Prime Minister Mark Rutte meets with Fintech startups
We already knew that startups are high on the political agenda and that they are important for our future economy. But what emphasizes this more than the fact that the Dutch Prime Minister invited 5 startups to his office last week to discuss their work and their passion? This was the kick-off of several sessions with startups which will be hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Mark Rutte had a very interesting informal meeting with five representatives of the Dutch Fintech scene, together with special startup envoy Neelie Kroes. The Prime Minister wanted to hear what the trends, developments and opportunities are in the Fintech sector, which is flourishing both in The Netherlands and abroad. He also inquired about the hurdles the startups encounter and what motivates them to put all their energy in developing new disruptive ideas.The participants talked about their passion, about their motivation to start a company and how they are changing the financial sector. Rutte also invited them to indicate which challenges they’d like the government to address. Several points were discussed: the difficulties in attracting talent, further possible improvements to our fiscal climate, and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and IT-skills in education.
Fintech Startups, like many other startups, need to attract highly skilled digital talent in order to grow their business. The startups explained that it is very difficult to find this talent. This is why all startups, whether they’re based in California or Amsterdam, need to broaden their search for talent to the entire world. In The Netherlands, once a talented potential employee has been found, the procedure for getting a new employee permit takes around three months. StartupDelta recognizes the urgency of this matter and has already taken action to further speed up this procedure.
In addition to this the startups also spoke about the Dutch tax system, which they believe can be made more friendly for startups. StartupDelta is also working on this, Neelie Kroes already successfully called on the government and the main political parties to explore new tax measures which could make the tax system more startup friendly. A tax relief for investors is one of the options the government is currently exploring.
The startups also pointed out major opportunities for the Fintech sector, for example through the new European regulatory framework, the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). PSD2 will force banks to facilitate access to their customer accounts and provide account information to third parties if the account holder wishes to do so. This is a huge opportunity for Fintech startups. The Netherlands has one of the world’s most advanced payment industries and is well placed to remain a front-runner in this field.
Opportunities in abundance, that is surely the optimistic conclusion we can draw from this first startup-meets-prime-minster event!
Jop Hartog (BlockTrail), Don Ginsel (Holland FinTech),Neelie Kroes (StartupDelta), Mark Rutte (MP), Conny Dorrestijn (Shiraz), Korstiaan Zandvliet (Symbid), Ali Niknam (Bunq)