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


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.


Four months is a long time, and I think I have learned a lot. Moreover, my task was to derive lessons for Dutch venture capital policies. I would like to share a few of those here, in future posts. More specifically, I hope that I will be able to explain why …

… we will never be able to quantitatively measure the relation between, subsequently, VC investments, innovation and economic growth, and that we will thus remain unable to compute the value or worth of venture capitalism to society

… cultural attitudes can act as a driver of venture capitalism in some countries, but erect insurmountable barriers in others

… Dutch policy-makers should look at Norway for policy lessons, but that their Swedish colleagues should look at Denmark and their Polish colleagues at the United Kingdom

… Silicon Valley may not contain the holy grail of venture capital policies

… it is better to concentrate spending on VC policies on one city rather than to spread it across the country

Will be continued.

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