Boris Dittrich on LGBT-rights in the US and the Netherlands: a lot of progress was made in recent years

Human rights activist and former politician visited CGSF for an interview on legal rights for LGBT’s throughout the years

Former Dutch politician Boris Dittrich has been coming to San Francisco since 1975. Throughout the decades, not only has he developed a great love for this area, but during a conversation we had with him at CGSF we learned he also gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on the culture and the politics of the entire United States after living in New York for 6 years. He is here this week on behalf of the NGO he has worked for since he ended his political career: Human Rights Watch (HRW), and while he was at it he took the time to meet an American icon for LGBT-rights.

November is the month in which this global organization organizes fundraising dinners, gatherings and events in world cities like London, Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, and also in San Francisco. During the whole week, Dittrich attended several fundraising dinners to enable HRW to continue its groundbreaking work. And successfully: this week HRW raised about $3.5 million in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. » Read more «

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November 25th, 2014 by

Fitmo raises $1.5 mln: ‘A personal trainer for everyone!’

Want to get in shape just before Christmas? Fitmo delivers a ‘personal trainer in just one tab’ says Steijn Pelle, co-founder and COO of Fitmo, who just arrived in San Francisco. The Dutch startup 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 beta version of the app was launched in August 2014 and currently has 400 test users who get connected to 40 personal trainers from all over the world. Next week the app will be open to the public. ‘Coaches from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are very enthusiastic about the newly created marketplace where they can sign up for free, find new clients, keep their current clients and make some extra money’, Pelle explains. The average price for a personal trainer is about 50 dollars a month.

‘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’, Pelle explains.

Several companies showed interest, like Apple and Google. Fitmo already partnered up with Jawbone, known for the fitness wristband. ‘They collect the health data like heart rate monitoring. We add the human factor to the data and make sure that people are motivated to work out. The personal trainer checks the data and motivates you to do your workouts better. People can lie to an app, but not to a real person’, Pelle says.

Steijn Pelle and Dave Roeloffs, founders of Fitmo

Pelle concludes: ‘We are really excited. We have the chance to build the next Airbnb or Uber and we are looking for people that have experience in upscaling an international market. I’ll be in the Bay Area until Christmas and I’m very open to meeting people that have contacts at Apple, Wearable Device Companies or investors behind marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb! Also we’re looking for a nice working space between other well-funded startups or at the office of an Silicon Valley veteran to meet more amazing people. We know the way, but we want to learn more!’


Fitmo is already in the appstore. If you sign up, you can try out the app for two weeks for free. Request an invite to a free trial here.



November 21st, 2014 by

‘Compassionate film making reflects a more beautiful world’

‘I Am Los Angeles’ director Joris Debeij launches kickstarter campaign for ‘The Rider’

After producing the online short documentaries I Am Los Angeles, the Dutch Emmy Award winning director Joris Debeij launched a kickstarter campaign for his new film. The Rider is about a veteran bull rider on a ranch of Northern California. The cowboy, originally from Texas, uses an unique method to train for the perfect bull ride: ‘at the center of every successful performance is his dedication to meditative practices.’

‘Through compassionate film making we can reflect a smaller and more beautiful interesting world’ says Debeij in his kickstarter video. It will be an extension of the I Am Los Angeles web series, ‘an extension with a twist’.

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November 18th, 2014 by

The Loey awards team learns all about room-sharing giant AirBnb at CG

The team behind the Loey awards normally searches for the best innovators and entrepreneurs in the Dutch online industry, but this week they are visiting online startups and key players in the Bay Area. On Friday they came to the Consulate General where Dutchman Dennis Goedegebuure, Head of Global SEO at Airbnb, sat down to speak openly about his work at this booming room-sharing giant.

After attending the networking event that the CG hosted the night before it was an early start for the Loey awards delegations, but there was breakfast, and more importantly: coffee. At 8.30 Goedegebuure started his presentation and received many sharp questions from the guests.


The LOEY team at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco

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November 17th, 2014 by

Sit back and watch the highlights of the HitV 2014 Bootcamp

The Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp 2014 was a successful adventure for eleven young Dutch companies that took place in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley four weeks ago. To prevent this inspiring, uplifting and educational week from turning into a vague memory, we turned some of the highlights into a four minute video.

Not only does it contain footage of our app (from AppMachine), presentations and pitches; organizers, participants and experts also share their thoughts on the way startups benefit from the jam packed program that was organized by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in collaboration with DutchBasecamp and BootUP Ventures, that had the grand finale on Thursday night.

Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp 2014 Highlights from Holland in the Valley on Vimeo.

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November 14th, 2014 by

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