The Dutch delegation at CES 2019.
By Keeke van Paassen
Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco
What would Dutch Master Rembrandt van Rijn think of Las Vegas? Would he be impressed by the hotels in Greek and Roman style, or shocked by the bright, flashing lights that surround you? One thing for sure is that he would be impressed by the Holland Tech Square at the Consumer Electronics Show. With 50 Dutch startups showcasing their newest products, the pavilion will also present a virtual reality version of his most famous work, “The Night Watch.”
“Rembrandt is one of greatest old masters of the Dutch arts, and one of our first innovators. Today we have new masters and innovators: the many Dutch startups that show how the Netherlands is one of the most innovative countries in the world,” says Consul General Gerbert Kunst. “In this virtual reality re-creation of Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch,’ Estella Tse brings together Dutch art and tech, our history, and our modern present. I’m excited to share ‘The Night Watch’ in VR at CES 2019, together with the most innovative Dutch startups. Dutch tech is tech for good. It delivers smart solutions to the world’s biggest challenges, and these startups are ready to make an impressive impact, just as Rembrandt has been doing for more than 350 years.”
CES, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, provides a platform for innovators to present their breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations to the marketplace.
From HealthTech to robotics, ConsumerTech, and artificial intelligence, Dutch startups cover a wide array of innovative technological fields.
“The Netherlands has world-class technology and entrepreneurs who aim to use it to tackle major societal challenges,” said HRH Prince Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy at Startup Delta, the organization working with public and private partners to strengthen and connect the Dutch startup ecosystem and help startups realize their global growth potential. “The goal is to introduce these startups at CES to potential investors, customers, partners, and distributors.”
A top startup ecosystem
The Netherlands is one of the top startup ecosystems in the world and offers talented people from all over the world the opportunity to explore, communicate, create, and grow into successful innovators. At CES, the Dutch businesses will represent the current Dutch culture, which includes much more than just our innovative spirit.
All in all, CES is a heaven for all the tech-savvy Dutchies, and thus a great place to connect with fellow innovators.
Noelani Reyes from DashTag, a startup that creates personal soccer trackers to improve players’ performance, says her company’s goal is to connect with as many relevant people as possible. “Being in the largest convention is also a great way to see how other companies present their products, just to be in a room with so many creative minds is enlightening,” Reyes says. “We’re also looking into opportunities for possible partnerships, so we hope to meet some valuable contacts!”
Daan Pels from Gemvision, a startup that focuses on augmented reality, plans to launch its “augmented workforce communication” solution at CES.
“We hope to see great reactions and people that see Gemvision work in places we haven’t thought of yet,” says Pels. “ This would mean a great deal to Gemvision and the future of this company. Next to we hope to further validate our traction in healthcare, industry, and maritime sectors.”
Woei-Sang Tang from Expivi, a 3D ecommerce platform, said the startup “had a successful experience from CES 2018, and (we) believe, with a further developed and mature software, we will succeed even more this year. We hope to aquire new clients and leads in US and possibly create the first steps towards investment from US venture capitalists.”
Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer joins the 50 startups at CES, after visiting the automobile industry in Detroit and before visiting Silicon Valley.
“Dutch innovative entrepreneurs always look for opportunities in the area of knowledge, financing, and partnerships to improve their products or services,” she says. “That’s why our government supports them in seizing opportunities in the United States, which is the biggest investor in our country. We search for potential partnerships or specific markets. CES offers both, as does the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in June, which the United States and the Netherlands are organizing together.”
Although he painted “The Night Watch,” Rembrandt would surely be mesmerized by the ability to walk through his painting using VR glasses. That’s what CES is all about: old masters meeting new masters.