EP 237 – Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau – Envoy at Techleap.nl – Don’t Get Into This Space if You Don’t Want to Change Things or Make Things Better

by | Nov 2, 2022

The Asia Tech Podcast recorded an insightful conversation with Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau, Envoy at Techleap.nl. Techleap.nl is a non-profit, publicly funded organisation that organises events and programmes to aid meaningful connections to help startups grow.

Some of the topics discussed by Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau:

  • Pulling together a digital leaders club and organising a startup fest
  • Top-down culture VS bottom-up culture
  • Do entrepreneurs want to run big companies
  • Cultural differences: Risk-averse VS Risk takers
  • Downside and upside of investing
  • You don’t always need to be in the country to bring the same type of competitiveness and innovation home

Some other titles we considered for this episode: 

  1. You Are Never the Only Change Maker
  2. Making Change in Your Own Environment
  3. If I Feel I Can Do Something About It, I Want to Step Into It
  4. Getting Infected and Bringing That Kind of Innovation and Competitiveness Home

This episode was produced by Stephanie Ng.

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:05
Hi, my name is Michael Waitze and welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Today we are joined by Constantijn I knew I was gonna get it wrong Van Oranje, which was better I think, an Envoy at Techleap.nl, you’re smiling at least I did something funny, if not good anyway, it’s nice to meet you. How are you?

Constantijn van Oranje 0:21
Yeah, I’ll help you out here Constantijn Van Oranje, I won’t hold it against you.

Michael Waitze 0:27
So I have a theory on names, right. And I lived in Asia for 32 years. So I feel like it’s incumbent upon me to try. And I’ll tell you why. Because if you’re Chinese or Malaysian or Indonesian, or Japanese, your parents gave you a name for a reason, right? And they didn’t give you a name so that somebody from the United States or somebody from the UK could pronounce it properly, they didn’t care. And that name has meaning to them. And that’s why I always try. I’ll tell you a funny story. Actually, I had a guy from Vietnam on the programme, and his last name was spelled Nguyen. And I said to him, Okay, tell me how to pronounce it. He told me and I said, nu n or something like that, right? And I got it wrong. And he said, Look, don’t worry about it. My wife was Malaysian, I’ve been married for 10 years, since she still can’t pronounce my name properly.

Constantijn van Oranje 1:07
Yeah, my parents didn’t choose the nation that I was born into. So my name is a version of an old Greek name, or actually Latin and constantly, it was still constantly you know, or cost us or something which is much easier to pronounce, just the Dutch made it into a tongue twister at the end, putting the time there, which is a difficult, difficult to pronounce, especially for Anglo Saxon.

Michael Waitze 1:28
I did the best I could. And when we get to the end, maybe I’ll just lean on the efforts. I try. Before we get into the main part of our conversation, let’s give our listeners a little bit of your business background. And just sort of the background of the thing you focus on right, which is Techleap.nl and what that means to you and to the things that you care about.

Constantijn van Oranje 1:44
Yep. So tech team is a programme, it’s now 100% funded by the government to for tech entrepreneurs in the Netherlands basically remove barriers to access to capital, talent, markets and technology. We do programmes with companies to support them in their scaling phase, we tried to raise issues, we do reports, we hold a database of 12,000 startups which we are basically monitoring. Now we’re doing quite a lot just to make the whole tech ecosystem more transparent. I got into this actually, my background, I’m a lawyer by training, and I worked the European Commission and then did my MBA then went to Booz Allen Hamilton, then from there went to RAND Corporation, were actually through some queens and I got into digital policy. And we were doing basically looking how digital technologies were impacting economic policy and society, basically. And from there on, I became the chief of staff of nearly coos in 2010, who ran the digital agenda. So we’re really looking at how digital was impacting the world. And what to do. This was a time when clouds started to becoming mobile, where data was becoming the new oil, but not everyone in Europe was really up to scratch with it. So we were really trying to be a bit of the, the advocates for the new digital world. And we were looking for partners in this. And we found startups being the the new companies that fully understand stood the digital era. And we teamed up with them. So we wrote the first startup manifesto for your pull together digital leaders club, we call them were the founders of Skype, and Spotify and other companies to show that you could indeed build large tech companies in Europe. And that’s basically how I got into it. And then after that, I organised startup fest, which is still at the biggest tech event in the Netherlands in 2016. And then I was asked to take over the role as envoy for startups, which then finally turned into Tech leap.nl And, and well, that’s where we are now,

Michael Waitze 3:34
can I talk about this idea of how digital policies affect the world? Right, what the impact is of this? Because if you said that Techleap.nl is 100%, funded by the government, the government must believe that starting at funding new companies and supporting those new companies does have a fundamental impact on society. And just from the work that you’ve done studying that, what did you find out?

