Dutch entrepreneurs who dream of spreading their wings and flying out to the US West Coast now have a useful tool: the Los Angeles Playbook, an online guide with tips and tricks from successful Dutch businesses in LA. Their experiences and expertise are valuable to entrepreneurs who want to move their business to this economically booming city.
LA is known for its palm trees and exciting movie industry. Less well known, however, is that the city would the 16th largest economy in the world if it was a country. Tech, logistics, infrastructure, sports, sustainability, mobility, and, of course, the entertainment industry contribute to the outstanding economic opportunities in this area for Dutch businesses.
According to Gerbert Kunst, Dutch Consul General in San Francisco, Dutch businesses have overlooked Los Angeles. “While the film industry continues to draw all the attention, the city is quietly becoming America’s largest port for cross-Pacific trade with Asia. In addition to this, Los Angeles has become an appealing place for tech businesses, is increasingly investing in infrastructure, and is organizing the 2028 Olympics. The city is on the cusp of a rebirth, the likes of which it has never seen before.”
This sparked the enthusiasm at the Netherlands Consulate in San Francisco to create the Los Angeles Playbook, a Silicon Valley Playbook spin-off. It is an online guide for Dutch entrepreneurs who want to explore their business opportunities in the greater Los Angeles area.
“Los Angeles can feel somewhat alien to Dutch people,” says Kunst. “The size of the city is similar to one-third of the Netherlands, so it’s difficult to get around without a car. Business is done the American way, with an excellent preparation, a powerful pitch, and a strong focus on getting results. This is quite in contrast with how the down-to-earth Dutch people tend to do it, who often think there’s room for a second chance. Entrepreneurs who read the playbook on the plane arrive well-prepared, know where to find their opportunities in LA, and thus have a better chance at succeeding.”
Olivier Koelemij, managing director at the online media company Mediamonks, is one of the Dutch entrepreneurs featured in the Playbook. “Doing business in LA is like playing soccer in the Premier League: you have to be very well-prepared,” says Koelemij. “It all starts with your pitch, which has to be rock solid if you want to join, and win, the business game in the US. As a result of their rather competitive culture, Americans are very experienced in doing pitches. Also when it comes to job interviews, which especially becomes evident in the personal elevator pitch. This makes the process of hiring the best American employee for your business extra challenging.”
The Los Angeles Playbook launched on Tuesday, December 4, during the Dutch Pop-Up Consulate in Los Angeles. “At the moment, business opportunities in LA are there for the taking, and we at the consulate want to provide a softer landing for Dutch businesses expanding into the US,” says Kunst. “We want to show them that in LA, dreams can actually become reality, and not just in Hollywood.”