How exciting would it be to give a presentation at the 31st floor of a large office building in San Francisco? And, how exciting would it be if the critical audience were economic, science and diplomatic experts from the Dutch Consulate General’s Office? And how exciting would it be if you were just a 12 year old? Or even worse, when the subject is completely new to you? How would you feel and what would you do in order to win the “2015 e-Mobility Pitch”?
To find out, four Pitch finalists from the Preparatory Academy in Rio Linda, an underprivileged community near Sacramento, were given the opportunity to demonstrate their talents on Monday June 8. In order to somehow relax the 12 year old kids, the Consulate General and the Coast to Coast e-Mobility program (C2C) offered them to stay at a nice hotel on Sunday evening on Nobb Hill.
The children and the staff of the school in Rio Linda, on the right Peter van Deventer, director of C2C.
Furthermore, the kids, their parents and staff from Rio Linda were given the opportunity to enjoy San Francisco on a Monday morning while also making final preparations for their big moment in the afternoon. The event started with an introduction by Mrs. Djoeke Adimi, Dep. Consul General, who welcomed everyone and explained the role of the Consulate. Ms. Maria Sevilla, Principal of the Middle School gave a warm appreciation for the hospitality by the Consulate and the C2C program.
Why is it so important to drive an electric car? The kids can explain it all
Then it was the big moment for Dillon Gerolamy, Viviana Negrete, Kyle Francis and Alicia Ledesma to convince the audience of the importance of zero emission transportation for their community, the state and the world. Their presentations were loaded with facts and intriguing questions which triggered response from the critical audience. No matter how difficult, answers were provided by the kids or else promised to further look into it. And, if you think that’s easy give us a call and we’ll set you up.
After all presentations were finished, a three-headed jury convened to pick the winner of the 2015 e-Mobility Pitch Contest. Given the absolute and relative excellence of the presentations, the jury found it extremely hard to come to a conclusion and decided that all four contestants we’re winners and that they would have their names on the big trophy. However, by the slightest margin possible Viviana Negrete won and will have the trophy in her possession before it goes back to the school and be made available for the next big contest organized by Coast to Coast e-Mobility in the Fall.
Finally, Ms. Sharon Glover, Math & Science teacher at Rio Linda made us all realize how important it is that these underprivileged kids get the opportunity to elevate themselves and to see that with hard work and dedication everything is possible. With her words of great appreciation for the Consulate and the C2C program she made us all want to back to school again and be inspired by devoted teachers like Sharon.
June 15th, 2015 by Annemarie Coevert
The winner: Viviana Negrete
‘Business & Bubbles’ visited the Bay Area looking for opportunities and inspiration
A visit to the Consulate General was part of a five day program of a Dutch group of entrepreneurs and investors that travelled to the Bay Area last week: Business & Bubbles. This is a network club, with around thirty members, and has existed for about seven year. The members are innovative, fast-learning and continuously searching for new opportunities. They are both investors and directors of Dutch companies in a variety of branches
During their trip in the Bay Area days they pass by a great number of companies that managed to reach tremendous growth in this area. One of the people who was been very much involved in this for many years is Jim Connor, who is now one of the 10 members of Sand Hill Angels, but also CEO of First Focus Learning Systems and Producer/Host of the talk show Game Changers Silicon Valley. He came to the Consulate General to speak about his current work, his entire career and about doing business in the Bay Area. He concluded his presentation with some tips for the Dutch visitors.
Jim Connor presenting at CGSF for ‘Business & Bubbles’
‘We learn from our mistakes’
The Sand Hill Angels is a group of successful Silicon Valley technology professionals who provide early stage venture capital and mentorship to emerging technology companies. Connor explained how the Sand Hill Angels distinguishes itself: the group has an open approach, an investor-only membership, and the investments are made as a single legal entity.
Connor shared the journey he has had in Silicon Valley before he became CEO of a successful market leading organization, and member of Sand Hill Angels. He has had some dark years in which success seemed far away before he managed to turn his company in a market leading corporation. He learned from his mistakes and kept pushing, which is what he advises the network club to do. A very practical tip of his was that Dutch entrepreneurs need to start banging on the doors of corporates, asking for investments. It might not be something that regularly happens in the Netherlands yet, but it will be if you keep insisting, according to Connor.
June 15th, 2015 by Annemarie Coevert
Many lessons on starting and expanding a company were shared
AMS-IX is the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, a neutral and independent Internet Exchange, originally based in Amsterdam, but rapidly expanding abroad. For that reason they hosted a very successful event at the Consulate General last Thursday.
AMS-IX It was founded in the early 1990s as a non-profit and today, AMS-IX interconnects over 700 IP networks and its business traffic has a peak of over 3.5 Terabit per second, making it the largest Internet Exchange in the world. To learn more about the nature of their work, here’s a very useful video:
AMS-IX deploys three Internet Exchanges abroad – AMS-IX Hong Kong in the Asia Pacific region, AMS-IX Caribbean on Curacao and the AMS-IX East Africa Exchange Point in Mombasa, Kenya. AMS-IX’s subsidiary AMS-IX USA Inc. deploys AMS-IX New York, AMS-IX Bay Area and AMS-IX Chicago.
On Thursday the non-profit invited entrepreneurs, IX-specialists and other partners at the Consulate General for a unique event called MORE -IP US. The theme was ‘ Getting Started’, which is what AMS-IX has been doing in the US. As he opened the conference, AMS-IX CEO Job Witteman explained that the expansion is an exciting successful journey for the non-profit, which has a unique neutral, independent, non-profit IX-model. ‘We are a traveling circus’, Witteman explained:
“We are traveling around the US and we attend meetings, conferences and other events to find new partners. We see a great demand for our unique IX-model and we just hired our first US-employer, so we have every reason to be excited.”
» Read more «
June 8th, 2015 by Annemarie Coevert
Startup Europe is organizing a weeklong program under the title Startup Europe to Silicon Valley between September 21-25, to connect EU policy makers and the best EU ‘Scaleups’ with Silicon Valley stakeholders. As of today, the organization is looking for Scaleups, being companies that have outgrown the ‘startup’ status but are still on the rise, from across the EU.
Out of all applicants, the very best will be selected to attend a European Innovation Day followed by a week of meetings, workshops and lectures. This week will provide an opportunity to unite the often fragmented activities of EU Member State representatives in Silicon Valley under one single EU Flag.
According to Startup Europe, the EU needs Silicon Valley to help create economically impactful and long lasting ecosystems where innovation can flourish. Silicon Valley, on its turn, needs to align EU policy makers in order to tap into a significant market. In Europe, a new generation of startups is growing, and they can represent terrific business opportunities.
EU-countries that are participating, besides the Netherlands: Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and the Nordics/Baltics. Interested in participating? Join here.
June 7th, 2015 by Annemarie Coevert
It’s been a few weeks, but King’s Day in San Francisco still has more to offer! We created a guiding video with footage of thousands of Dutch and American friends of the Consulate General celebrating Dutch King’s Day in Golden Gate Park. Thanks to our special guide Lamar Heystek, you will definitely learn something new after watching this video.
How is a stroopwafel made? How do the Dutch eat their fries? How many bikes are riding around in Amsterdam? What is the origin of the Murphy Windmill, where all festivities took place on April 25? Watch and learn, but more importantly: enjoy!
May 26th, 2015 by Annemarie Coevert