Constantijn van Oranje 3:52
Well, I don’t know how much priority their governments actually giving to this, because I think it’s more important than it’s sometimes given credit to, if you look at where Europe is, and where Asia and the US is, and you see over the last 10 years, that most of the value that’s created has been through tech companies. So and we also see that Europe is falling behind. So this is not just a sector is a phenomenon. It’s a new way of running businesses, every business will become software businesses come forward. And we need to be part of that trend. And you know, it’s not just good enough to regulate it, which we’re very good at a Europe, we also have to build it. So that’s been my plea, I think, but the government also buys into this. I think there’s a big understanding now that tech companies will be instrumental in all of the large societal transitions that we’re seeing in terms of energy, food, logistics, all of these things will have a very strong tech component. And if you master the technologies and the business models, then actually are able to build a companies that have a kind of a regional or global footprint, then you’re playing in that game, otherwise you’re not do

Michael Waitze 4:54
you look at from a tech lead perspective, do you look at what’s happened in Asia, in particular in Singapore Government has actually done a tonne of work supporting the startup ecosystem here, whether it’s through government grants or through putting leverage into the system by saying if venture capital company A signs up for a specific programme and invests in a company, like you look at that stuff, and what’s going on in the Middle East as well, and even what’s happening in Israel, right through the startup ecosystem there and try to say, how can we take some of the stuff that’s been happening there? And if not, bring it back? At least learn from it?

Constantijn van Oranje 5:24
Yeah, well, not even Israel, I think Israel is probably our biggest example, because it’s an open democracy, which we’re in a very difficult space. And they managed to this incredible tech sector, nearly all indicators, we have a better starting position. You know, we’re in the market, we are geographically much better position, we have large corporations to national corporations. And so all of that and still be seeing the kind of engine that Tech engine that Israel has been able to fire up. It’s just really impressive. And that you have to be said, The Singapore is another one of our examples, in that sense is where I’m actually top down. It’s been very strategic in attracting venture capital, building tech sectors and really prioritising this thing. Israel and Singapore have something in common that they are in an existential situation, they’re small in footprint, so they have to look abroad, they have to be an international player and the Netherlands is relatively small, 17 million people. But with Germany aside, it’s kind of easier to think locally, whereas we also have to start globally from the beginning. So yes, we definitely look at those countries, we look at Estonia as well, as an amazing country, that’s been a real look where they come from and where they are now. And also at London, we forget that the UK was a innovation laggard in the 90s. And were a number of policy decisions they’ve been, they’ve been able to really crank out quite incredible a number of tech companies and by building intrapreneurial communities as well, like founders, forum and others. So yeah, we do look at other countries, it must be said that every country has its own kind of culture. So we are not a top down kind of culture, we’re very bottom up. So when we look with some jealousy at France, for instance, with a president who’s also very tech focused and just top down pushes through policies that we have been advocating for six years, and we find it very hard for the government to accept that that’s the way we have to deal with that situation. And we take her out of our own approach. But we do really look at countries like Singapore, yeah.

Michael Waitze 7:16
Is there an inertia? Or actually, maybe momentum is the better word that just by having a startup ecosystem kind of either encourages or forces governments to make decisions that they wouldn’t have otherwise made? Is there a jealousy to a certain set? In other words, I live in Thailand, right. And we look at what Singapore is doing with envy. Because we think that the leverage and I use this word very strategically, they’ve definitely put leverage into the system to make sure that you know, every company that wants to get funded kind of can Yeah, at some level, do you feel like just by being tech lead by helping companies in the Netherlands build, and at some point, it can’t be ignored?

