Dutch startups that want to succeed in the United States can soon call for help from a special startup diplomat.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, announced the new position during her visit to Silicon Valley, the global center of innovation and technology. The startup diplomat will help Dutch startups do business in the United States.

Innovation and growth

The Netherlands is the second most innovative country in the world, according to the Global Innovation Index, and counts more than 4000 startups. It turns out to be difficult to take that next step and expand internationally, said Minister Kaag.

“There is a strong competition among young companies in the United States, but the opportunities are even stronger,” said Minister Kaag. “Silicon Valley alone has 27,000 startups, so you need a good set of skills to be successful here. The startup diplomat connects startups with investors and possible partners. This will eventually lead to more innovation and economic growth.”


The startup diplomat will work on a strong network, together with the Dutch consulates in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and the Business Support Office in Houston. Dutch startups will profit from that network.

They will work together with StartupDelta, a public-private partnership to support Dutch startups. Prince Constantijn is Special Envoy for StartupDelta: “The startup diplomat in San Francisco will have a connecting role in the tech ecosystem and the Dutch tech networks and pro-actively maintain relationships with the most relevant investors, entrepreneurial networks and soft landing programs. We’re looking forward to work together with this diplomat-new-style on new networks in the most important innovation hubs in the United States.”

Connect talent

During this innovation mission to Silicon Valley, with companies in robotics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence, Minister Kaag also launched the Holland in the Valley network. This platform connects innovation and talent from Dutch companies, universities and government, who work together with American counterparts. Innovation leads to both jobs as to smart solutions to, for example, a green economy, human rights violations and sustainable energy.

The startup diplomat vacancy can be found here.