Neelie Kroes calls on pension funds, insurers to invest in start-ups

Neelie KroesFormer EU commissioner and newly-appointed Dutch start-up ambassador Neelie Kroes has called on pension funds, insurers and other institutional investors to put money into innovative companies.

Kroes made the call in a speech to foreign investors in Eindhoven on Monday, the Financieele Dagblad reports. Kroes, a stalwart of the right-wing VVD, said it is harder to get risk capital for innovative companies and that is limiting the opportunities for start-ups.

‘The Netherlands has enormous pension assets. Pension funds should be investing in venture capital funds but have not yet done so,’ the paper quotes her as saying. ‘I want to find out what the options are.’

Kroes has been appointed start-up ambassador by the government for 18 months. Based in Amsterdam, she has been charged with encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs to develop their talents and put the Netherlands on the map as a start-up haven.

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