DSA ambassador Marja Ruigrok: in a startup state of mind

Pieter Veldhuizen • 25 June 2018

Last week our launch event took place. Our president Roland Sars gave an introduction speech in which we summed up some of the concrete results the DSA has already realised. To name a few:

- We have been actively involved in the debate concerning Invest-NL, a new investment institution by the government. At a hearing in the Dutch Parliament we addressed that the government needs to take more risks in order for investments to flow to the companies that need financial backing the most: startups

- We have been fighting for a transition regime for expats in the Netherlands when it comes to the 30% ruling. The DSA wants the Netherlands to remain a country where talented people from abroad want to work

- Several political parties want to lower the barriers for innovative companies when it comes to tendering. Something we have been mentioning in talks on both sides of the political aisle

- The topic of payment in stock is higher on the political agenda, but not high enough

Paying respect to our predecessors 

Working hard to realise our 3 key elements: access to talented people, access to capital and attractive rules and regulations for startups and scale-ups, we are past the "launch" phase already.  But we couldn't do this alone. It were Anne-Wil Lucas, Mirjam Bink and Rogier Klimbie that dreamed about an association by and for startups and scale-ups. Without their hard work we even wouldn't be here. And with a great board (Roland Sars, Taco Potze, Diana Krieger, Lucien Burm and Isabel Brouwer) and a wonderful public affairs expert (Pieter Veldhuizen), the DSA showed their right to existence at the gathering last week. 

A startup minister? 

The participants agreed on several statements during our launch. As Peter Ester, Senator for the ChristenUnie, stated: "the government should have a startup state of mind." Others, such as Marleen Evertsz (Exchange) and Samir Saberi (Node1) wished that that already was the case. In the other panel, Charly van der Straten, Bart de Liefde and Niels Molewijk agreed that startups and scale-ups need a face. The question of a startup minister was even brought onto the table. In a way we already have a great one, Constantijn van Oranje! 

But the need for good interest representation remains. Together we are working hard to make your voices heard in Den Haag and Brussels. I am proud to serve the DSA as an Ambassador. So I can only say: join the DSA! 

Marja Ruigrok

Foto: Charlotte Odijk