From design and architecture to fashion and digital media, the Dutch believe innovation makes business more competitive and society more prosperous. After twelve years in London, Marco Oonk, Managing Director of 123RF is now embracing creative energy in Amsterdam.
Making a personal connection
“Although a creative company can set up anywhere, we wanted to take our online business model and create a more personal connection,” explained Oonk. “So, when we expanded from London, we decided on a less traditional office format. Here, under the old railway arches in the heart of Amsterdam, we’ve created a gallery that opens onto the street. We showcase art, hold events and sell prints from our collections — and the public and clients can just walk in and be a part of it.”
123RF took what Oonk describes as an entrepreneurial, spontaneous approach to setting up their Dutch operation, though he is keen to point out that more formal business help is available. In addition to the NFIA, businesses can walk into the Chamber of Commerce for advice on finding premises, opening a bank account and all the other paperwork involved in setting up a business.
“Amsterdam has that energy you need for a creative city,” he concluded. “It’s like London in many ways, but more collaborative and inclusive. We’ve certainly had a warm welcome.”