Booking.com is one of the world’s better known hotel reservation websites. You might have heard as well of WeTransfer, a tool for sending files via internet. The two services have one little known point in common. Both are Dutch.
The Netherlands has just 17 million people, less than neighbors such as France and Germany. Like other Western European countries, it’s also trying to develop a high-tech industry built in part on startups.
Diederik van der Toorn, economic advisor at the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taipei, explains his country’s strategy and how Taiwan plays into its plans.
Tech in the Netherlands
The European country has also been noted in Europe for its Genome Startup Ecosystem . The ecosystem covers more than 2,900 Dutch startups, 69 venture capital firms and 45 incubators and accelerators.
The Netherlands’ Startup Delta has further advanced young Dutch companies, the adviser in Taipei said. Startup Delta gathers all layers from government’s support to main innovation hubs and corporations in order to foster Dutch startup ecosystem effective.
Education helps people in the Netherlands think creatively enough for help domestic startups develop stronger products, the adviser said.
“Students are encouraged to express what they think when they are at school even before they attend the universities,” van der Toorn said. “Dutch education spares more free time for students to do the things so that students can explore more about themselves.
“And during those times, students can develop their critical thinking, which is the key to help them achieve in their field in the future,” he said.
Taiwan and the Netherlands
Both Taiwan and the Netherlands have access to key markets as well as keenness to develop in high-tech, van der Toorn said.
“The Netherlands is on a continent for access to the UK, France and Germany, while Taiwan is the gate to other important business destinations such as Japan, Korea and China,” he said.
Governments in both places support innovation that helps develop initiatives such as the Orange Carpet, he said. This initiative is a preferential visa scheme in the Netherlands for business travelers. It’s designed to support entrepreneurs and startups.
Taiwan stands out for strength in manufacturing and related talent, van der Toorn says, so he wants to expand Taiwan’s cooperation with the Netherlands.
The trade office plans to invite at least 15 Dutch startups to join the InnoVEX trade show in Taipei this June.
The trade office has picked Lightyear, developer of solar-charged electric vehicles. Its cars are designed to run for months without being recharged.
Also selected: Synano, a Dutch startup that developed a cooling solution based on nanotechnology for electronic equipment that tends to run hot. This startup suits the Taiwanese electronics market with its focus on hardware, van der Toorn said.
〔Original :Meet Startup @TW〕