Constantijn van Oranje 7:54
There are a number of issues to your question. So one is jealousy thing, I think the government’s are typically looking at others, you know, so these benchmarks help, if you suddenly dropping on a benchmark, then people might wake up the kind of competition between countries I think, is a good thing. And often between regions or cities, even Yep, you’d help them basically just focus. And it can also be a bit too much when you get a race to the bottom, especially in taxes and other things. But on the whole, I think that competition is good companies don’t care about it. I mean, they obviously like a local environment that is supportive to them, where they can get to where to where taxes are low, and where they can get access to the right kind of people, and they don’t really care, you know, this kind of national ego egotistical political arguments, they if they want to move from Singapore, to Indonesia, for Indonesia, to Amsterdam, you know, they want to be able to do that they don’t really care too much about about those politics. But so yeah, and then once you have sizable tech community, then obviously, it will start playing a more important role. We’ve seen this, particularly in the UK, where it is so big now. And it’s actually been very resistant to some of the influences of Brexit, that it’s a sector to be proud of, you know, that’s now employing a lot of people and it’s driving economic growth. So then definitely, that’s it will play a role. Obviously, if you have a government that’s been emphasising this from the beginning, like in France, then it will be looking for that growth or that impact to highlight that and build build out on that build that further also, by sponsoring events and attracting world talent to come to your place. And you see that many cities do this big tech conference because they want to position themselves as tech hubs. And we’ve seen in Miami, for instance, really positioning itself against the Silicon Valley. And all of you seeing this happening in the US as well. So yeah, that definitely happening.

Michael Waitze 9:33
Are there certain cultural things that individual cities and individual countries like the Netherlands can lean on, if that makes sense? In other words, you know, you know, London’s been a centre of finance and fintech the whole time, right but if you look at the Netherlands, what is the cultural side of this that you can lean on? And what’s the output look like? Because

Constantijn van Oranje 9:48
of it? No, I mean, the culture is plays a really important role. I mean, we are very flexible country very people are we like creativity. We like design. So we have a lot of agencies very conceptual in innovation, and we like freedom and autonomy. And so that’s really good to start companies. Yeah, it’s not typically good to grow companies. Because once you grow a company, you get many staff, you have investors, you have all kinds of other elements to take into account. And that reduces your autonomy and your freedom. So we see that many of our intrapreneurs like to be free, but they don’t really want to build big companies. And that’s been an issue. Whereas in other countries like Germany, there, the execution is much better from the cultural aspects playing there. Also, how much in your ecosystem, you have this idea of giving back and paying forward, right? So do people attribute their success to themselves or to the larger ecosystem. And because we have quite a strong government in the Netherlands, people feel well, we’ve paid our taxes. So now, we don’t need to kind of do anything else. And so we’re really trying to work on that culture of giving back as well so that our entrepreneurs will reinvest. And we try to get the government to also make it fiscally interesting to reinvest proceeds of exits into new companies and make that fiscally interest.

Michael Waitze 10:59
So there’s this fallacy I think, are a little bit of mythology around. And I do think certain cultures are more risk averse than others. And some cultures are more comfortable with risk part of I think, what drives this and not the only thing is just the legal framework within which some of these companies and cultures get built in the sense that in the US, if you fail, and you go bankrupt, it’s not fatal, right? No, like, you can do that. And that’s okay. And you can just go right back out and raise more money, because there’s no stigma around that. But there’s also an illegal stigma around that as well. What is it like in the Netherlands?

Constantijn van Oranje 11:28
No, well, if you are funded by if you’re not funded by banks, then your investors, they’re the ones that pick up the bill. And that’s okay, you can restart in the startup community, going bankrupt is not a bad thing. I mean, we have the kind of fuckup Fridays and and you know, where people share their stories, it’s an important culture, I think, but people like it, and people know that learning is good. And that, you know, it’s better that you try, then they have no risk, and basically, nothing goes wrong. But if you are bank finance, then you will go bankrupt, the bank will sit on you for years until everything is repaid, and that get is really difficult to start to get. So that’s one cultural trait, I think on the whole culture does embed itself very deeply. For instance, the Netherlands we are we’re known to be entrepreneurial, but we actually traders, trading is a very low risk activity. Because you don’t have that much, you usually don’t have that much inventory, you basically have a buyer and seller. And so in the in the past, you’d have ships, that was the big risk, but we found out insurance, so you can insure that risk. And basically, you could trade a lot of that kind of stays in the middle. But building a business means that you’re taking on much more risk, because you are you’re stuck with that, you know, you’re stuck with being investments and, and you have responsibility for many people and and that’s a different kind of risk. And sometimes these things come up. And you wonder why it is that certain traits are so typical, but it’s actually quite deeply rooted in who we are.

