06:35 AM

SDForum Helps Dutch Set Up Silicon Valley Incubator

I'm a fan of the work of SDForum, which organizes conferences and events related to SIlicon Valley innovation. The organization also has a Global Gateways initiative that seeks to build connections with technology centers around the world.

As part of that initiative, SDFroum has teamed up with the Dutch government to host an incubator for Dutch companies. I spoke with Susan Lucas-Conwell, CEO of SDForum.

"This is a first for us and also the Dutch government. We have room for about ten companies in the incubator with each one staying for between 3 and 6 months. The companies will have office space and a services package that gives them access to our events and to service providers."

SDForum runs about 20 events per month and has about 12,000 members in SIlicon Valley.

The first Dutch companies are getting ready, sorting out last minute visa details. Each company is expected to send one or more people. Any type of technology company is qualified including cleantech.

The Dutch government is helping to cover some of the costs. Individual companies will pay between $250 to $450 monthly.

In a statement, Bart van Bolhuis, Consul General of the Netherlands for 13 Western States in the U.S. said: "The opportunity for Dutch companies to expand into the U.S. market is huge, but success will often hinge on understanding local business and legal processes, culture and marketing."

Increasing numbers of companies are traveling to Silicon Valley from abroad to try to learn about Silicon Valley's success, said Ms Lucas-Conwell. Next Monday, SDForum is hosting the Prime Minister of Ireland, Brian Cowen.