Holland Hollywood: an increasingly strong connection, ready for 2015

Script writers, actors, film critics, writers of tv formats, journalists and other media professionals gathered in LA last Saturday night because the Holland Hollywood Connection (HHC) kicked off the new year with a successful networking event. Inspiring speakers from the Netherlands and the US shared knowledge and experiences with colleagues, both experienced and newcomers to the media industry.

HHC is a network platform linking the Dutch and American film, music, media and entertainment sector. With events like these, the network facilitates knowledge exchange and cross-border collaboration. HHC has existed for four years now, and is still growing and attracting more professionals to participate in the network.

The HHC new year's event in LA, last Saturday.

The HHC new year’s event in LA, last Saturday.

This evening was hosted by Rene Mioch, film journalist and producer. First he presented the new HHC-chairwoman Madelon Olsthoorn, who is taking over from George Freriks. Next, Mioch interviewed a few inspiring colleagues in the industry, and Ard van der Vorst, who attended on behalf of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. Van der Vorst emphasized how great the business opportunities are in LA for Dutch ambitious media workers, and how a network like HHC can be a great help for anyone who wants to learn more about doing business in the area.

Attendees got an insight in the experiences of film maker Marieke Niestadt and Gregory Sieradzan, who is the managing director of Beat Brokers Inc, and learned how important knowing experienced people in the business is from CCO of Eyeworks USA. The organization looks back on a successful evening, and looks forward to increasing the successes of HHC in the new year.

January 19th, 2015 by

The Dutch car that runs on the sun might be crowned the Biggest Technology Achievement of the year

Solar Powered Car Stella is competing with Apple and SpaceX for a Crunchie Award

Solar Team Einhoven managed to be listed among Apple Pay, The Block Chain, Rosetta Mission’s Comet Landing and SpaceX Lateral Booster. These are all the nominees  in the category Biggest Technology Achievement of the annual Chrunchies Awards, announced by TechCrunch and VentureBeat. They refer to the awards as the Oscars of the startup and technology world. On February 5 we’ll know if the Solar Team can call itself the winner with their Solar powered car Stella.

Till the end of this month it is possible to vote online daily, and help increase the chances of this revolutionary car. The rules state that you may vote once per day, per award category, until voting closes on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at 11:59 p.m.

The Stella-team recently traveled up Highway 1 from L.A. to San Francisco, and TechCrunch met up with them in SF to check out Stella:

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January 12th, 2015 by

Introducing Gociety to the US: the smartphone for active and independent seniors

Dutch startup Gociety is already successfully introduced in Europe and is now bringing its software to the United States.  In September the company participated in the Digital Health Bootcamp organized by the NOST and HIT of the Dutch Consulate General in San Francisco. In November, the company was selected for the Aging 2.0 Academy: a year-long program for promising startups in aging and long-term care. During that year the companies will be supported by Aging2.0 and Google Entrepreneurs to help them grow in the United States.

Gociety enables seniors to connect to the world around them more easily. The company creates software for smartphones for active and independent seniors: GoLivePhone and GoLiveAssist. One of the founders, Frank Verbeek, was at the Consulate General to explain us more about his products.

‘Active seniors are healthy seniors’, cofounder Frank Verbeek says. ‘80.000 Dutch seniors need to go to ER annually after falling down, which is one of the things we want to find a solution for. In the Netherlands this leads to the death of 2.000 seniors per year.’ ‘If you realize that the average fall costs 9.000 euro’s, you can imagine that the possibility of reducing healthcare is worth exploring’, Verbeek explains. ‘In the United States we are talking about one percent of the total healthcare costs and that’s why we want to introduce Gociety to America.’

GoLivePhone and GoLiveAssist

The first product is the GoLivePhone, a personalized smartphone that assists seniors in their daily activities. ‘Seniors can easily stay in touch with their family members, friends and professional caregivers without losing their independence’, Verbeek says. ‘The software is a co-creation of 15 seniors between the age of 55 and 95 and is therefore extremely user-friendly and personalized.’

The other side of the story is GoLiveAssist. This web app connects caregivers to the seniors who use GoLivePhone. Family, friends or professional caregivers can remotely monitor and provide support. ‘It gives caregivers the necessary peace of mind’, Verbeek says. They can track the location of the users of the app, maintain their contact list, manage medication and monitor activity.


