New Year’s Reception 2017 

The full representation of the Dutch economic network in Texas, the Honorary Consuls, the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) and the Netherlands American Chamber of
Commerce - Texas Chapter (NACCTX), hosted their New Year’s Reception, on the 17th of January 2017, at The Houston Club. We are happy that both familiar and new faces joined us in celebrating the start of a new promising year.

Opening remarks were made by Nadia Sant, President of the NACCTX, who welcomed all the attendees and introduced the NACCTX to the crowd- and Saskia Pardaans, Chief Representative of the NBSO-Texas.

Nadia Sant

Saskia elaborated on the services of the NBSO and the goals for 2017. The special overall focus of the NBSO for 2017 is ‘Connecting the Dutch’. The goal of the NBSO is to help Dutch entrepreneurs to do business in Texas. This year the office is organizing two trade missions, the first one will be a trade mission on the logistics of plastic resins in late March and the second one will be a study tour from the Netherlands to Texas in the medical field in the late Summer.

Saskia Pardaans









To further connect the Dutch the NBSO developed a new concept called ‘the Trading post’ to bring together questions and answers of entrepreneurs. You can find this trading post on our website.

Moreover, as off February the NBSO will organize a quarterly meeting, hosted by a Dutch company, called ‘Connecting the Dutch’. During this quarterly meeting, an auction will take place in which everyone can ask questions in the field of entrepreneurship to the other participants and others can offer their services, knowledge and connections.

After a brief description of all the 2017 goals for the NBSO, Saskia introduced the two guest speakers of the evening, the two honorary consuls in Texas. The first speaker is Jos Wellink, honorary consul for the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas for more than 3 years already. Jos lives in Houston and deals mainly with consular affairs. Like the NBSO, Jos is also a point of contact for companies who are looking for business opportunities in Texas.

Jos Wellink

After Jos Wellink took the stage, he opened up about the challenges people are facing in renewing their Schengen visas. He stressed the importance of being on top off all your administrative duties when it comes to official paperwork like renewing your passport. Next to his consular role, he also made an outline of Houston’s economy. Times are challenging for a big number of companies, but the new year is full of interesting opportunities. The Texas economy remains strong and Texas popularity as a home state is on the rise.

Our second honorary consul is Mabrie Jackson. She has been the honorary consul in Dallas-Forth Worth since June 2016. Mabrie plays an important role in the exploitation of the Dallas-Forth Worth area for Dutch entrepreneurs.

Mabrie Jackson

As the key-note speaker of the night, Marie’s speech was in her role as Director Public Affairs of the H-E-B/ Central Market. The theme of her speech ‘How community involvement leads to business success’, was inspired by the time of New Year’s resolutions. First she described the history of H-E-B, how a lady named Florence Butt opened the first grocery story in Kerrville TX to supplement her family while her pharmacist husband suffered from tuberculosis.  H-E-B is now a $23b company with 380 stores in Texas and Northern Mexico, with over 93,000 employees. Mabrie stressed that one thing has never changed in this long history; the commitment to our communities and the people who live in them. Today, H-E-B has mandated in their own corporate governance to donate a minimum of 5% of pre-tax earnings to charitable organizations and schools.  H-E-B focuses primarily on:

Hunger Prevention—last year over 30m pounds of food was donated to food banks in Texas and Mexico. More than 250,000 people receive a free meal during the annual Feast of Sharing events during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Education—in addition to local community giving, H-E-B has given more than $8.5m to teachers, principals, school districts and school boards to recognize efforts that go above and beyond the call of service to educate our next generation of leaders. This Excellence in Education program is largest monetary recognition program in Texas—and maybe in the US.

Military—in the past several years H-E-B- has built and furnished 12 homes for soldiers who have come back home with life altering disabilities. 

Crowd on New Years event

In addition to her notes on community involvement, she commented on the North Texas economy and the endless business opportunities, also for Dutch companies. Some of the top highlights are:

·         1 person moves to North Texas every 4 minutes

·         If North Texas was a state, it would be 9th in GDP between NJ and NC; if it were a country, it would be 23rd in GDP between Taiwan and Nigeria

·         43% of Texas’ high tech jobs are in North Texas/3,000 high tech firms in the region

·         30,000 jobs are coming to the intersection of Dallas North Tollway and Hwy 121 (Plano/Frisco) over the next 4 years. There are over $7B in development projects in this 2 mile stretch of road

Our special guests for the night, Chantal and Tako from the Stroopclub in Austin donated freshly made stroopwafels for the guests.

