Ministry of Economic Affairs

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Neelie Kroes appointed Special Envoy for startups

Neelie Kroes is to strengthen the international position of startups in the Netherlands and persuade innovative foreign startups to establish their businesses there. Kroes, as Special Envoy, will devote the next eighteen months to establishing the Netherlands as the best country in Europe to start up a business. Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs announced this today.

In a reaction to the news, Neelie Kroes states she feels at home in her new role: 'I  am looking forward to further strengthening the Dutch startup-brand with the help of startups around the world.  Startups represent the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that knows no boundaries, nor waits for what lies ahead. Startups create the future themselves and thus generate new economic growth for the Netherlands.'

International ambition

Minister Kamp: 'The Netherlands is one of the most enterprising countries in the world, with an increasing number of successful startups. But we have to be more ambitious. We want to attract more foreign startups and encourage Dutch businesses to grow into large international enterprises. Neelie Kroes's extensive experience and personality make her the ideal person to pursue and support this international ambition.' Kamp is clear about the ambition: 'Together with Kroes, the government will provide a new generation of startups the opportunity to develop their talent, to innovate and to create jobs in the Netherlands.'

StartupDelta initiative

The Special Envoy will lead the new StartupDelta initiative. This is a collaboration of government bodies, knowledge institutes, startups, financiers and businesses. The Ministry of Economic Affairs will provide the legal framework to enable businesses to start and grow quickly: funding, appropriate regulation, and a new entry scheme for ambitious startups from outside Europe.  Established businesses can team up with StartupDelta and help startups to grow further. StartupDelta will collaborate with existing startup hubs in the Netherlands, such as the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven and Kennispark Twente, and leading international hubs around the world.

Amsterdam as business card

The Special Envoy will locate her team in Amsterdam to benefit from its international atmosphere, strong brand and appeal to young people and innovative businesses. Combined with its excellent physical and digital infrastructure, Amsterdam provides the ideal business card for StartupDelta. The Municipality of Amsterdam is making accommodation available to the Special Envoy on a historic location, an old naval site currently under development, the Marineterrein on Kattenburg island.