Recap Future of Cleantech Entrepreneurship



Robert Thijssen kicking off the Cleantech Pitch Night

Some of Europe’s most talented cleantech entrepreneurs are currently touring through the United States. On Tuesday September 9th, startups supported by the EU’s Climate-KIC Accelerator visited the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. In cooperation with NOST Silicon Valley and Climate-KIC, the Dutch Consulate General organized the second Annual Future of Cleantech Entrepreneurship event, where startups disrupting the cleantech industry had the opportunity to pitch about their businesses and impress the audience.

The pitches were not only evaluated by the audience but also by expert panelist from SV Cleantech Industries. The panelists were the following: Shana Rappaport, Director of Engagement at VERGE, that convenes entrepreneurs to accelerate practical,scalable, systemic sustainability solutions. Second was Executive Director of ProspectSVDoug Davenport, which is a launchpad for technology of next generation urban systems and will be using a square mIMG_6465ile of San Jose to test driverless cars. Last but not least, Lafe Vittitoe of Silicon Valley Bank, a financial partner focused on the Cleantech Industry, helping guide them through the fast-changing environment of Silicon Valley.

In total 13 European cleantech startups got the opportunity to impress the panel and the audience. The participating startups were Senova, Plugsurfing, Cohere, Crystal Shower, Dingify, Viricity, Biomon, Closca, Libralato, Tartarus,Greengineering,Pilio, ETIndex and CO2Analytics. More information about all the participating startups can be found here.

All the startups participating had 60 seconds to impress the panel. As the last startup pitched, the panelists went on to choose three startups that reIMG_6584ally stood out. The prize of the Best Business Plan went to Cohere Energy, a startup that developed charging points that allows car owners to smartly charge their electric vehicles at home. Viriciti won the prize of the best pitch. Viriciti remotely monitors and influences the energy consumption of electrically driven vehicles. Finally, Crystal Shower won the heart of the crowd and won the audience award with his pitch about a shower that saves 90 per cent of water and energy without compromising on comfort.





September 10th, 2014 by

Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp 2014

The Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, together with DutchBasecamp and Bootup Ventures Silicon Valley, presents the fifth iteration of the Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp (HitV14). The bootcamp for promising Dutch startups will take place from October 20th– October 23rd.

Pitch at SFNT
2:55 left on the clock for this pitch at Demo Night

During this four-day bootcamp the Dutch startups will get acquainted with all the tools and knowledge that is necessary to succeed in the highly competitive entrepreneurial ecosystem Silicon Valley. The program will consist of three parts to aid these startups to go to the next level. This consists of Funding, Marketing and Sales Strategies, and finally how to ensure a soft landing in SV and growth strategies once here. HitV14 will culminate in a Dutch Demo Night, where the startups will pitch their company to investors and an expert panel.

Twelve Dutch startups were selected out of sixty applications for the HitV14 and get the chance to share ideas, seek advice, build new relationships and find new partners or collaborators. Find out which startups were chosen, and who will be representing them here!

2013 Bootcamp Participants during the Facebook visit

The program includes:

  • Workshops and roundtable discussions with industry experts in Silicon Valley
  • Individual sessions to address and discuss specific soft landing needs
  • Location visits to key players in Silicon Valley who share their experiences and insights about the local ecosystem. In recent years we visited Steve Blank, Airbnb, Facebook, NestGSV, Stanford and Flipboard
  • Dutch Demo Night, the grand finale. During this event, participants take the floor for 3-minute pitches presented before Angels, VC’s and an expert panel.

As the bootcamp approaches, more information about the startups and the program will become available, as well as opportunities to interact with these promising startups.

September 8th, 2014 by

3D Printing Business Breakfast, Big Success.

The game shifting technology of 3D Printing evolving within Silicon Valley and the City of San Leandro’s West Gate, came to light at the Netherlands’ Consulate General’s office on August 21st. AutoDesk’s Chief Technologist Ronald Poelman, a Dutchman himself, expounded on the 3D printing revolution in science, manufacturing, and healthcare. Three key projects focused on the possibilities regarding manufacturing localization, the process of individual specific organ and bone replacement, and AutoDesk’s collaboration with Smithsonian x 3D. The state of the 3D industry was succinctly summarized for attendees of the Business Breakfast.

Chief Technologist of Autodesk, Ronald Poelman shows project w/ Smithsonian at CGSF

Chief Technologist of Autodesk, Ronald Poelman shows project w/ Smithsonian at CGSF

San Leandro’s Chief Innovation Officer, first to hold the title in a municipality across the USA, Deborah Acosta detailed the centripetal force emanating from West Gate’s collaborative High Tech 3D printing companies. Present from the 3D Printing Hub included Sound FitType A Machines, and the Om Nom Project. Acosta is poising San Leandro to become to center of the 3D Printing industry by enticing company with far above average internet speeds, space, and proximity to a collaborators.

