After a long and successful career as an academic and politician in the Netherlands and Europe, Neelie became Special Envoy for Startups in the Netherlands from 2014 to 2016. She headed the StartupDelta initiative that boosts the Dutch startup ecosystem and aims to place it among the top 3 ranked competitive ecosystems in Europe. In her tenure at StartupDelta, she put the Dutch startup ecosystem on the map.
Since she left the position as special envoy, she’s still an active Supervisory Board member of several international companies. Currently she serves as board member of Directors of Salesforce, she is Special Advisor Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Chair Public Policy Advisory Board of Uber.
Before becoming special envoy, Neelie Kroes served 11 years as Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe and in a previous term as EU Commissioner for Competition. Before her Vice-Presidency at the EC, Kroes was President of Nyenrode University from 1991-2000 and served on various company boards, including Lucent Technologies, Volvo and P&O Nedlloyd. From 1982-1989 she served as Minister for Transport, Public Works and Telecommunication in the Netherlands. She is an international advocate for the position of women in the tech industry and female entrepreneurship.