One of the first questions Lawrence Coburn, CEO of DoubleDutch, is often asked is if the company had previous ties to the Netherlands, thanks to its name. But “picking Amsterdam as DoubleDutch’s European Headquarters is really just a happy coincidence,” explained Coburn.
DoubleDutch has created a mobile conference application, a platform that is used at global events such as trade shows and conferences, allowing attendees to put full paper event guides directly on their smartphones. Everything from speaker profiles, schedules, maps, descriptions and more are found within the easily navigable, customisable app.
DoubleDutch was incorporated in 2011 and shortly after, the company decided it was time to go international. By the end of 2013 the company had officially chosen Amsterdam as its European headquarters and had opened an office. When searching for a location, company executives were interested in the Netherlands for several reasons, one being the availability of direct flights to Amsterdam from their US headquarters in San Francisco. “Amsterdam is like a sister city to San Francisco. Both are beautiful, walkable, creative, and filled with people of a similar mindset.” describes Coburn.
Gateway to Europe
The Netherlands’ close proximity to Germany was also a huge advantage for DoubleDutch’s market, as Germany is the second-largest events destination in the world, only after the US. It was these advantages, along with the country’s pro-business government, that made the Netherlands the most attractive location for DoubleDutch to invest. “All paths seemed to lead to the Netherlands,” according to Coburn.
Bringing DoubleDutch to Amsterdam also was made possible through the assistance of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), as the organisation worked closely with DoubleDutch executives throughout the entire search process. “The NFIA really made it easy for us. They picked us up at the airport, introduced us to lawyers that could get the company incorporated, showed us available office space and even introduced us to potential customers. We were so impressed with that – it just removed the friction for us,” said Coburn.
Today, the company employs 18 full-time staff in the Amsterdam office, and within the next year, expects the Netherlands office to grow to 60-75 employees. Coburn stresses his amazement at the international base of talent available in Amsterdam and the surrounding area.
“We have folks from about 10 different countries in that office. It’s just a really fun, interesting mix of people. And that’s helpful. As you line up accounts in different regions, it’s nice to have the local people that not only speak their language, but understand their culture,” said Coburn.
“DoubleDutch is committed to growing in Amsterdam. We love the environment we’re building there. We love the city. We love the people. We love the energy. It’s always rewarding when decisions you make work out so well.”
Source (October 2014): Invest in Holland