Join Startup Grind Berkeley for our third ever event at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology - SCET at Memorial Stadium at UC Berkeley!
Wouter Roelofs is a diplomat and the Innovation Attache at the Dutch Consulate General in SF. The role of consulates as economic outposts is to facilitate conversation between nations and industries.
The Netherlands has a history of pioneering new economies and creating markets.
Some wisdom from Wouter:
1) Like in Startup Grind, I’ve found that true relationships are built in person and with experts (through travel, with visits and counter-visits). There’s no shortcut to cultural exchange. Seeing something or someone in person, makes all the difference
2) Understanding emerging tech ecosystems in regions, and the political relationships and policies necessary to enter a market takes time that private sector folks don’t have a lot of.
3) Determining what won’t work is as important as understanding what will. Solutions must fit the existing policy climate, business trends, infrastructure, etc.
4) A good public sector is symbiotic to successful entrepreneurship. Diplomats facilitate the adoption of new tech through building strategic relationships with public and private sector officials.
We’ll have food, drinks, swag, and you’ll make lots of new friends :)
Wouter Roelofs is a diplomat and the Innovation Attache at the Dutch Consulate General in SF. His role is to serve as an economic outpost and to facilitate conversations between nations and industries. He leads the team in the West US and West Canada that proactively searches for opportunities to collaborate with Dutch businesses.Read More
Wouter is trained as a project manager at the University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands. He started his career in developing cultural real estate projects. For five years he was project manager for the extension of the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (Municipal Theater) and for the renovation and extension of The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (Museum of Modern Arts).
In 2007 Wouter moved with his family to Vietnam to pursue an international career. He became director of a new development company and was responsible for the development of high-level hotels and resorts in Vietnam. When the global financial crisis effected investment funds, he returned back to The Netherlands.
Upon return, he decided to continue his international ambitions and put his experiences to use in a new area; he switched careers and started at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs).
With his entrepreneurial spirit, he set up the International Technology & Innovation missions team. A new service for Dutch companies, research institutes and universities to explore opportunities for collaboration across the world. When he left he had set up about 50 international missions, most of these he led himself with great success.
Since the summer of 2016 Wouter started working at the Consulate General of The Netherlands in San Francisco as Innovation Attache. He leads a dedicated team to pro-actively search for collaboration opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs in the 13 most Western states of the US and West Canada.
In the summer of 2019 he is returning to The Netherlands and is getting ready for a new challenge.