About the DSA

Why was the Dutch Startup Association (DSA) founded?

Read all about the DSA below or in our handy brochure

The growing startup ecosystem has become an increasingly important driving force of innovation and economic growth. Although politicians acknowledge this development, they are still more inclined to talk about startups than to talk with us.

Who acts as the voice of startups when it concerns legislation, economic policies, educational regulations and other governmental issues? Who acts on YOUR behalf? Following the successful approach in other European countries, the Dutch Startup Association (DSA) is the only dedicated organization to work with politicians and entrepreneurial and governmental organizations such as StartupDelta, VNO-NCW and ONL.

Founded by startup entrepreneurs for startup entrepreneurs, the DSA understands the issues startups struggle with on a day-to-day basis. The DSA gives startups a voice to ensure that they are truly represented when it comes to legislation and topics that are important to them.

We invite you to join the DSA; a community and voice by and for startups.

What will the DSA do?


• The DSA will lobby for startup-friendly legislation towards European, national and regional governmental bodies;

• Act as a sparring partner for e.g. StartupDelta to make the voice of real startups be heard;

• Research issues, trends and developments within the startup ecosystem;

• Close the gap between politicians and startups;

• Work on any issue that you as a member believe would make life as a startup entrepreneur easier.


These are some of the startup issues the DSA can take on with Dutch and European politicians:

• Attractive taxation for venture capital, to make it easier for (foreign) investors, friends and family to invest in startups;

• The option to pay employees in stock, in order to retain talent in startup companies;

• A flexible labor market to quickly scale and attract talent;

• Relief of regulations for new technologies - for example experimental articles that allow space for social innovation or new technologies;

• Getting startup-friendly European rules, for example on copyright and privacy;

• More issues, such as cookie legislation, will be addressed based on the input from our startup members.

How does the DSA work?

To get the DSA up and running, a founding board has been set up consisting of recommended startup representatives from all Dutch regions as well as various domains, such as health technology, AI, blockchain, media, etc. All founding board members are startup entrepreneurs themselves.

As a community by and for startups, we invite all startups to join the DSA for a small yearly fee. In return, you will get the equivalent of having your own lobbyist and spokesperson.

This is merely the first step to get started. We cannot do this without the commitment and support from you and the startup community, which is why our members play a central role in the association. The standpoints and agenda of the DSA will be fully decided by our startup members. Together we will create a startup association by and for startups. Ultimately, we can only be effective and successful if we represent the majority of startups in the Netherlands.

Online community

We also invite you to our online community. The purpose of the online community is to help set lobbying priorities so that the DSA can represent the interests of start-ups and scale-ups in the Netherlands. So join interesting groups and join discussions. Share knowledge and experiences by starting a group yourself or posting a news item and start a discussion yourself. Sign up and read more on the Introduction page.


What do we need?

We need partners and fathers to endorse, support and fund the foundation. Google is the first founding partner, funding and supporting the launch of the DSA. We are looking for 3 – 5 other partners to kick start this adventure. The main, initial investment will be in setting up a solid infrastructure (legal entity, website, communication tools, content, etc.) and hiring a director to run operations and lobbying. The DSA has spoken with other European startup associations (e.g. German, Belgian and Allied for Startups in Brussels) and we will use their lessons and best practices to ensure a jump start.


What is our goal?

Our short term goal is to have 100 paying startup members and over 10 endorsements by key Dutch entrepreneurs or organizations by mid-2018. We also want to have tackled at least one major startup headache. In the longer term, we want to have at least 500 startup members and a full, prioritized agenda of startup headaches to work on relentlessly.

These are the options to support the DSA:

• Partner: (€ to be discussed, or 'in kind') 

• Father: € 1,250 per year

• Member: € 125 per year


For more information about the DSA or to become a partner, father or member, contact one of our board members or sign up here.

KvK: 70121761


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