California Loves Holland

The Netherlands and the Golden State have more in common than you might think

While California and the Netherlands are positioned on opposite sides of the world, their similarities have built a trans-continental partnership. From their penchants for innovation and pro-business climates to top tech talent and global connectedness, California and the Netherlands align.

In March 2018, the historic Clipper Stad Amsterdam ship will make its way along California’s coast to port in San Francisco. This will serve as a reminder to the world once again of the West Coast’s unique relationship with the Dutch. Here are just some on the similarities.

Business Assets for Innovative Companies

Source: Google (Amsterdam Headquarters)

With a tech-savvy workforce and hard-to-beat IT infrastructure, the Netherlands offers much of what California companies find at home. That’s why, when looking to expand operations to Europe, California companies choose to locate in Holland.

For instance, Silicon Valley giant Google was able to advance its sustainability goals through a partnership with the Dutch government when they opened a 100% renewable data center in Eemshaven in December 2016. Los Gatos-based Netflix found success when their Amsterdam expansion in May 2017 allowed the company to reach millions of European streaming customers from one centralized location. Toms of Los Angeles was able to advance their mission through alignment of company values with Holland’s strength in fashion, social innovation and creativity, while taking advantage of the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, for worldwide distribution.

Vibrant Startup Communities


Source: NFIA (Holland Tech Square, CES 2018)

Like Silicon Valley, the Netherlands is home to a vibrant startup ecosystem where innovation and entrepreneurship are championed. From programs like StartupDelta that help innovators dream big and go bigger in the Netherlands to the “startup visa,” which gives ambitious entrepreneurs one year to start a company in Holland, the Netherlands has the resources and infrastructure to support growing businesses in all industries.

In fact, the Netherlands has the rankings to back it up. Holland ranks No. 1 in Europe for connectivity on the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index and No. 3 in the Global Innovation Index. Just last month, the Dutch delegation held the largest presence by any country at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). These two rankings and the major results at CES prove the Netherland’s massive standing in the tech industry.

Smart City Pioneers


Source: Associated Press (Hovenring Eindhoven)

California and Holland have formed a partnership through sustainability and innovation to build smart cities for a better future. The Dutch are known for their clever infrastructure and California has vast knowledge in clean air. Together, through connecting these areas of expertise, the Smart Cities Initiative plans to transform cities worldwide into places more livable for humankind.

As a result, leaders from universities and companies across the Netherlands and California are building a shared economy. Through the development of widespread autonomous transportation comes less asphalt, fewer parking lots, smarter traffic lights and interconnected cars. By partnering on such efforts, California and Holland are innovating to transform cities into safer, more sustainable places.

Strength in Global Accessibility


Source: Associated Press (Port of Rotterdam)

Driven by world-class smart seaports like the Port of Rotterdam and centrally located airports, Holland’s logistics infrastructure is a major asset to California companies. While California serves as a portal to the Western Hemisphere, Holland is the gateway to Europe. The Netherlands has access to 244 million consumers within 1000 kilometers, serving as the central point to tap into European markets. By combining these two major ports, companies based in both the Netherlands and California have the ability to enter the majority of the world’s consumer markets.

California and Holland have a relationship built on creating a smarter future. When the Clipper Stad Amsterdam lands at the port in San Francisco on March 11, 2018, it will not only serve as a reminder of the Dutch-Californian relationship, but also symbolize a collective commitment to innovation and global accessibility.

If you are interested in doing business in Holland, please contact us for more information.

26 February 2018

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