Netherlands To Set Up ‘Startup Link’ In Partnership With Startup India


Netherlands PM Mark Rutte is set to visit Bengaluru on 25 May and the Netherlands aims to deepen the innovation ecosystem between the two countries, as per media reports. This includes the set up of ‘Startup Link,’ an umbrella initiative to help the Dutch startups explore the Indian market. 

Mark Rutte, PM, Netherlands

A 120-member business trade delegation along with two ministers and the mayor of the Hague to Bengaluru, the Netherlands India-delegate is the country’s largest delegate to any foreign country, larger than that of their recent China visit. This clearly underlines the importance of India for the Netherlands.

The Startup Link is being launched in partnership with Government of India’s Startup India programme. 

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Consul General Jaap Werner reportedly said,

“The delegates will be visiting Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, signing a number of MoUs to promote technology and Innovations at all levels of universities to SMEs and Corporates. In Bengaluru alone, we are expecting to sign 15-20 MoUs. The Bengaluru visit will focus to strengthen the bilateral trades and relationships in the areas of healthcare, smart cities, life sciences, waste management and cybersecurity.”

The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag is expected to launch Indo-Dutch Startup Link Digital Hub on 25 May.

The line-up of events on the day also includes an ‘Innovation power-lunch’ where the Dutch PM will meet 30 top Indian CEOs.

Recently, Netherlands has also expanded and upgraded its Bengaluru, South India office to a fully operational Consulate General, integrating various Ministerial departments under one roof.

This includes:

  1. Economic and Trade department
  2. Innovation Attaché (Holland Innovation Network)
  3. Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
  4. Nuffic Neso (Netherlands Education Support Office) India

While NFIA is already helping Indian startups to expand their base to the Netherlands while focussing on the European market, Meenakshi P.R., Senior Deputy Representative Consulate General Of Netherlands, Bengaluru stated that the Consulate General will also help Dutch startups soft launch in Indian territory, particularly in Bengaluru.

She said,

“IoT, 3D Printing, cybersecurity, and blockchain are some of the areas where the startups under startup link can collaborate.”

There are currently over 200 Netherlands companies operational in India, and almost same is the strength of Indian companies in the Netherlands. While India is the fourth largest investor in the Netherlands, the latter stands fifth in India. 

The Netherlands has been one of the biggest investors in Karnataka. Many Dutch companies have large campuses and offices in Bengaluru. Akzo-Nobel (Car refinishes and coatings, Shell (R&D), Philips (R&D), TNT (Logistics), Provimi B.V. (Animal vaccines), Rijk Zwaan & Nunhems (Seeds), Koppert (Biological pest control), Koeleman (Processed foods), TomTom (Navigation systems), Florence Flora (Floriculture), Moerheim Roses (Floriculture), Aarding (Construction equipment), Pharmamatch (Pharmaceuticals) are some of the major Dutch companies in Karnataka. In addition, there are many small and medium-sized Dutch companies that operate out of Bengaluru. 

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