You are soooo right. “Silicon Valley” has become like a label with a five-star approval rating regarding how to create that extra-special environment in which startups can excel. Cities think they need that label, that image they say they will strive for, in order to get the proper attention and funding. I’d like to talk in terms of molecular movement. Is there an environment with enough energy put in there, that molecules of all kinds start to bounce off each other, create new combinations and reactions? As a Dutchman, I witness the attempts to create some sort of SV taking place in Amsterdam at the moment. Former EU commissioner Ms Kroes succeeded in getting CEOs coming over from Apple, Google and Uber to discuss what it means to stimulate startups. Dutchmen in particular have the tendency to think that something miraculous will happen once people are just talking about it. It all feels like an important shackle in the chain is still missing. Nurturing a venture-rich environment needn’t be that of an issue here to begin with. Dutch pension funds belong to the biggest in the world. A staggering 85% of their accumulated funds is invested abroad. Which is a shame, since this means that capital is neither invested in creating new opportunities nor in creating new jobs in the Netherlands. They rather invest in Silicon Valley companies, than risk investing in Dutch startups that have SV potential.

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Identify how high-tech bypasses common sense to sell us a solution that frequently misses the point | country: Netherlands

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