Startup Fest Europe kicks off in Amsterdam

Virtual reality demonstration at Startup Fest Europe, 24 May 2016 (Photo: @startupfesteu/Twitter)Virtual reality demonstration at Startup Fest Europe, 24 May 2016 (Photo: @startupfesteu/Twitter)

Prince Constantijn kicked off the Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam on Tuesday morning. The Prince does not know whether startups will become the driving force behind the economy, "but they are important to renew the economy", he said in the opening speech, according to RTL Nieuws' live blog on the event.

Various startup giants will give keynote speeches at the event, including Tim Cook of Apple, Eric Schmidt of Alphabet, Nathan Blecharczyk of Airbnb and Travis Kalanick of Uber.

Former Transit minister Neelie Kroes, recently hired by Uber, already gave her speech. Her advice to young entrepreneurs is to have "a good business plan, show courage and not be afraid to say what you think". According to her, the belief that the Netherlands has few opportunities for growth is absolute nonsense. Millions are available in the country, she believes. "But you must have a good business model."

Earlier on Tuesday Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs announced that the Netherlands is investing 50 million euros into helping startups and scale-ups grow faster and stronger.