According to the European Digital Forum (EDF), the Dutch implemented the most startup-friendly policies of all countries in the European Union. The ‘2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard’ describe the Netherlands as a ‘relatively small country with a relatively large entrepreneurial impact’.
The EDF looked for results after 22 recommendations made in the 2013 ‘Startup Manifesto‘, and found that the Netherlands implemented a total of 85% of recommendations made by the manifesto. The Italian (82%) and British (77%) policy makers followed.
‘ The Netherlands is a fast-changing, dynamic economy that presents opportunities to all entrepreneurs, innovators and great minds who think on an international scale’, the EDF writes. The report sees a trend of European policies that take startups more seriously.
The report says a key insight that lead to this step could have been an increase in jobs created by startups. ‘New companies are actually making up for one of the most important policy failures in recent years: they are creating jobs.’
Earlier, the EDF asked business founders in the European Union how startup-friendly they think their country is. Dutch founders, together with their Israelian counterparts were most satisfied. According to the EDF the Dutch excel in connecting big companies to smaller ones like startups.
European Commisioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger then pointed out in the report that it should be easier to find funding for startups in the European Union.
Also, he thinks it should be made more easy to attract talent from all over Europe. ‘We are all looking to Silicon Valley’, he writes. ‘No doubt: the Valley is unique. But we can do a lot to push Europe’s ecosystem.’ This now seems to be happening.
High Tech Campus
Working together seems key in the Netherlands according to the EDF. ‘It all happens in 10+ leading innovation hubs that are 90 minutes apart – giving entrepreneurs access to top talent, technology and ecosystems to help them grow their business.’
One of those hubs can be found in Eindhoven, at High Tech Campus, where collaberation is evident. A number of startups, rooted in Philips, set up shop accros the street in a startup accelerator or elsewhere on campus.
How those hubs contribute to the position of the Dutch in the international field, became clear when this report showed that most patents for new ideas in the Netherlands came from Eindhoven. Philips filed more applications than any other company in the world.