When digital product consultancy Rangle began expanding beyond Canada, it eyed Europe as a gateway to new markets. Rangle CEO Nick Van Weerdenburg explained that the decision was not automatic in the least. “We followed a very scientific process and we reviewed everything,” he said. “The fact that my parents come from Amsterdam had nothing to do with it,” he joked.
After considering cities across the continent, the scorecard made it clear. The Netherlands was the best choice for its central location, its accessibility to the European market and its placement in a more favorable time zone to work with Asian markets.
“It’s very central, very easy to fly to from Canada, AND Schiphol is a very busy and well-serviced airport,” said Van Weerdenburg. “We wanted to be able to get around, so there’s great connectivity with the rest of Europe with flights and trains. This gives us the footprint we need to do the business we do effectively across the globe.”
Rangle also chose the Netherlands for its healthy tech environment, which is unlike most other European cities surveyed. Like the Netherlands, which pushes barriers on sectors like AI and quantum computing, Rangle is providing solutions for the innovation-centric experience economy, creating digital solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.
“You don’t know what problem you’ll be solving three quarters from now, but you want to continuously improve how you serve customers across the customer journey,” Van Weerdenburg said. This mentality is something the Dutch embrace.
The most salient result of the vibrant Dutch tech and innovation culture is what it produces: smart innovative talent. With research centers and universities brimming with future employees, Rangle saw all of the potential it needed in Amsterdam. “The environment and the passion for technology in the universities and the quality of the talents and all the companies building software, that generates talent,” he said.
Tiers of talent
Tapping into that talent, however, it wasn’t just about innovative thinkers. More than anything, Rangle wanted to make sure that it could find local talent across the board – and the Netherlands delivered. With tech talent, design talent and even leadership, Van Weerdenburg reported that it was not only easy to find qualified team members for all positions, but that the process was quick and efficient.
Rangle looked to the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) to guide them through this process, to transition their Canadian model of business seamlessly to the Netherlands. From site visits to business introductions, NFIA was there. “They explained the whole business environment, how to bring over people from Canada, the nature of employment. There were very few surprises and we could plan and adapt well to the environment,” he said.