Stroopwafels made by the Stroopclub

We are honored to have met you at our event. Also for those of you who were not able to attend our event, we wish a successful and prosperous New Year. We hope and want to be of service to you again in 2017!

The pictures of the event can be viewed by using this link:

On behalf of the NACCTX,


Saskia en Mariella

Posted by Mariella Priem January 24, 2017

New NBSO- office in Mexico 


Since January 1st 2017, the NBSO- network has a new member: the NBSO- Mexico. We welcome our new colleague Steven Büter. We asked Steven to introduce himself and the new office in Queretaro.

My name is Steven Büter, 29 years old, married to a Mexican woman an we have been living in Queretaro (Mexico) for four years now. I studied at the University of Twente and at the TEC  de Monterrey in Monterrey and Queretaro. 

The location of NBSO Mexico is in Queretaro, since January the first 2017. Right now, we are looking for a Deputy Representative to extend our operations. Our main goal is to support the Dutch SME in all its excepts to do business with Mexico. The NBSO Mexico is closely related to the economic section of the Royal Dutch Embassy in Mexico-City and the honorary consulates in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tampico and Veracruz. 

The location in Queretaro is carefully chosen as the place to set up this office. The most important reason for this location is the fact that Queretaro is one of the fastest growing states in Mexico. There is a unique mix of industries, including agriculture, automotive, aerospace and science. Queretaro is very popular amongst international companies because of the high standard of living and security. Queretaro offers possibilities to connect with other focus-cities like Guadalajara, San Luis Potosi and Monterrey.

 For both the NBSO-Texas and the NBSO- Mexico it is very important to intensify the collaboration between Mexico and Texas in the Energy, Offshore and Oil & Gas industry. Right now, important changes are taking place for the Industry sector in Mexico, resulting in a lot of opportunities for Dutch companies.

​If you want to reach out to Steven, you can find his contact information below:

Steven Buter

[email protected] 

Skype: NBSOmexico

Tel: (+52) 1 442 3567 160



Posted by Mariella Priem January 13, 2017

Meet Vincent Storimans 

​Vincent Storimans

​First Secretary- Royal Netherlands Embassy Washington D.C.

Vincent Storimans (1979) is a Dutch diplomat who serves as First Secretary at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington D.C. since December 2015.

In this position he works on Trade Promotion, Energy and the Embassy’s Holland on the Hill Program.

Prior to his posting in the US Vincent served as Private Secretary to the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen (2013 –2015).

From 2011-2013 he worked at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Beijing as Second Secretary. In that role he was responsible for the (Renewable) Energy and Finance Portfolio.

From 2009-2011 he worked at the Non-proliferation, Disarmament, Arms Control and Export Control Policy Division at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.

In this position his responsibilities included the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

(BTWC), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He represented the Netherlands as a member of delegation at international meetings and conferences, including EU Council Secretariat Working Groups on Disarmament in Brussels,

BTWC Expert Meetings and Meetings of States Parties in Geneva, Wilton Park conferences in Steyning (UK) and the UNGA First Committee Session in New York.

Before he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he held positions at the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, working on trade relations with Turkey, and the Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (2007-2009).

Vincent Storimans holds a law degree from the University of Amsterdam (2006).

Posted by Mariella Priem January 13, 2017

Houston hosts World Petroleum Congress 2020 

We are pleased to share the news that Houston has won the bid to host the World Petroleum Congress in 2020. The last time the triennial World Petroleum Congress was held in the United States was 30 years ago in Houston.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, the U.S. WPC Bid Committee chaired by Galen Cobb, Vice President of Industry Relations at Halliburton, and Visit Houston, worked tirelessly to make this happen. The Partnership has been supportive of this effort for many years. Houston’s bid for the WPC has been a frequent topic on the recent trade missions to Cuba and Mexico.

Houston is an ideal place to convene global thought leaders to discuss innovation, technology and global issues shaping the future of the energy industry. This is a major win that further demonstrates Houston’s position as the energy capital of the world.

Posted by Mariella Priem January 03, 2017

The Netherlands is taking over SWSX with New Dutch Wave! 

World famous festival South by South West (SXSW) is coloring a little more orange next year, because of the launch of ‘New Dutch Wave’ in Austin on March 12th 2017. The New Dutch Wave consists of the ‘Take Over House’ in which the Dutch creative Industry is granted his own stage. The ‘Take Over House’ is an addition to the regular participation of the Dutch at SXSW. Startup Envoy HRH Prince Constantijn will launch the Take Over House on the festival terrain at March 12th. From March 12-16 there are endless possibilities for Dutch interactive media, movies and music.

