Dutch startups raise the bar at the Holland in the Valley Bootcamp finale

‘Google was like Disneyland!’

‘No more fifteen minute pitches for me, from now on I will never pitch for longer than two!’ That is a conclusion that Bjorn Veenstra, founder of CompanyMatch, drew after four intensive days filled with inspiring meetings, tough workshops and lots and lots of practice. He is one of the promising Dutch entrepreneurs that was selected to participate in the sixth annual Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp that took place this week.The jam-packed program lead to the official finale of the Startup Bootcamp on Thursday night. Nine of the participating Dutch startups showed off their progress and potential as they pitched before a selected panel of experts at Bootup Ventures Silicon Valley.

This panel consisted of senior vice president of IP Transactions Fas Mosleh, associate partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners David Dubick, partner at Lightspeed Ventures David Lane, GP at Eastlink Capital Steven Xi, super angel Thomas Varghese and principal at Rubicon Venture Capital Mike McCormick.

Anticipated for sometime, HitV14 bootcamp is written on the window schedule of the Consulate General

Anticipated for sometime, HitV14 bootcamp is written on the window schedule of the Consulate General

Impressively improved pitches
The entrepreneurs managed to raise the bar during the pitch night of this edition: according to organizing staff members of the Consulate General of The Netherlands in San Francisco and of DutchBaseCamp, once again the pitches reached an even higher level than the pitches that were presented during the previous bootcamp.

Part of the program were visits to organizations such as DoubleDutch, Google, Founders Space, Stanford and Pebble, where experienced team members and startup founders  introduced the entrepreneurs to the competitive startup infrastructure in Silicon Valley. They were fueled up with lots of useful advice, and here and there a boy’s dream came true: ‘the Google Campus was like Disneyland to me!’ says Veenstra’s colleague David van Driel.

The cherry on the cake of this successful week came from Bootup Ventures: the two startups that, according to the panel, showed the most potential in their pitches will be guided as they try to penetrate the US market. Bootup will try to increase the chances of iLost and Cupenya in this challenging environment.

iLost thanks the crowd after being announced winner by Marco ten Vaanholt

iLost thanks the crowd after being announced winner by Marco ten Vaanholt

Take a look at the highlights of the week in our photo gallery: A View of the Bootcamp


October 24th, 2014 by

Dutch media enterprises raise interest in LA

Digital Dutch Delight at Hollywood Conference

Economic Team of the Dutch Consulate General at Digital Hollywood Conference

Economic Team of the Dutch Consulate General at Digital Hollywood Conference

Another great initiative by the Economic team of the Consulate was launched last week: Dutch Media companies were facilitated to be part of the Hollywood media ecosystem. For the first time ever, the Consulate General in SF sponsored for the Digital Hollywood Conference in LA with the objective to test the waters on how receptive the American market is to  Dutch companies in this specific industry.

A total of eight Dutch companies were part of the contingent and were truly impressed by the opportunities to connect with American partners. Besides the fact that the Netherlands is portrayed as a great testing lab for American products, there was a genuine interest by American counterparts in the innovative products on second screen and app development.

Focus on future developments
A Dutch information stand and a panel discussion “Digital Dutch Delight”, moderated by the Chair of the Holland Hollywood Connection, George Freriks, focused on Dutch developments and outlook of the sector on how the Digital media in the future will evolve.

More information on the participants of the panel and the conference can be found on the Digital Hollywood website. Would you like to know more about the activities of the Consulate in the field of media and tech, please, contact sfn-ea@minbuza.nl or on the events of Holland Hollywood Connection contact George Freriks  hollandhollywoodconnection@gmail.com

October 23rd, 2014 by

Dutch Business Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

Dutch Business Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

The Dutch Business Conference was featured in the Phoenix Business Journal, written by Eric Jay Toll. An excerpt is below, full article here.

Looking to expand business and grow through exports means looking toward the Netherlands. The northern European country wants to see more trade to and from Arizona.

