The corona crisis shows how important the tech sector is to continue working, receive education and care, get messages delivered and stay connected. In the run-up to the Second Chamber elections of 17 March 2021, tech organisations such as online supermarket Picnic and e-scooter rental company Felyx have prepared a manifesto with measures to innovate the Netherlands out of the crisis.
“ The current crisis has brought the future forward,” says Michiel Muller, co-founder Picnic. “This way more and more people are doing their shopping online and huge steps have also been taken in the field of education and care. We have seen the potential of technology over the past few months and now we need to build on.”
The manifesto KickstartNL is an initiative of start-up organisation Techleap.nl with Prince Constantijn as ambassador. He points out that the manifesto is a call for the Netherlands to get out of the crisis better. “By investing in people, technology and entrepreneurs and strengthening the competitiveness of the Netherlands.”
The more than 100 signatories advocate renewing and making the labour market more inclusive so that startups and scale-ups can fill their growing number of open vacancies with the best national and international talent. In addition, it is necessary to provide for accessible access to scientific knowledge and appropriate funding to enable entrepreneurs to scale their business. Knowledge about technology within the government must also be better safeguarded.
Investor Constance Scholten of Slingshot Ventures believes that the Netherlands still has a lot to learn in terms of investing in new and emerging tech companies. “These will be the driving forces for our future economy. We have to get rid of the old-fashioned thought that it only costs us money. We just need to look at what its getting us. Not just for one company, but for society as a whole.”
According to Techleap, the current crisis shows that start-up policy is not yet an undisputed part of economic policy. “As long as we do not put the companies that are the engine of the new economy first, the harsh reality is that other countries are catching up with us and running out of us. The US and China are now dominating this sector. That is where the jobs and society of the future are created, while here we have the potential to do so at least as effectively.”
In the manifesto, startups, scale-ups, investors and Dutch education call on the next cabinet to invest in the tech sector by realizing 10+1 points. The +1 is an appeal to everyone to add missing measures.