Techleap funding slashed, prince may lose special envoy role
The government’s start-up lobby group Techleap is losing almost half its funding and ministers are debating a new role for its ‘special envoy’ prince Constantijn, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.
The paper says the organisation has been assured it will be funded for three more years, but that the budget is being slashed because the government wants to focus more on deep tech and on stimulating the sector itself to take the lead.
Deep tech refers to startups whose business model is based on high-tech innovation in engineering, or significant scientific advances.
Techleap was formally launched four years ago to replace Startup Delta, and experts say it has been highly instrumental in putting the Dutch tech sector on the international map. Constantijn too has been praised for his expertise and his input, particularly abroad.
Economic affairs minister Micky Adriaansens told the FD the organisation has had a ‘roomy budget’ and must now limit its work to ‘the things which really make a difference’, as well as bringing in more private funding.
That also means that trips to Silicon Valley or trade fairs with Dutch entrepreneurs and investors is less important, the minister told the paper.
Techleap’s budget is being cut to €15 million for the coming three years, compared with €35 million for its first four years of operation.
Techleap told Dutch News in a reaction that there is scope for Techleap to perform tasks in the coming years that may be financed from other public funds.
‘The minister has also indicated that the industry itself should do more,’ the agency said. ‘Moreover, it is not just about money; we have long been working on other ways in which tech entrepreneurs can contribute to the development and growth of others, for example through the Global Founders initiative and the Rise programme.’
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