Responsible tech will spur impact-driven economies

Startups from India can tap into The Netherlands' vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, said Pieter Waasdorp, Director of Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands at TechSparks 2021.
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The Dutch economy is spawning startups that grow and scale by using technology responsibly, said Pieter Waasdorp, Director of Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Netherlands, at TechSparks 2021, India's most influential startup-tech conference organised by YourStory.

With the theme 'What's Next: Rethinking the future', TechSparks 2021 is providing a platform for the most defining conversations on how disruptive technology innovations can shape our lives post-pandemic.

“There are a lot of opportunities to build from each other’s strengths,” Waasdorp said, referring to the scope for India and the Netherlands to work together and power impact-driven economies that offer solutions to common challenges.

While the Dutch ecosystem is one of the largest economies in Europe, and the gateway to the European Union, India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Waasdorp noted.

As India's startup ecosystem from Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru rank high on knowledge and funding, the two countries can utilise each other’s strengths to grow and counter challenges, he added.

The senior official in the Netherlands' economic affairs ministry was speaking on 'What's Next: Rethinking the Future'. He cited health, digitalisation, climate change, energy, sustainable food and agriculture, and education as areas that are ripe for startups from both countries to collaborate.

Towards this end, the Dutch government has created an environment for business to grow based on entrepreneurship, research and knowledge transfer, and access to knowledge institutions and investors, he added.

He cited the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Dutch and Indian governments in 2018. It has paved the way for trade missions, such as the India Technology Summit, and the Indo-Dutch StartUp Link, and several partnerships between companies in the two countries.

"The MoU has enabled exchange of technical expertise, exchange of information between the startup ecosystems, and sharing of best practices to attract investments and expand globally," said Waasdorp.

He identified working to meet sustainable development goals (SDG) as another area of partnerships for entrepreneurs and large businesses from India and the Netherlands.

Waasdorp cited ‘Ideas from Europe’, an initiative to jointly create innovations that help tackle challenges. It is focused on bringing together the strengths of entrepreneurs, the knowledge of universities, and the impact of investors, he added.

“Two years ago, at the India-Netherlands Technology Summit, our ‘Ideas from Europe’ initiative focused on our collective healthcare business cases, with emphasis on market engineering, global business opportunities and increase in quality of education,” Waasdorp said.

The current Dutch economy is changing, he said. A decade ago, its economy was dominated by large companies with predictable life cycles. Today, its economy mirrors a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, where there is far more room for startups.

Waasdorp said Dutch policymakers are always working to enable regulations that empower resilient and future-proof small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), availability and access to capital, knowledge, talent and markets, collaboration in the European Union, as well as better diversity and inclusion practices.


For a line-up of all the action-packed sessions at YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, check out TechSparks 2021. To log in to our virtual events platform and experience TechSparks 2021 with thousands of other startup-tech enthusiasts from around the world, join here.

Edited by Kunal Talgeri

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