When VisualSonics, a Canadian medical technology company wanted to transition to the European market, they contacted economic development organizations all over Europe. According to Vice President Desmond Hirson, most agencies were cordial but offered little assistance. There was one exception. “I was astounded by the positive and proactive Dutch response,” said Hirson. “NFIA made it clear that they wanted us, and they made an extraordinary effort to help us find what we needed.”
VisualSonics preferred a central location near other high-tech firms where it could easily bring in scientists from around Europe. Amsterdam’s new Science Park proved to be the ideal site and currently hosts the company’s European headquarters operations, as well as sales, marketing and technical/scientific support.
“NFIA did an excellent job of coordinating the local economic development agencies,” said Hirson. In addition, NFIA helped VisualSonics find local professional support services, including a lease consultant and an advisor who helped them secure permits and approvals.
“If I were advising another early-stage company in this market about setting up a European operation, I’d tell them to go right to the Netherlands and forget the rest,” said Hirson. “Compared with our experience elsewhere, NFIA was far more organized and more focused.”
“We were truly impressed,” he added. “In fact, if I could buy stock in the Netherlands, I would.”