Holland invites Canadians to PICNIC in Amsterdam

Last month I was invited by the Dutch Trade Commissioner to participate in a Media Tour to the Netherlands in support of Dutch Gaming Industry.

I accepted the invite and have written about my experience there in these blog posts (Part I and Part II).

Well, now its your turn to go to Holland and enjoy a little Dutch hospitality.

The Dutch government is inviting 15 US and Canadian IT and new media companies to visit Holland from September 20th – 25th to participate in matchmaking and networking events including the popular PICNIC festival.

The Netherlands is widely recognized as mainland Europe’s creative hub, and Amsterdam is one of the TOP 5 most creative cities in the world.

The stunning broadband and mobile infrastructure, and the low cost of communication services make that 85% of the Dutch population is connected to broadband. The 16 million inhabitants are extremely web savvy as proven recently when they managed to make their parliament election trending topic on twitter and constantly challenged Twitter’s capacity during the countries World Cup football matches.

The international oriented business culture is also reflected in high adaptation rate of business networks, LinkedIn for example has 1 million Dutch members. Not surprisingly LinkedIn opened their first mainland Europe office in the Netherlands last year and Tijmen Kos, Managing Director EMEA, Sun Microsystems states: “We chose the Netherlands because of the multilingualism, the education level of the working population and the excellent telecommunications infrastructure.”

With a multilingual educational system and an international economic focus as part of their history, the Dutch have embraced the digital technology to pursue a global citizen lifestyle. The country is in fact one big digital test bed, where a successful creative industry sprouted that is combining creativity, innovation and technology. It is also known for its diversity, with Creative Business Services, Media & Entertainment and Arts as the three main divisions in which the Dutch excel.

In an effort to bring together the innovators of the world, Amsterdam annually hosts the PICNIC festival. Thousands of people across the globe gather to share ideas, get inspired and work together on exciting topics. The festival blurs the lines between creativity, science, technology and business to explore solutions in the spirit of co-creation.

There is a special Dutch government grant available for a limited group of Canadian (and American) new media, social media, web 2.0, mobile and creative companies that will allow them to join this week filled with matchmaking, network, pressure cooker events and PICNIC festival for free.

The grant is being made available by Agency NL EVD International and Canadian companies that want to explore the Dutch/European market can apply by sending an email to Sandra Brandenberg at sandra@handelsroute.nl.  More information can be found on the opportunity on the project website: www.creativecradle.com.