Michael Waitze 12:50
Yeah. And this is the reason why I asked about culture read, I believe really strongly that if you don’t understand the local language in a country, or if you haven’t really eaten the local foods that is difficult for somebody from the outside to understand what that culture is like, and then what the impact of that is on business. And that’s why I asked about it. Yeah. Yeah, don’t you think? I mean,

Constantijn van Oranje 13:09
no, absolutely. We often don’t even know our own culture. Yeah. Because some things we just assume, or there’s kind of a local myth, like this risk thing. So we would say, Oh, we’re risk averse? Well, no. And Americans are so risk takers as well, maybe not so true. I mean, just look at how American venture capital work, they just know, much better how to manage risk, and they’re not stupid. They’re not just taking uncalculated risks. Sure, it just much bigger size funds. And by reading the risk, they have also a much bigger upside. And because they know how to capture that, you know, they can actually take early stage risk. And, and so it’s understanding risk much more in a perspective of, you know, also the upside and shrewdness as well. I mean, I don’t know how Americans do it, but $1, they can make 10. It’s by financial engineering. And that’s just, it’s brilliant. So you just every time it was innovativeness, right, it’s testing and people are always trying to find another way of doing things and that kind of innovation drive. That’s what makes us special.

Michael Waitze 14:07
So do you try to take your startups right, that are working with tech leads that are in the Netherlands and that are building not just locally, but for the world and try to what’s the right word, cross pollinate them with startups from around the world so they can get a different perspective, right? I mean, sometimes if you’re in an environment too much, all you think about is that environment. If you get exposure to the rest of the world, then you can see a different way of doing things. Do you try to do that as well?

Constantijn van Oranje 14:29
Well, we try. I mean, networking is important. So we bring our companies to the US and other places. Yes, we do that. But you know, these are independent intrapreneurs we’re not nurturing them in that sense. And okay, so but we do think it’s important that an ecosystem like Amsterdam and your the wider ecosystem in the Netherlands should remain very open to companies and talent from abroad. You need that kind of flow of ideas and what we have done in the past year taking companies to big international tech conferences so that they get that exposure and we’ve done that but it’s not very scalable. And it’s something that is kind of relatively indirect in terms of influencing how things might change.

Michael Waitze 15:07
Got it, you had talked about the investment environment. And I just want to dig a little bit deeper in this in the Netherlands and in the surrounding countries. Is there in your mind a vibrant VC or even an angel investment community? Right? If you look at the funnel for investment, angel investing at least the United States and even in Singapore as well, if you can’t get angel funding, it’s kind of hard to keep growing, right? And that’s where the most risk is, at the earliest stages. Do you see a vibrant VC or an angel investing community in the Netherlands? And if not, are you trying to develop that as well that we’re

Constantijn van Oranje 15:36
looking really at the UK there’s done a quite remarkable work from the 90s on in fiscal stimulation for early stage investment. So basically, if you invest your downside is captive, you can write off your investment and that’s you know, and the upside is also somewhat protected, and you can actually reinvest, so if you’re successful, you can reinvest in other companies and your taxes defer to that’s a really good instrument by doing that ploughed some 250 million a year into angel investment into the system. And that’s something governments can’t really do by subsidising it. And these are the really early stage companies. So I think that’s really helpful. We have an angel investors, but they’re right, relatively insular, and they want to stay under the radar. They were just the unknown. So they don’t manifest themselves like in other countries, like in the Nordics, for instance, we have strong angel investment associations, and they’re very visible, we don’t have that people basically do their own thing. It’s changing, though, because we had some big exits, unicorn exits. And those people are actually much more active as investors not only in the Netherlands, also across Europe. So we’re seeing it grow. This is definitely a point where we can improve. And on venture capital, we’re basically on the same cycle in most countries are slightly behind the UK. But we’ve increased the volume of venture capital in the last three years by nearly tenfold. So when we started Techleap.nl, we were at 750 million and last year, we did 5.6 billion in venture capital. So so that growth is considerable. I think it’s also the larger tickets, and especially American funds that are now active in Europe that maybe weren’t so active before. And they’re doing big rounds, like the 800 million rounds. We had in company like messagebird We hadn’t seen before. Yeah, we’re seeing now is there some

Michael Waitze 17:16
sense of national pride? And maybe this is a little bit off topic. But is there some tension in national pride when a company like that gets funded? And like the whole world then starts paying attention to it? If you don’t, I mean,

