Momentum for the Netherlands as start up hub
As Dutch economic growth remains below 1 percent on an annual basis, the Netherlands as start up hub is getting momentum.
In November 2013, the Dutch liberal party VVD launched a startup agenda with measures proposed to help Dutch startups. Member of Dutch parliament Anne-Wil Lucas Smeerdijk spearheaded the initiative on behalf of the VVD and asked the Dutch government to create a policy based on the points mentioned in the start up agenda. One of the points on the start up agenda was creating a special start up visum to make it easier for start ups to find and attract talent abroad. On 1 January 2015 Dutch immigration legislation was amended to that effect as a result of which it should be easier for entrepreneurs from outside the European Union to start their innovative business in the Netherlands.
On 8 December 2014 the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs announced the appointment of Neelie Kroes as special envoy to reinforce the international position of start ups in the Netherlands and convince foreign start ups to start their businesses in the Netherlands. To realize these aims the StartupDelta in Amsterdam was recently founded with the involvement of Neelie Kroes. StartupDelta is a national initiative, located at the former naval base in the center of Amsterdam. It is supported by various entrepreneurs, accelerators and governmental bodies and already connects more than ten start up or innovative hubs in the Netherlands.
In the mean time one young Dutch tech company after the other is announcing successes in raising capital. Adyen, the winner of the Deloitte Fast 50 Ranking 2013, raised € 200 million in December 2014 and according to StartupDelta is the first Dutch start up reaching the so called unicorn status with funding in excess of € 1 billion. The most recent success was announced yesterday by WeTransfer that announced that it raised € 22 million in a Series A round of funding from investor Highland Capital Partners Europe.
Today the Dutch Financial Times spends an entire page on the secret of the success of Dutch tech companies such as WeTransfer, Quiver and Adyen. The article refers to the website Startupjuncture.com mentioning that in 2014 more than 30 Dutch tech companies raised more than € 1 million in growth capital. According to the Dutch Financial times young Dutch tech companies seem to be attractive, amongst others, because of successes of Dutch tech companies such as TomTom and Exact in the past and because Dutch tech companies develop scalable concepts.
Although no fund raising, today the Dutch Financial Times also reports the success of Dutch tech company Hippo that closed a big licensing deal with US tech giant EMC.
The Netherlands as start up hub indeed seems to be getting momentum.