Holland vs UK in PropTech / ConTech

Julia_ValentineJulia_Valentine Member

I work for a company that spans proptech and contech. I keep hearing that Holland is so far ahead of the UK in both the construction and property markets. I've heard the architecture, engineering and construction industry is collaborative - unlike the UK. I've heard all parties involved in a project don't try and blame each other for projects going over time and/or budget - unlike the UK. I've heard that bidding processes are better regulated in Holland, so you can't just go for the lowest bidder all the time. Are all these things true? If so, is Holland reaping the rewards? And if so, can we shout about it a bit more and do some case studies so other countries would be crazy not to follow the example?



  • James_Dearsley1James_Dearsley1 Administrator admin

    One for you @MennoLammers296 @WouterTruffino17 are you guys really that far ahead or is it just smoke and mirrors.

    Great question @JuliaValentine2260

  • Wouter_TruffinoWouter_Truffino Member, Moderator mod

    It is just smoke and mirrors in the UK ;);)

    In The Netherlands a lot is going on. It is just a start but we see at our 80+ corporate partners a lot of willingness to adapt digitalization, open innovation and technology. I see that from infra, consecration and also within real estate. But we are just at a starting point.
    We will organize a TechTrip to Amsterdam very soon for some corporate construction and real estate companies of The World to come and have a look what we really are doing here.

  • Eddie_HolmesEddie_Holmes Administrator admin
    edited April 2019

    I'm sure that the high levels of tech businesses in Netherlands and nordics is largely because of a more open approach to innovation by the property industry. Well played to those who helped encourage it @Menno_Lammersproptec

  • Menno_LammersMenno_Lammers Member, Moderator mod

    @JuliaValentine2260 Don't believe all the stories. Come and explore it by yourself.. There are some great examples (and bad ones we learn from). And yes we are far far more ahead than the UK o:)

  • Thanks everyone. I'm going to try and dig out Dutch success stories. They must be out there! And then will see if we can encourage more people to talk about it. The UK has no excuse to be lagging behind.

  • In our experience @Allthings with an outside perspective on the local real estate/proptech scene, the Dutch decide fast, are quite direct and have a very collaborative mindset. Also, the Dutch are very open-minded and always look at other places for the best ideas and new inspiration. Very similar to what we have seen in other countries with smaller domestic markets, limited natural resources and a focus on the knowledge economy like Sweden, Switzerland or Israel
  • Eddie_HolmesEddie_Holmes Administrator admin

    We have wondered many times, when looking at the PropTech companies:GDP ratio data, if the higher levels in Netherlands and Scandinavia are due to better support for startups or faster adoption by industry. Would love to hear everyone's thoughts

    Sounds like you agree with the latter @Marc_Beermann

  • Marc_BeermannMarc_Beermann Member
    edited April 2019
    @Eddie_Holmes I believe latter, I don't have the impression that start-up support is better in NL or CH compared to DE and UK. In Switzerland, we don't have large government/EU-funded vehicles to support tech companies (like EU-member countries) or tax schemes for seed investors (like in Germany) or very advanced mechanisms for spinning off companies from the universities (compared to the US and maybe the UK too), but still a quite dynamic startup scene (not comparable to Israel though, which also benefits from its close ties with the US ecosystem). I am not an expert, just my observation after 20 years in the European start-up ecosystem as founder and investor.

    @Eddie_Holmes and @James_Dearsley1 : maybe a good idea to organize a tour to other places, @Mario_Facchinetti organized one for Swiss proptechs 2 years ago to Amsterdam and that was very enlightening. Now that proptech is growing up and more companies plan to expand beyond their home market there is certainly value in that.
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