Intelligent activity monitor

Intelligent fall detection

Intelligent fall detection











‘Because of our software family members can now see how active grandma is, where she’s been, help her adding contacts, add the latest family pictures on her phone, or send reminders when she forgot to take her medication,’ Verbeek explains. ‘Caregivers can efficiently support seniors from a distance.’

The company is already active in Europe, especially in South Europe where they work together with mobile networkoperators. ‘In the US we want to mainly focus on the Walmarts and providers in the world. The trend is accessible healthcare for everyone. We want to become the companion for seniors in the United States.’




December 22nd, 2014 by

We went to an SF New Tech pitch night to support one Dutch founder, and we saw three

Startups Fitmo, Postmob and Dashmob pitched at Rocketstudios

Because we heard that Fitmo was in town, CGSF decided to attend the SF New Tech meetup and support this rapidly growing startup during the five minute pitch at Rocketstudios. It was good to see that many of the attendees were interested in this app that was built to get you fit, but we were also pleasantly surprised to see two other startups with Aruban and Dutch founders present their product.

The Dutch startup Fitmo raised 1.5 million dollars in their first round to ‘change the way people get healthy.’ Fitmo developed an app that connects people who want to work out with personal trainers. They believe that ‘personalized health coaching is the key in achieving optimal health and that this should be available for everyone’. The app is open to the public now. Co-founder Steijn Pelle flew to the Bay Area and introduce SF New Tech to his product.

‘We want to expand to the US for two reasons. First of all the market is here: both people who need motivation to work out and personal trainers are very interested in the app and invited us to come to the United States. Secondly, the investors with knowledge about our market are here in Silicon Valley. Our app is based on a peer-to-peer marketplace that is similar to that of Uber and Airbnb’, cofounder Pelle explained to us a few weeks ago.

Steijn Pelle is pitching at Rocketspace.

Steijn Pelle is pitching at Rocketstudios.

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December 22nd, 2014 by

How economic diplomacy can contribute to deal with devastating drought

The past three years California has been afflicted by a devastating drought, both for nature and the economy. The University of California recently published a report that shows that the drought led to a damage of two billion dollars in the industrial sector, and an increase of unemployment with 17,000 people in 2013.

Pine Flat Reservoir: water table at lowest point in history

Pine Flat Reservoir: water table at lowest point in history

The Californian agricultural sector is massive, and very dependent on water. It is bigger than in any other state in the country in terms of revenues and diversity of production. This billion dollar industry produces about 25 percent of all the fruits and vegetables to feed the United States, and exports to markets all over the world.

The economic team of CGSF performed a study to understand the water shortage in California, and to see what kind of opportunities this has for economic diplomacy. The study area that was visited by our trainee Michiel Feijt as part of this study, is in the County of Fresno, situated in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas in the world which is hit hardest by the drought.

California is willing to invest in sustainable solutions, and the Dutch can help

The problem of water shortage is not only a lack of precipitation but also a problem of how the water is delivered to the users. The Delta is an important area filled with great biodiversity for fish and birds and therefore protected by federal environmental law which demands for a minimum water flow in the Delta. This means that in times of water scarcity; the intake into the delivery system to transport to southern California is reduced or cut off.

Irrigation canals fed by a ground water pump nearby Kerman, CA

Irrigation canals fed by a ground water pump nearby Kerman, CA

Since the surface water has been cut down, the agricultural sector relies more on groundwater. However, the groundwater is pumped out of the ground at a higher rate than its recharging, forcing the sector to invests in new technologies which help them to have higher production with less water. This trend in new investment is also driven by incentives from the federal government.

This is the most important lesson CGSF has learned: California is willing to invest to solve the problem in terms of policy making and management. Dutch businesses, R&D and governmental institutions can help to rethink the current situation to make the system more flexible for the future. And continue building on the long relationship which the Dutch community has with the United States for years.

Fresno (source: http://www.dirtopia.com/wiki/File:CaliforniaMapwithFresnoCounty.jpg)

Fresno (source: http://www.dirtopia.com/wiki/File:CaliforniaMapwithFresnoCounty.jpg)

December 15th, 2014 by

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