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How is the Dutch startup scene doing?

One of the most interesting things to me is when members of a country’s royal family become involved in fostering the startup culture there.

My interview with HRH Prince Constantijn, the Netherlands’s fourth-in-line for the throne, at CES earlier this month was a marvellously candid talk between two people with a lot of power and prestige in the world. We spoke about the ecosystem in the Netherlands, the government’s role in encouraging innovation, and the difficulties the nation has in assisting startups in growing into larger enterprises. Some businesses even invite me for a meeting simply so we can take a selfie together. Because of this, I feel like saying, “Maybe cut the bullshit; I know what you want, so let’s just snap the shot and get over it.”

My primary goal is to provide assistance to businesses. Support programmes for scaleups or more advanced businesses exist in the Netherlands, and a big part of what I do involves connecting these businesses with founders and investors in the Bay Area. Indeed, [CES] is just one among several such platforms.

The Dutch market is rather little, and Europe as a whole is dispersed. The United States market is crucial. Regardless of the industry, the majority of businesses eventually need to set foot in the United States. For many businesses in the health industry, for instance, the United States is the most lucrative market. It’s likely that the United States also has the largest market for automobiles. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is important to us because of its scope and the diversity of the businesses it represents. Everyone important seems to be present.

CES isn’t quite in the sweet spot for all of our businesses, notably the software development firms, but there’s such a concentration of tech companies here that the odds of making useful connections are excellent. That’s why it’s crucial.