Hugo G. von Meijenfeldt, the Netherlands’ general consul, was in Arizona recently talking to economic developers and interested businesses about opportunities to and from Holland.

“We are the largest port on the European continent,” he said. “We have been since 1602.” The Dutch chartered the first multinational corporation in the world that year, Dutch East Indian Co., and today, many Dutch multinational companies are household names. Philips, Royal Dutch Shell, ASM and NXP are a few already doing business in Arizona.

Read full article here.

The Dutch Business Conference Online

October 23rd, 2014 by

Launch of San Francisco Tech Council at CGSF

On October 8, the launch and first meeting of the San Francisco Tech Council took place, hosted in partnership by Healthcare Innovation Transfer and the Consulate General of the Netherlands. Leaders from across government, community and tech industry were present to share a vision and identify goals for ‘San Francisco 2020’.


The objective of the meeting was to collectively find the best approach for engaging older adults, those with disabilities and the broader community in the city of San Francisco through technology. This central topic was based on a research conducted through interviews with experts from public agencies, community organizations and technology corporations.

Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco welcomed everyone after which the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, through video presence, emphasized the importance of this subject and the bond between the cities of San Francisco and Amsterdam. Jay Nath from Mayor Lee’s office emphasized the Mayor’s will to increase free Wifi and getting de underserved better involved in the community.

During the meeting and a design group session, expert teams formed by the different attendees identified concepts, key steps and resources needed to address improvements in four focus areas: Access and Education; Isolation; Healthcare and Life Challenges;Diversity .


unnamed-1Examples like a multi-generational neighborhood concept, ways to cut healthcare costs, free WiFi for the city and to bring us to a more connected San Francisco. This requires that organizations are willing to collaborate and build a stronger network together. Working on a compelling vision for the city of San Francisco this may lead to a longer lasting public private collaboration.

With positive energy, call to action, and clear direction for 2020 the next step will collaborative group work and the planning of the second Tech Council Meeting early December this year.b

October 20th, 2014 by

Transcense Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Transcense launches fundraising campaign for conversing with and between those who are hard-of-hearing.

Profile Transcense

Transcense was recently interviewed and featured on the Holland in the Valley website as a Dutch-led company here in Silicon Valley. Now the company is fundraising through IndieGoGo in order to launch its mobile app that will allow those who have deaf or have difficulty hearing communicate easily and effectively with those of the “hearing world”. Below are some excerpts from the interview.

What does your company do and in what sectors do you work?

Transcense aims to lower the communication barrier between deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and the hearing world. Our goal is to provide solutions that help these people engage in meaningful conversations. To accomplish this, we are currently developing a mobile application that translates group conversations into text. The app connects to the multiple smart devices present in the group. Using speech recognition and speaker identification technologies, the app recognizes who is talking and what the person says, and displays this on your smartphone or tablet. It provides 24/7 autonomy to actively participate in any situation at any moment.

Can you tell me more about the technology behind the product?

We combine state of the art technologies, and build our own layer on top of those technologies. Basically we combine the best speech recognition technology with mobile computing capabilities to deliver a real time transcription that is less than a few seconds. As briefly mentioned, we use the smart devices that are already present in the space. The deaf person comes into a meeting and has the app installed on his/her device. The person will then request the other meeting attendees to join the conversation through their devices, enabling their microphones and creating a distributed microphone array that enhances the voice input signal and identifies speakers. The deaf person now sees a realtime chat with who is speaking and what is being said.

What are your ambitions for your company?

We want to make Transcense as easy and accessible as possible to ensure a seamless integration with people’s lives. When this is accomplished we want to build it out to serve more use cases. Transcense has to become a solution for everyone, at any place, and any time. Our goal is to provide it as a 24/7 service that gives autonomy to it’s user. Starting with the U.S, we want to expand our markets over the rest of the world.

You can read the rest of the interview here. Please support their IndieGoGo campaign!

October 15th, 2014 by

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