Clouds Cover the Netherlands Exactly

Some argue that the Dutch are obsessed with the weather, or that they at least like to discuss it. Well, let me throw in some little discussion of my own, then!

From September 2011 onwards I lived for about a year in London, a city known for a lot, but not for good weather. I guess I have been very lucky, since I liked the weather in London just fine. London weather is said to be “hugely unpredictable, oscillating between heavy rain and scorching sunshine within the space of minutes.”

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You’ll Never Walk Alone: a Myth at FC Twente

As Sarah wrote some time ago, right before every home match starts the FC Twente supporters sing the You’ll Never Walk Alone from Gerry & The Pacemakers. What the supporters mean to convey is that they will support their team no matter what; in good times and, perhaps especially, in bad times. The past weeks have shown that that was a lie. The vocal supporters of the FC Twente crowd, often referred to as ‘Vak-P‘, named after a stand in the previous stadium, are what one may describe as “fair weather fans“.

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Reunion in Knokke and Romance in Bruges

Yesterday we returned from Belgium, where Sarah and I enjoyed an absolutely delightful weekend. In Knokke we met up with former LSE students to have a nice reunion. We then travelled to nearby Bruges, which amazed us with its beautiful World Heritage Site class town centre. Sarah and I stayed one day longer in Bruges to enjoy a little more of its romance.

 

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Implementing Venture Capital Policies in Europe Requires more than a Casual Look at Silicon Valley

Much of the literature on venture capital (VC) policies is inspired by the success of a handful highly visible companies such as Microsoft, Compaq, Intel, Google, and Apple. These companies, nowadays, are huge and extremely powerful, but at some point in their development they had to resort to VC. These companies are, of course, the envy of many countries – who wouldn’t want to have such firms flourishing in his or her country?

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Venture Capital Policies in the Netherlands: Lessons from the Literature and Benchmark Countries

thesis

In recent months I have been on an internship with the Dutch Ministry of Finance in order to write my Master’s Thesis for the MSc in Finance. Two weeks ago I graduated from Tilburg University based on the research I did at the Ministry. The Dutch Venture Capital Association (the NVP) even published my work (here’s a PDF).

Working at the Ministry of Finance in the Hague was a very pleasant and rewarding experience, despite the lengthy daily train journeys. I worked in a directorate with young people, who helped me enormously with my research. I have been there for over 4 fulltime months. At the beginning I had no real clue about venture capitalism aside from a general understanding of its mechanisms, let alone about public policies that optimally support venture capital investments.

 

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Please, Sven (Kramer)?!

Lance Armstrong’s exposure sprouted a renewed attention for doping in sports. Firstly, of course, within cycling, but recently the debate around performance-enhancing drugs intensified with regard to other sports as well.

For instance, Christophe Rochus stated that he believed that doping is significantly present within tennis, pointing a hesitant finger towards Rafael Nadal. Although this may be the opinion of one player, there are more disturbing signals. Roger Federer called for more doping tests in tennis, since “some substances can’t be discovered right now.” Andy Murray agrees, but adds “don’t accuse me or my rivals of doping.” (Where have we heard that before?) James Blake said something that, to me, sounds sensible: “[we should be] realistic with this much money involved, $1.9 million for the winner of the U.S. Open, people will try to find a way to get ahead.” Continue reading