Dutch startup ecosystem gets its own political lobby group – DSA

The Dutch Startup Association (DSA), for a couple of years in the making, is since yesterday a fact. The association, lead by entrepreneurs from the startup ecosystem, intends to become the primary voice for startups towards policy makers and politicians.

The founding board of the Dutch Startup Association consists of:

  • Roland Sars from Media Distillery (AI) – president
  • Taco Potze from Open Social (Open Source) – treasurer
  • Diana Krieger from Soverin & Buzzerbase & Cafedeco (Tech) – member of the board
  • Don Ginsel from Holland Fintech (FinTech) – member of the board
  • Kirby Binayao from Binnovate (Digital health) – member of the board
  • Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten from The Next Web (Tech)  – member of the board

Inspired by the successful German startup association Anne Wil Lucas, Mirjam Bink and Rogier Klimbie led the process of launching the Dutch Startup Association. Now 2 years later the association is ready to fight for policies favourable for startups.  According to president Roland Sars the foundation was a logical step given the important role of startups as one of the drivers of the Dutch economy. “Startups have very specific challenges that have to be addressed towards politicians and civil servants. Our ultimate goal is that Dutch policy supports the startup ecosystem based on the wishes and needs of startups”, says Sars in a statement about the launch of the association. “We intend to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and policymakers. Startups and scale-ups that seek influence in the public debate are more than welcome to join!”

The association intends to push for favourable policies for startups relating to payment in shares instead of wages, fiscal stimulation of venture capital and the promotion of alternative forms of investment. Motivating governments to act more often act as launching customer or partner is also one of the activities the association is going to focus on.

Google and Messagbird are founding partners of DSA. Other companies that have comitted themselves financially to support DSA and therewith Dutch startup ecosystem are Peerby, Ticketswap, Simplicate, Springest, Moneybird, Yellenge, Ace & Tate, Bux, Mollie, Rockstart, Treatwell, Wonderkind, Blanco, Bunq and The Next Web.

“We see a lot of obstacles in international law and regulations, we are convinced that a joint effort of startups of making their voice heard could make a difference”, says Messagebird’s founder Robert Vis.

“We are looking forward towards an active cooperation between the Dutch Startup Association and StartupDelta. Nobody looks better after the interests of startups than startups themselves” says special envoy for startup Constantijn van Oranje. “We share the same purpose: making the Netherlands the best country for startups. The Dutch Startup Association can lobby more effectively for the interests of startups and can help us prioritise.”

Photo by Kaci Baum on Unsplash

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