WRJC 2011
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Get a Visa to join Europe’s Most Productive Startup Ecosystem

Renowned internationally for their open culture and emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, the Dutch offer a home to a vibrant, collaborative startup ecosystem using lively coworking offices in Amsterdam.

They are Dutch tech companies that – with more famous names such as Booking.com and CoolBlue – are part of a select group of unicorns. This week, research from data and analysis company Dealroom revealed that the Netherlands has twelve of these unicorns. This puts it in fourth place in Europe, after France (13 unicorns), Germany (30) and the United Kingdom (74).

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs is allocating 65 million euros for the next four years. Holland’s unrivaled it infrastructure, highly educated, tech-savvy, English-speaking workforce and open corporate business culture provide an attractive and supportive test market for almost any kind of new business.

Ranked no. 3 in the European Union on the 2019 Global Innovation Index, the Netherlands is home to more than 10 leading innovation hubs, where startups can benefit from world-class incubators, business support and R&D facilities.

Amsterdam is a well-connected hub for entrepreneurs, emerging tech and innovation. To realise its full potential, Amsterdam municipality has set up StartupAmsterdam. This action program aims to strengthen and showcase Amsterdam’s startup ecosystem. By making easily available assets that already exist, it stimulates innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship to flourish.

As of 2015, a new regulation makes it possible for ambitious entrepreneurs outside of the European Union to apply for a residence and work permit for the Netherlands. The so-called “Dutch start-up visa” affords ambitious entrepreneurs to launch an innovative business for a period of one year. A prerequisite is that this start-up must receive guidance by an experienced mentor that is located in the Netherlands. After one year, the start-up entrepreneur may have the duration of its residence permit extended on the basis of the Dutch government’s self-employment scheme.

The start-up visa is not the only way to enter the Netherlands. Although it requires some more investment also the self-employment scheme provides the opportunity to obtain a residence and work permit for entrepreneurs with plans to start a business. Even without an innovative character. Also for American resident entrepreneurs it is easy to move their start-up activities to the Netherlands by using the DAFT facility. The most important criteria for living their Dutch dream is formation of a BV and put EUR 4,500 on its business account.