Constantijn van Oranje 17:25
no, we are a bit maybe we’re also of course, we attack liberal, ecstatic and the dog eat and you know, the tech ecosystem, if you can call it that is really, we want to celebrate these kinds of successes. But on the whole, the Dutch are pretty down to earth, and they think this is okay. And they might just look at it as is greedy. Or they would think Why Why does so much money to flow to a company that’s just doing text messages or something yet, or they’re doing FinTech or there’s a kind of there’s always a bit of this. As I said before, we like the independence we like the Robin Hood’s everybody’s disrupting stuff, we think that’s great. If it’s a small scale, if people can become successful and wealth comes to them, then we’d kind of look at them as the Sheriff of Nottingham interesting. So their perspectives switch that and we’re trying to change that actually saying, you know, wealth is also a sign of their success. And what we want to do is that that wealth comes back into the ecosystem will wield more impact in the next generation of companies. Yeah, I

Michael Waitze 18:22
mean, I like to say, look, one of the reasons why I’m building my company and why I want to get huge, really, it’s twofold. One is I want to have impact, and I want to have positive impact, right. So I want people to understand what’s happening and see the positive impact of it. But on the other side, if it becomes super profitable, I want to be able to take that money and use it also for positive impact, right. So the getting wealthy part is not for me, I don’t need anything, per se.

Constantijn van Oranje 18:43
But that’s what we’re here for most of the founders we talk to, they are sometimes a bit embarrassed about it, they are looking for ways how to give it away. And that’s not that easy, it’s actually pretty hard and have a lot of money to spend it on useful stuff. And because mostly you will disrupt things, you know, this is like a big company societies are generally quite well organised and already have all these interests. And if you want to change things, you’re going to just rupt stuff and that and people are not going to like it and going to stop me took Bill Gates and Bill and Melinda Gates, also a few billions before they started to figure out how to deal with tuberculosis and malaria aids that they were that they set out to deal with, because initially, they were disrupting healthcare systems in Africa. And so it’s not easy. It’s not easy giving away your money and doing it productively, but I think they’ve kind of figured it out. And this is the same for Techleap.nl, you know, we intervene in the system, you know, startup communities and founder communities are a system in the largest system of the economy and society and if you want to change stuff, and that means that you have to break things and you have to kind of open up things and and you have to be very, very inventive as well. For every problem you have to find a different solutions and not one stand alones and for instance, it might be we’d write a report or we have to present data make it transparent so that all parties see what the real what reality is and Next thing is we have to develop a piece of software, are you to create a marketplace or a publicity campaign or to start a podcast, there are all kinds of different things you do to make a change. That’s basically what we’re into.

Michael Waitze 20:13
Yeah. But it’s a really interesting point you make, and that is the press and the external world outside of the startup ecosystem, like to have this conversation about disruption. We want to disrupt this industry or disrupt that industry, which is it’s kind of a neat conversation. But you’re right, these are organised ecosystems. And by disrupting them, you’re breaking them. And they’re also second order and third order impacts of that. And that’s where things start getting really hard. Yeah,

Constantijn van Oranje 20:36
yeah, no, and I think if you are a startup, you want to disrupt things, because you want to make something much better otherwise, then reason to start, yeah, marginally optimising or improving something, then why I started, of course, we started bar, that’s a relatively well established, kind of model, it tends to work. So but if you want to start a big business, then that’s always going to be hard. As I said, it’s the same with if you want to change things through charity, right, many of the founders don’t apply the same rigour to when they’re doing charity as when they were starting their business at least as hard of maybe even harder. Because we have a business you have a product, and we’ve charity basically changes your product. And it also always requires others to change along with you,

Michael Waitze 21:20
right. And there’s an irony in this in the sense that you can’t change everything at the same time. And you kind of have to pick which one of the things you want to change, particularly when you’re giving back right. So when I develop my own company, I get to make a choice for myself, but the places to help are voluminous. I can’t help everybody. And if I help some of you, your choice,

Constantijn van Oranje 21:37
say it again, how do you come to your choice to your prioritisation.

Michael Waitze 21:41
So for me, it’s actually quite interesting, what I tried to do is figure out where my expertise is, and where I can have the most impact. Right. And I think that there’s a part of every startup founder that needs to ignore what I like to say, as engineers have taught us that we’re trying to minimise noise and find signals. And for me, I try to do that personally, where how can I minimise the most noise? Because you can’t eliminate the noise, right? And this engineer say this all the time? Where can I create the most signals? So on what do I want to focus the most, where I feel like I can have the best conversations and hence have the most impact? Right? So for me, a lot of that is around inclusion, and literacy. Because I’ve been in the finance world for years. So for me, I can have easy conversations about how to do financial inclusion and how to provide financial literacy for people that may not understand it. I love having conversations with people like you, who at a technical level, and at an exposure level, know all these different things. And I feel like part of my role is to take all those things to synthesise them, and not so much simplify them, but put them in words that people can understand. So that then I can help them make a difference. Does that make sense?

