.
“We have big plans for the second term of StartupDelta. Neelie has made us think big.”
Constantijn is up for the challenge, he emphasized whilst referring to himself as “the fresh prince.” “I am very inspired by the can do mentality of entrepreneurs”, the younger brother of the current Dutch monarch, King Willem-Alexander said in an earlier interview with StartupJuncture.
At Startup Fest Europe, Kamp said about Constantijn: “No one is better equipped than he to take StartupDelta to the next level. He has a wealth of experience in the European and international arena. He knows the European legislation and the startup ecosystem better than anyone. He has the determination, creativity and leadership required for the job. And − most importantly − the startup mentality.”
Prince Constantijn will lead for the next 18 months, just like Kroes did. His role however will be precarious (as he is royal), was said during the press conference. That might be a problem as he can’t speak really freely about legislation for instance, as the royal family needs to be neutral and can’t be involved in political topics. Constantijn however will be supported by several ministers in his job.
The StartupDelta programme, which was led by Neelie Kroes, will be continued for at least 4.5 years and is now called StartupDelta2020. The government initiative will continue to be a public-private partnership.
Photo: StartupJuncture (CC BY 2.0)