The next Peter Laanen Business Breakfast will be in the last week of September, likely regarding Driverless Automobiles! Stay tuned for more!

August 22nd, 2014 by

Winners of Dutch Demo Night 2013, SimGas, continues to expand

A SimGas Installation Credit:

On June 6, 2013, SimGas walked out onto the streets of San Francisco chosen as the best of the Dutch StartUps taking part in the 2013 Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp.

This year, SimGas is being recognized internationally for it’s work in Tanzania and Eastern Africa. In February, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen took part in an opening ceremony for a SimGas production factory in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The factory is expecting to produce 10,000 installations of its easy to use BioGas system with the goal of  “empowering Africans by delivering affordable small-scale biogas and bio-sanitation systems to customers”.

“SimGas offers a range of biogas digesters and appliances suitable for different situations and requirements, from households to small enterprises and institutions like schools. The digesters are developed and designed by SimGas BV in the Netherlands in close collaboration with Silafrica (known for SIMTANK, Simba Plastics) and other local partners.” (Source

The success of an Holland in the Valley alumni makes us proud, as well as look forward to yet another edition of the Startup Bootcamp this October. More than 50 startups from the Netherlands have applied, and it will come down to just 10 startups!

The Holland in the Valley Startup Bootcamp is a 4-day intensive program organized by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, together with DutchBasecamp and BootUP Ventures. A panel of experts, including serial entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and Silicon Valley business leaders, selects a group of promising Dutch startups to participate each year. The Startup Bootcamp offers companies the tools they need to succeed in Silicon Valley and similar thriving business communities.

August 15th, 2014 by

Rebuild by Design: New Dutch Solutions for U.S. Water Challenges

‘The San Francisco Bay Area needs to prepare for the consequences of climate change, there is just no excuse.’ – Henk Ovink, said to the audience at the Netherlands Consulate-General in San Francisco.‘Building a resilient region is about more than technology. It is about community collaboration.’

Crissy Field w/12 ft. Sea Level Rise

Crissy Field w/12 ft. Sea Level Rise Credit: Nikolay Lamm

This is how Henk Ovink Sr. Advisor for Secretary Donovan of HUD Hurricane Sandy Task Force, explained his vision of how communities can arm themselves against disasters such as the Sandy superstorm. The crowd gathered for an evening featuring Ovink and his story of how his Rebuild By Design initiative came to be – and why it was listed among CNN’s 10 Best Ideas of 2013.

Hugo von Meijenfeldt addresses MH17

Hugo von Meijenfeldt addresses MH17

The evening began on a somber note, however, as the Netherlands held a national day of mourning. Consul-General Hugo von Meijnfeldt asked for a moment of silence in respect and honor of all the victims of the MH17 crash where 194 Dutch citizens lost their lives. The reality of the situation set a serious tone for the rest of the evening.

The Netherlands has been well known for building effective water management strategies despite an abundance of water and being partly located below sea level. Leveraging the expertise of one of the Netherlands’ best water and spatial planning strategists, Secretary Donovan called on Henk Ovink, then the Netherlands’ Deputy Director General for Spatial Planning and Water Management.

Consulate General of the Netherlands

AT&T Park w/ 12ft. Sea level rise Credit: Nickolay Lamm

What followed could be best described as a unique exploratory collaboration culminating in Rebuild By Design, a design competition initiative that was named one of CNN’s 10 Best Ideas of 2013. The goal of Rebuild by Design is to find the best teams and projects for redesigning areas vulnerable to climate change, to be more resilient.

Drawing on the ‘Dutch Approach’, an emphasis on a holistic, integral approach working with cross-industry expertise, Rebuild By Design has helped build local and cross-continent partnerships with the goal to help design solutions for a resilient New York. With consequences of climate change such as sea level rise a reality in the Western United States too, Ovink urged the San Francisco audience to join him in his mission to roll out Rebuild By Design across the United States. Sandy, Ovink explained, provided the momentum to help make the impact of climate change become more understandable.

As a hurricane and post-tropical cyclone, Sandy was responsible for 117 deaths in the U.S. and more fatalities in surrounding areas.

For those who experienced Sandy, climate change became a bleak reality, said Ovink. He then presented a question to the Bay Area-based audience: why would we wait for a disaster in the Bay Area instead of proactively dealing with it? ‘Sea level rise and droughts will have a big impact on the Bay and in this progressive and intelligent area which is an example for the rest of the world. There is no excuse not to act today.’

Written by  Michiel Feijt, Water Trainee at the Consulate General of the Netherlands, San Francisco
Edits by Anne Donker and Bo-Peter Laanen

July 25th, 2014 by

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