Constantijn van Oranje 22:40
Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Absolutely. One challenge I see is that actually had this conversation yesterday with someone in the university, that some of the work that I do is kind of you have to keep pushing for years. And it’s like a, it’s like a drop, and at certain point, then the whole system started to crumble. You never know when that’s going to come, you’re just like with certain materials that are inflexible, they don’t show that they are already cracking. No. So the signals might be very weak. And you have to keep on pushing, and people will tell you like, what’s the measurable output of what you’re doing, or what will an MD say, I really don’t know, you’re keeping the pressure on every time where you see something moving, jump on that ship and keep pushing it forward. And then suddenly, you see that there might be a politician who picks it up, or there might be a company that steps into that hole. And then the real change starts to happen in systems, it’s difficult. You’re never The only change maker, right? You’re like a great tune, Bear. But even she had a lot of impact. But then you still always depend on others to pick that impact and to make change in their own environments, you never know when that’s going to happen. And so sometimes it’s a very tiresome process, very pushing, and taking two steps forward and one step back. And then until the system has finally started to change,

Michael Waitze 23:50
I mean, look, I say whenever you’re trying to have impact, that you’re always operating in a vacuum until somebody else notices and until then you have to be pretty persistent and pretty confident that you’re doing the right thing. But on the flip side, you have to interact. And you have to be able to learn with some of your other stakeholders, because from them, it’s where you’ll get the information of you’re trying to change this, but nobody cares, here are the things that really needs to be changed. And this is the other kind of business and in a way life tenant that I have. And that is you have to be doing something right. I can’t sit on the sidelines and say x needs to change or y needs to change. It’s almost like having a stock position. I can tell you that Apple’s gonna go up or down. But unless I own five shares of it, I can’t feel what it’s like when it goes down. 30% Does that make sense? You got to be something.

Constantijn van Oranje 24:30
You have to have some skin in the game as well, exactly. But this is a thing. So I don’t have skin in the game with a technique. I don’t own shares in companies. I tried to stay out because I want to be a neutral figure. So people ask me is why are you so when they meet me? And they say, but you’re so passionate. You really believe you’re really into this, aren’t you? And of course I’m into this do. Why would I do this? If I’m not into this? Where does that come from? I don’t know. I mean, I want to make the Netherlands a better place and I want to make intrapreneurs more effective and if I see that things are not going well. You If I feel that I can do something about it, I want to step into it. But that’s so refreshing. You say, Well, that’s what everybody in policy or in politics should be doing. I mean, you don’t get into this space if you don’t want to change things, or if you want to make things better. Yeah, and this is what I find credible. Nowadays, everybody’s kind of just playing a show, nobody’s doing something playing a role, because this is what it takes to play that role. Instead of asking yourself, What am I going to do today and tomorrow to make this world a bit of a better place, and especially if you’re in such a position, and that’s basically why I love doing the work that I do. And I only do it because I think that the tech developments are a conduit for positive change. And of course there has there are also negative side effects. And those have to be mitigated by governments and all that. But I think the positive drive of getting innovation into the market and doing good stuff in terms of the energy transition, or you know, Whole Foods and making sure that people get access to clean water, education, all these things, they all have that drive that intrapreneurial drive behind it. Otherwise, we’ll never we’ll never get there.

Michael Waitze 26:03
I want to end on that I have so much more want to talk to you about but that is that is an incredible message. And if it’s okay with you, I want to end there. I’m going to give it another shot Constantijn Van Oranje. I did it wrong. Again, envoy Techleap.nl. I really appreciate you doing this. You’ve got to come back.

Constantijn van Oranje 26:18
Oh, happy to come back and happy to report progress. And nine, I think we do look at Asia, also with admiration of the drive there and how innovation and competitiveness is really added. And if you actually you mentioned Do we ever send companies to places we actually this is one message I got from an entrepreneur who was actually in China. He said he went out there and he was there for two years. And he still didn’t open shop because the market was so competitive. They didn’t know exactly how to penetrate it. But in the meantime, his business in the Netherlands went from a 20% growth to 100% growth rates because he was just applying everything that he was seeing around him in his home country. So that was kind of a lesson. Maybe you don’t always need to be in those countries. But if you at least get infected by them, then you bring that kind of competitiveness and innovation home. Absolutely. So thanks for the opportunity to speak and let’s meet up in a year’s time or something

 

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