Rockstart Accelerator Pitch Night

The pitch night is well on its way with a full house.

The pitch night is well on its way with a full house.

Sept. 23rd, 2014: Rockstart Accelerator Pitch Night

No seats were to be found at Tuesday’s Rockstart Accelerator Pitch Night, only Demo Tables and engaging startup founders. Taking a break from the traditional chairs and “Sage on the Stage” set up, guests and startups alike found the event space of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco extremely conducive for networking. As soon as the doors opened at 6pm, guests began flooding in; within half an hour 100 guests had been checked in by the greeters. After a brief welcoming from Bo-Peter Laanen, Deputy Consul General Ard van der Vorst introduced the crowd to the work of the Consulate General and Rockstart’s program. Coming all the way from Amsterdam, Rune Theill and Oscar Kneppers, founders of Rockstart, took the stage to announce the expansion plans of Rockstart Accelerator into a worldwide program that will allow 24/7 work on early stage startups, the world round!

Following a round of applause, focus turned to the six startup participants of Rockstart’s Class of 2014. This year, the CG gave the floor to TopDocs, CoffeeStrap, TechnoRides, MatchHamster, SocialHoney and SongVice.  Each founder had 60 seconds on the clock to pitch their company’s product or service, unique differentiator and their next steps. Coupled with a 5 minute Q&A session, the crowd prodded the startups for more information. All were encouraged to meet the startups at their respective demo tables after the pitch.

Guests were able to present a 60 second pitch during the night

Guests were able to present a 60 second pitch during the night

Continuing with a break with tradition for events at the CG, room was made for five 60 second spotlight pitches from audience members. Truly showcasing the diversity of the crowd, pitches were heard from five different nationalities. In closing the formal part of the program, Bo-Peter encouraged all to connect and see the demos from the startups. Even with another hour and a half on the event clock, the room was bustling with activity until closing time.

The Consulate General of the Netherlands is happy to have hosted Rockstart Accelerator once more during their yearly program to Silicon Valley. Hosting events such as these showcase our sustained efforts to support startups from the Netherlands, Europe and beyond. Thanks to all who attended in the continued quest to build the bridge between the Netherlands and Silicon Valley.

Follow the event via Storify

September 25th, 2014 by

Recap Future of Cleantech Entrepreneurship

Robert Thijssen kicking off the Cleantech Pitch Night

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.

Cohere Energy makes their winning cleantech pitch

Cohere Energy makes their winning pitch

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 mile 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.

Chrystal Showers accepts the best overall cleantech pitch

Chrystal Showers accepts the best overall cleantech pitch

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 really 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

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