He first and foremost addressed the ‘young creatives’ in the audience, who represented startups from seven countries. After Knot’s address, these talents were required to give demos of their innovations in ‘near field communication’ and ‘contactless industry’, in an attempt to qualify for the big prize: funding and supporting facilities such as office space and counselling in various relevant fields.
In his speech, Klaas Knot impressed on the candidates not to be too pessimistic about the economic situation. Look at the Great Depression, in the 1930s, he said! That was a period in which many innovations came about. Inventions we are still reaping the benefits of today. From sotch tape, to electric razor, from helicopter to – Knot’s favourite – the parking meter.
Klaas Knot ended his speech by holding a pitch himself. He advised the startups to make the Netherlands their country of choice as basis for their businesses. We surpass all other countries when it comes to openness to new ideas, Knot argued. Moreover, we can boast a highly skilled knowledge workforce, an excellent IT-infrastructure and an attractive work and private life balance. In short: the ideal environment for a startup!