When Coravin founder, Greg Lambrecht, wanted to sample a glass of wine without wasting the entire bottle, he invented the Coravin™ Wine Access Systems. The system lets wine lovers access and pour wine from a bottle without pulling the cork, allowing the wine to continue to age naturally.
Based in Massachusetts, Coravin saw rapid growth and made the decision to go global in 2014—specifically focusing on the European market. From the beginning, the Netherlands was a top contender as a location for its European headquarters. According to Calli Prendergast, VP, IT and Controller of Coravin, Amsterdam’s young, multilingual workforce, its central location in Europe and its tax advantages were a perfect fit for the company.
“Everybody speaks at least three to four languages,” she said. “That was huge for us. We knew we could find a deep talent pool to service our customers across Europe.”
Prendergast emphasized Amsterdam’s central location within Europe as another major factor in the company’s decision. With the aim of selling direct to European consumers, wine shops and restaurants, it was important to Coravin to find a location that would facilitate distribution throughout Europe.
“Not all countries make it this easy to set up a business,” said Prendergast. The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) helped set up a scouting trip in March 2014 for the company. The process was so simple that, after spending only two days in the Netherlands, Coravin didn’t consider any other locations for their European headquarters. “We found everything so easily in Amsterdam. It was a natural progression.”
Once the decision was made, Coravin wasted no time in establishing operations. The company now has seven people working in its Amsterdam headquarters and Prendergast anticipates that number to grow to 20 employees within a year. In addition, Coravin is using a logistics service provider in Tilburg, which is located south of Amsterdam in Brabant, for the distribution of its products in Europe.