Newsletter of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco 
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   Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco   
Meet the new consul general...

Dear reader,

I’m excited to start as consul general of the Netherlands for the 13 westernmost states. The Netherlands and the United States have been strong partners for a long time, and I’m honored to continue that friendship with you all, from Alaska to New Mexico and from Honolulu to Denver.

Three weeks ago, my family started packing in the Netherlands for a move to a city we didn’t really know. Today, I write this from my desk in San Francisco, working from home, and keeping an eye on the latest news about the California wildfires. If there’s one thing we have all learned in 2020, it is how fast things can change.

I’m thrilled to work in the innovation capital of the world. Finding smart solutions for the global challenges of today is what the Netherlands and Silicon Valley do best. As I’ve studied business management and innovation, I feel at home in Silicon Valley, and my aim is to help Dutch businesses succeed all over the West Coast.

I look forward to working with our honorary consuls and the NBSO in Los Angeles. I also want to thank my predecessor, Gerbert Kunst, for the smooth handover and building the strong team I will work with.

A brief introduction to me: After being ambassador in Panama and a posting in the Netherlands, I moved here with my wife Renee and two teenage sons, Felipe and Alexander. Moving and starting a new job during Covid has its challenges, but we’re thankful for the warm welcome in California. My family is excited to build friendships, go to school, and enjoy the natural beauty of the West Coast.

I look forward to getting to know the West Coast. We may not be able to meet in person right now, but we’ll connect through social media and video conferencing. Don’t hesitate to send me a message. I hope to see you soon.

Kind regards, Dirk Janssen,
Consul General of the Netherlands

Goodbye, Consul General Gerbert Kunst

After four years, we said goodbye to Consul General Gerbert Kunst. Together with his family, Gerbert has returned to the Netherlands, where he continues his work for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. With the letter below, he’d like to say goodbye to you, our valued network, and community.

The Consulate General looks back at four amazing years of strengthening the partnership between the Netherlands and the USA. Thank you to all who worked with Consul General Kunst, from Alaska to New Mexico. 

Virtual Mission LA 2028

The consulate hosted in July a virtual fact-finding mission LA2028 on sports and infrastructure. Los Angeles is preparing for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2028. The city is aiming to organizing the most sustainable games ever, offering many opportunities for Dutch businesses. This mission, with a select group of companies and organizations, was a first introduction to Olympics Los Angeles, which will lead to a follow-up long-term strategy.

LA Deputy Mayor Nina Hachigian joined the online opening session: “Thank you for bringing Los Angeles and the Netherlands virtually together. … We want to welcome the Netherlands to be on that global stage with us, and show what you have to offer in sustainability and circular economy.”

Among other participants were Casey Wasserman of the LA2028 organization, Maurits Hendriks of Dutch Olympic committee NOC-NSF, and Olympic surfer Dorian van Rijsselberghe. The mission was organized with FME, NBSO Los Angeles, HUP, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Embassy in Washington DC.

Launch Seattle Playbook

Dutch startups and businesses that dream of expanding to the West Coast now have a useful tool to navigate business opportunities in Seattle. The Seattle Playbook is an online guide with advice and insights from successful Dutch businesses in this tech hub. Their experiences and expertise are valuable to entrepreneurs who want to move their business to this booming city, home to Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks.

In the last couple of years, Seattle has developed into a major startup and tech hub, with an economic growth of over 10 percent per year. No wonder it has become an attractive alternative for the expensive and over-competitive Silicon Valley. The Seattle Playbook is the third playbook of its kind, after the Silicon Valley Playbook and Los Angeles Playbook.

 Dutch online magazine Sprout published interviews with Seattle based Dutch entrepreneurs Martijn van Tilburg and Emile Kalis.

Community Manager Holland in the Valley
Dorit Roest has started as community manager of Holland in the Valley. The consulate is happy that together with NLinBusiness, we’re able to grow Holland in the Valley and invest in its biggest asset: the network.

As community manager she will help grow and strengthen the network through events, online content, and networking alongside Michael Dooijes, the US startup liaison.

Dorit will be the main point of contact for all community-related matters to all of you. She will help identify business opportunities for Dutch and American companies, expand the mentor network, and connect the ecosystem in the Netherlands to Silicon Valley with all our means. She will also be working on the launch of the online Holland in the Valley community platform, that includes mentoring, events, virtual missions etc.
Are you a Dutch business with a question about doing business on the West Coast? Just message us through WhatsApp: +1 415 4201 469.
Did you know...
  • Dutch hotel brand CitizenM has opened its first West Coast hotel in Seattle. The hotel features 264 rooms and is designed by Dutch designers Concrete Amsterdam.
    Odette Bakker is the new honorary consul in Phoenix, Arizona. She succeeds Siebe van der Zee, who has been HC in Phoenix for 28 years.
    We celebrated Pride 2019 online with a webinar with the Irish consulate in San Francisco. Building the Transatlantic Rainbow, about LGBTQ+ advocacy in the US and the EU, featured CA State Senator Scott Wiener, Dutch Senator Boris Dittrich and member of European Parliament Maria Walsh.
What's up next?
  • Fall 2020: multiple virtual events CGSF and NBSO Los Angeles
  • October 7-8: Life Science and Health Virtual Mission San Diego
  • November: Hydrogen Virtual Mission TBC
  • November: Ben Feringa Lecture TBC

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Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco · One Montgomery Street · Suite #3100 · San Francisco, CA 94104 · USA