Dutch Startup Association: the new polder-rebel

Pieter Veldhuizen • 8 May 2018

Dutch Startup Association: the new polder-rebel

A couple of years ago, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant published an interesting research on how often ministers were visited by interest groups. The study offers people a nice insight on how Dutch society and politics are organized, with recognizable, powerful organizations fighting for the interest of its adherents at the several departments. Or as de Volkskrant states: “The closer you are to power, the higher the influence”.

New interest group for Dutch startups and scale-ups

But what are the chances for a new interest group, e.g. an interest group for startups and scale-ups in the Netherlands? To be honest: it’s quite a challenge. Just like our members we have to battle the status quo and fight our way into the Dutch political landscape. As new kid on the block we want to have our say when it comes to new legislation and policy-making. Because we believe that, in the end:

“Our economy and society will be stronger, 
if our interests are being heard!”

Despite the difficulties of building up an entirely new organization that wants to offer something for its community (join!), the first months offer us lot of political insights. In our talks with ministries and politicians we found a willing ear. People want to know what is going on in the startup and scale-up world.


Making the voice of our members heard

The Dutch Startup Association (DSA) believes in making the voice of our members heard from a cooperative point of view. We proactive seek cooperation with other stakeholders, whether they are established companies, VC’s or universities. In every talk we have we try to push our agenda a bit further. We are being transparent about our goals en trust that, in time, our lobby goals are being met and successfully implemented.


So what are we lobbying for?

  • Paying in stock: First of all we think that startups and scale-ups should be granted the opportunity to pay their employees in stock instead of wages in a more fiscal attractive way. 
  • Stimulating private investments: We also believe that private investments in startups and scale-ups should be more fiscally stimulated. 
  • Acting as launching customer: When it comes to the government, they should more often act as a launching customer for innovations. 
  • More focus on digital: In education, more focus should be on digital literacy instead of traditional courses and if we lack specific skills, it should be made attractive and easy to get international talent to the Netherlands. 
  • Room for experiments: Finally, we believe in a government that offers room for experiments in digitalization and harmonizing the European Digital Single Market.
  • And more….Read here more about what we are lobbying for.

Share your ideas: What should be our role?

So how are we going to achieve all this? Well, we’re just going to give it our best. Our members are the true source and shapers of the new economy. We’ll just have to be a part of the Dutch so-called “polder.” But not as one of the old guys, but as the organization that wants to make our economy future proof and more startup- and scale-up minded. As a 2018 polder-rebel. The DSA is curious what YOU think should be our role, please share your ideas in the comments below!

Our members shape our message and determine which issues the DSA will focus on. Our interactive community makes it easy for our members to contribute. Become a member and join the community! And make sure your interests are being heard!