Edo Offerhaus of NLinBusiness (right) and Consul General Gerbert Kunst sign the partnership in a video call.


“To support Dutch SMEs, startups, and scale-ups in the United States in limiting the economic impact of the corona crisis, but at the same time building toward an innovative future in California.”

To that end, NLinBusiness and Holland in the Valley, an initiative of the Dutch consulate in San Francisco, have entered into a partnership. The partnership is the first digital business hub where entrepreneurs find everything they need to have a jump-start in the global center of technological innovation.

With the Holland in the Valley network, the Consulate General and NLinBusiness bridge the gap between business and talent in the Netherlands and Silicon Valley. Due to the corona crisis, services for the business community are offered completely online via the so-called eConsulate San Francisco. For example, services such as matchmaking, mentoring and virtual trade missions have all been made digitally accessible. In this collaboration, NLinBusiness’s NL Business Hub formula focuses mainly on community management to accelerate the development of online services for entrepreneurs.

Support of talent

The aim of the partnership is twofold: to enable Dutch startups to grow faster and more sustainably in the “tech capital of the world,” and to support entrepreneurial talent. Corporate and academic partners, such as Silicon Valley Bank, Shell, Palo Alto Networks, and the Alliance of Dutch Universities, have previously joined Holland in the Valley. Within the network, startups are mentored by successful Dutch entrepreneurs in the Valley, students have internships at large tech companies, and the NL Growth Labs program offers scale-ups a tailor-made incubator program, in addition to a curriculum of the associated Digital Founders Academy. NLinBusiness’s objectives of setting up hubs worldwide fit in well with these activities.

Strengthen network

During the corona crisis, the focus of Holland in the Valley and NLinBusiness will be on supporting the business community, virtually expanding this network, and offering digital solutions for events and trade missions. Beyond corona, the partnership will actively support Dutch SMEs, startups and scale-ups in their needs for matchmaking or soft landing in Silicon Valley. Special attention goes to successful sectors in California such as agritech, horticulture, sports, water management, circular economy and smart mobility. The first virtual trade missions to California are expected in June.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation: “2.5 million Dutch jobs depend on foreign trade. We need to support these international companies now so they can do business successfully again later. This collaboration between NLinBusiness, Holland in the Valley and the Consulate in San Francisco is a good example of how business and government are joining forces in this difficult time. The NL Business HUB brings together Dutch and American innovation and expertise: currently digitally with virtual trade missions and online matchmaking, later again in real life. All this is needed in order to continue to work on sustainable growth and prosperity.”

Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate: “Startups and scale-ups are very important for the future of our economy and our society. They provide tomorrow’s income and jobs and contribute innovative solutions and services to solve global challenges, such as the corona crisis. That is why I am happy with this strengthening of our Holland in the Valley network. Together with NLinBusiness, they help our Dutch growth-heroes to continue doing business despite all the misery, and show the very promising American market what they have to offer. ”

Hans de Boer, chairman VNO-NCW: “At NLinBusiness we work together with many partners in forty promising world cities on public-private partnerships of this kid. The aim is to always ensure that Dutch entrepreneurs are well-supported onsite and can get a jump-start. I am very grateful to the Holland in the Valley team and the Consul General for all their support and cooperation in Silicon Valley. This will benefit both the Dutch and Americans, with sustainable growth and new jobs. It is great to see how to do this digitally in this unprecedented corona crisis.”

Edo Offerhaus, General Manager NLinBusiness: “The NL Business Hub San Francisco is an important new ‘hub’ in one of our Cities of Opportunity. San Francisco offers plenty of opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs and the Holland in the Valley consortium helps to make better use of them. In Holland in the Valley, we recognize the energy and ambition when it comes to supporting Dutch entrepreneurs abroad. We are pleased that we can contribute to this with our knowledge and expertise in the field of business community management and digital platforms.”

Gerbert Kunst, Consul General in San Francisco: “I am proud that NLinBusiness is becoming one of Holland in the Valley’s partners. Entrepreneurs are troubled by the economic consequences of the corona crisis, which is a threat to employment and prosperity. Right now we need to innovate our services to help them get back on their feet. Just as in our eConsulate, we have to do this digitally and with an out-of-the box approach. The Holland in the Valley program links the innovative mindset of the Netherlands and our solutions for social challenges to Silicon Valley, where innovation and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. In short, this is the right place for NLinBusiness.”