(Chicago, IL) –  The Kingdom of the Netherlands announces a unique partnership with World Business Chicago and 1871 to give Dutch startups a place to land in Chicago—named the “Orange on the Lake” initiative.

The Netherlands, which is in the top five foreign investors in the United States, will solidify its commitment to Chicago and Illinois with the “Orange on the Lake” initiative. Chicago is a top-tier North American metro when it comes to foreign direct investment projects, ranking first in the 2020 IBM Global Location Trends report.

The initiative will strengthen the tech and innovation collaboration between the Netherlands and Illinois while bringing Dutch innovation and jobs to the greater Chicago area. The first partnership under the “Orange on the Lake” initiative will give a select group of Dutch startups the business support they need by creating a soft landing spot in Chicago’s vibrant tech sector from which they can launch their US presence.

1871, Chicago’s leading startup incubator, will provide this soft landing by offering office space and, along with World Business Chicago, the benefit of its extensive network to a select group of Dutch entrepreneurs. Dutch businesses participating in the initiative will join Dutch companies such as Hubs, Districon, and NewCold, all of which are thriving in Chicago.

During the launch, Dutch and American experts will speak at a panel discussion on expanding collaboration between the Netherlands and Illinois. The panel will feature:

  • Dutch Ambassador André Haspels
  • Michael Fassnacht, CEO of World Business Chicago
  • Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871
  • Sander van Lokven, General Manager, North America at Districon
  • Mark Apsey, Director Sales & Operations Americas at SwipeGuide

Michael Fassnacht and Betsy Ziegler will sign a memorandum of agreement with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago to certify the partnership.

Members of the media are invited to attend and should RSVP to chi-invite@minbuza.nl by the close of business on October 21.