Dutch startups and businesses that dream of expanding to the US West Coast now have a useful tool to navigate business opportunities in Seattle.
The Seattle Playbook is an online guide with advice and insights from successful Dutch businesses in this tech hub. Their experiences and expertise are valuable to entrepreneurs who want to move their business to this booming city, home to Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks.
The Seattle Playbook is an initiative by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, and is part of a wide range of tools the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers to support Dutch startups and businesses that want to do business abroad.
In the last couple of years, Seattle has developed into a major startup and tech hub, with an economic growth of over 10 percent per year. No wonder it has become an attractive alternative for the expensive and over-competitive Silicon Valley. Tech, e-commerce, aerospace, cloud, retail, B2B software, research, social enterprises and even agriculture, are some of the sectors that contribute to the outstanding economic opportunities in this area for Dutch businesses.
The playbook was launched in the summer of 2020, but will be officially presented during the Popup Consulate Seattle in October 2021. Consul General Dirk Janssen: “With the world opening up again, with so much focus on digital, this is also the right time for Dutch businesses to look at their business model and prepare for the future. Seattle will continue to grow, and the consulate will help provide a softer landing for Dutch businesses expanding into the US. Get informed now, we’re here to help.”
According to Consul General Janssen, Dutch businesses are often not aware of the business prospects in Seattle, which means a missed opportunity: “Seattle’s opportunities are clear: strong economic growth and home to Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing. And although big companies dominate the ecosystem, they foster many opportunities for startups. Seattle is also more forgiving than Silicon Valley. Dutch businesses therefore have a great chance to build a network, find funding, and create a profitable business. To put it simply: it’s a great place to start and learn here. “
Arean van Veelen, co-founder of OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace in the US with $14 billion in transactions, is one of the Dutch entrepreneurs featured in the Playbook. “If you are an enterprise facing startup, it’s a no-brainer to go to Seattle since the density of large enterprises in Seattle is sky-high. Additionally, the talent available is amazing, especially in the area of E-commerce & cloud technology. Finally, you’ll see that the community of Seattle is very helpful, which you cannot always say about Silicon Valley. Asking for advice is free, and people are usually willing to help you out.”
The Consulate General in San Francisco is supported by an honorary consul in Seattle, Leo van Dorp. Consul General Janssen: “With a laid-back vibe, outdoor lifestyle, and great coffee, Seattle feels like Europe. But don’t be fooled: doing business here does require adaptation. The stories of successful Dutchies in Seattle show you how business in Seattle works, and why this city might be a better fit than LA or San Francisco.”