Neelie Kroes (Special Envoy, StartupDelta) and Jan Kees de Jager (CFO, KPN) have launched COSTA, a programme aimed at improving and strengthening cooperation between corporates and startups by sharing information and best-practices among top tier corporates. A group of 10 front-runners will participate. COSTA – COrporates and STArtups – was released on May 10 in Eindhoven.

The press release: “Startups are the engine for growth and innovation. One of the core goals of StartupDelta is strengthening the Dutch ecosystem by connecting parties in the startup ecosystem, like corporates and startups, to strengthen collaboration.” In order to achieve this, Neelie Kroes and Jan Kees de Jager have come up with the COSTA programme to enhance cooperation between startups and corporates.

“Cooperation between startups and corporates is important because the two reinforce each other’s strengths and potential”, Neelie Kroes says. “COSTA aims to clarify how a corporate can become ‘startup-ready’, as well as how startups can become ‘corporate-ready.’ Corporates have access to an international network, of which a startup could benefit to speed up their process of growth and innovation. Collaborating with an innovative startup on the brink of regeneration will make corporates more competitive in a market that is evolving at a fast rate. For startups having a corporate as launching customer will make growth possible and tap into a global network that can help them grow and expand.”

kroes de jagerCOSTA will bring together C-level executives from KPN, Shell, Philips, AkzoNobel, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam, Eneco, ING, KLM, DSM and Thales Nederland several times during the year in order to share knowledge, successes, failures and experiences. The first meeting will be held during Startup Fest Europe. COSTA works together with partners VNO-NCW, CVNN, the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management and the municipality of Eindhoven.