Innovation: Same challenges, different solutions? Getting the Dutch and the Swedes together at Startup Summit

Sweden and the Netherlands are always ranked highly in lists of innovative countries. On several issues the two countries are quite similar: comparable economies, good proficiency in English and good education systems. However, there are also differences between the countries: the Netherlands has twice as many startups as Sweden, but Sweden has twice as many scale-ups and twice as much venture capital. Our Innovation Advisor Wilco Schuttelaar saw a chance to exchange ideas and to come to collaborations between the two countries. These can be very useful, as many startups try to make the step to Asia or Northern America too quickly. As the Swedish market is a similar market to the Dutch one, this is a perfect first step before exporting overseas.

With the aim to bring startups from both countries together, the Startup Summit took place in Amsterdam. Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands and Prince Daniel of Sweden, both advocates of innovation, were on stage and got into conversation with the other participants. These were amongst others Dutch state secretary Mona Keijzer and her Swedish counterpart Stina Billinger. Before this event, everybody was instructed to already search for concrete possibilities for cooperation with other parties involved in the Startup Summit. This resulted in an effective day, with in-depth discussions and networking.

A concrete result of this Startup Summit was that the Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship has now started a collaboration programme with the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship. Moreover, the dialogue and focus on the two similar countries has been strengthened.

In 2019 we will try to organise a similar event, but then in Sweden! Moreover, we are trying to establish collaboration programmes between startup incubators in Sweden and the Netherlands. If you have any questions about innovation between Sweden and the Netherlands, please contact our Innovation Advisor Wilco Schuttelaar. Besides, our trade section is always happy to help Dutch companies settling in Sweden. We help over 250 companies on a yearly basis with finding their way in Sweden. Do you want to know more about the possibilities? Have a look on our website about doing business for Dutch companies in Sweden or Swedish companies wanting to do business in the Netherlands, or contact our trade and economic section!

A group picture of the Startup Summit, with in the middle Prince Daniel of Sweden and Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands.