About the DSA

Our story

Why was the Dutch Startup Association (DSA) founded?

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.

Due to the common ambition of the Netherlands becoming a startup proof nation, in 2017 the DSA was founded. Through    the convening power of our community of innovative entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders and through lobby activities in Dutch and European politics, the DSA will turn the Netherlands in to the startup nation of Europe. 

We act as the voice of startups and scale-ups when it concerns legislation, economic policies, educational regulations and also funding issues. We will act 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. So let us take on your public affairs issues.

Founded by startup entrepreneurs for startup entrepreneurs, the DSA understands the issues startups and scale-ups struggle with on a day-to-day basis. The DSA gives startups a voice to ensure that they are truly represented whenever en wherever needed. 

We invite you to join the DSA; Making the Netherlands the startup nation of Europe. 

What will the DSA do?

• Launch a new legal entity specially for startups the 'Startup BV';


• 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;

• Connect the investment eco system to simplify the funding process;

• 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 have taken on in 2018:

• 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 or ecosystem builders themselves.

As a community by and for startups, we invite all startups and scale-ups to join the DSA for a small yearly fee. In return, you will get connected to a community of well known and experienced entrepreneurs and 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.


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 build our organisation and that will join us in this adventure. The main, initial investment has been put in setting up a solid infrastructure (legal entity, website, communication tools, content, etc.) and hiring a director to run operations and lobbying. Our next step is to create a team that can execute on a daily base. 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 big hairy audacious goal is to transform the Netherlands to become the number one startup nation within Europe, by 2023. In the meantime we will be de driver and play a major role in this transformation. We will be using the Startup BV as a tool to work towards our goal. We want to attract 1000 startup members in order to have legitimate support and to make a strong voice towards politics. 

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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