Consul General Gerbert Kunst, Awardee Tony Martens of Plantible Foods, and jury member of the Holland in the Valley Entrepreneurship Committee Maaike Doyer


Los Angeles – Innovative Dutch company Plantible Foods has been awarded with the inaugural Holland in the Valley Award. Tony Martens, co-founder and CEO, accepted the award in Los Angeles during an event of the Netherlands America Foundation on the occasion of Dutch-American Heritage Day.

The Holland in the Valley Award is a special recognition for Dutch entrepreneurship and innovation on the West Coast.

Award ceremony

Plantible Foods was one of four finalists for the award that highlights and promotes Dutch entrepreneurship and innovation on the West Coast. Other nominees included FarmBX/Farmtrace.com, OYA Card, and AvaScribe.

Jury member Maaike Doyer praised Plantible Foods for its groundbreaking research and work on lemna, an aquatic plant in the duckweed family. Martens and co-founder Maurits van de Ven started two years ago in San Diego using proteins in lemna to create sustainable food with the potential of revolutionizing food processes.

Consul General Gerbert Kunst said the jury selected four outstanding nominees and praised the diverse Dutch talent at work in California.

“Plantible Foods presents innovative solutions to global societal challenges, solutions that could reduce hunger and make the food industry more sustainable,” he said. “Tony Martens is a paragon for the Dutch entrepreneurial approach, and we hope that the Holland in the Valley platform and this award will inspire other entrepreneurs, startups, and scaleups to make the jump, as we’ve seen that the Netherlands and the West Coast share the same innovative mindset.”

Martens said he is grateful to receive the award. “The initiative relating to the Holland in the Valley award and the opportunity to leverage the corresponding network will only improve the opportunities that Dutch startups have in the US,” he said. “The Dutch have always been known and respected for their creativity and entrepreneurial mindset, but being able to tap into an integrated and well connected ecosystem might be just as important. Subsequently, we hope to be able to contribute to the development of this network and support future Dutch entrepreneurs in their US endeavors.”

Holland in the Valley

The recently launched Holland in the Valley network connects the Netherlands with American partners throughout the Bay Area. Government, businesses, and universities cooperate with one another so Dutch talent can kick-start their career in Silicon Valley and stimulate innovation and personal growth.

Learn more about Holland in the Valley.