The new public-private initiative is the result of an intensive collaboration between the ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Dutch Embassy in Washington, The Netherlands Business Support Office in Houston (NBSO), StartupDelta, Topsector Creatieve Industrie, Buma Cultuur and the municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Public participation is focused on a joint approach to position the Netherlands as one and to give an incentive to Dutch businesses. The new consortium ‘New Dutch Wave’ of Corrino Media Group, Wink and Enterprise Summit have developed a strategy to make sure Dutch creative entrepreneurs and artists are even more in the spotlights at SXSW.

“New Dutch Wave” is a physical meeting place, a showcase-pavilion and an online meeting point in one; a platform for leading creative companies. It emphasizes the Top-Ten-position of the Netherlands as creative country and the strength of the diverse ‘creative cities’. Besides that, there will be a ‘Take Over House’ in Austin in which there is room for Dutch music, meet-ups, startup pitches, art project, readings, panels and network events during the festival.

The Dutch embassy in Washington is supporting this program: there are 740.000 jobs created in the United States thanks to Dutch initiatives, most of them in Texas (86.000).

SXSW (March 10-19 2017) is an annual festival in Austin, Texas on the cutting edge of interactive media, movies and music. There are more than hundred stages for more than 2000 artist originating from more than fifty countries. Since 1987 SXSW was home to superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Jay-Z and Pharrell. Last year President Barack Obama was present too and gave a speech. This stresses the growing importance of SXSW as a mondial phenomenon.

In the next months, multiple sponsor sessions will take place to support the financing of the activities. Next to activities on the SXSW Trade Show and in the ‘Take Over House’, innovation vouchers will be granted to Dutch participants who will present themselves at the SXSW- main program. You can register here:

Posted by Mariella Priem December 09, 2016 Categories: Austin

Stella Lux Solar Car goes Texas!  


On November the 22nd- 23rd twofold world champion of the world solar challenge (2013 and 2015) Stella Lux family solar car visited Austin. TU Eindhoven's successful solar team teamed up with the solar team of the University of Texas in Austin, who build solar car TexSun, to showcase both solar powered cars in the smart city capital of the world. The visit of the TU Eindhoven solar team was part of strong ties between GSC3 partnership and PIB, the NBSO-Texas, The University of Texas in Austin and NXP.



​After unloading the cars from big trucks and picking up Mayor Adler at City Hall, Stella Lux and TexSun formed a remarkable convoy through the city of Austin. After this ride, both cars where showcased at the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, which attracted a big crowd. In the meantime, those who were interested had the ability to listen to very interesting lecture on the development of solar cars by prof. Gary Hallock, the mentor of the solar team in Austin. This lecture was followed by a very interesting presentation of  Mitchell Jacobson, the Co-Director of ATI Clean Energy Incubator, who told the team all about funding and mentoring for technical start-ups by an incubator.


​The Stella Lux sounds amazing, right? According to the proud solar team she is:


"She is intelligent, she is comfortable and she can drive from Eindhoven to Paris and back again, on

one single charge. Im talking here about the car of the future.

We bring Solar Mobility closer to society and its people. Therefore we make R&D Prototypes. Our

very first prototype was Stella. Now, Stella is made of the most advanced technologies which made

the impossible possible: Stella is World’s First Solar Powered Family car. She is designed in such an

efficient way that instead of using energy, she produces energy. This means that you are

independent of the energy grid and that you do not have to fuel or charge your car no longer.


That is what we do, We are Solar Team Eindhoven and we build a world where Solar Mobility is

reality. And we continue this path. Stella Lux was built and tested in the World Solar Challenge 2013.


 A car that can drive 1000 km on one single charge. Now, you can take your electric car to a holiday"


Want to learn more about this car, visit this page:​


Posted by Mariella Priem December 02, 2016

Meet Dale Morris 



Dale Morris is our colleague from the Royal Netherlands Embassy. He coordinates the Embassy’s Water Management efforts in the United States, in particular in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, California, and Virginia.  This work is focused through a “sustainability” lens: flood protection and flood risk mitigation, coastal and floodplain restoration, ecosystem resiliency, urban climate adaptation, smart planning and urban water management.  Morris is a co-director of Dutch Dialogues (New Orleans and Virginia), and member of various water-management advisory boards and steering committees in Louisiana, Virginia and Washington, D.C.


Morris also provides analyses of US macro-economic developments, monitors US fiscal and monetary policy, US federal budget, tax and appropriations policies, and is a long-standing member of the Embassy’s Pension Advisory Board.  Morris previously worked in the U.S. Congress, served in the US Air Force, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Virginia, and is an avid motorcyclist, hockey fan and white-water junkie.


Follow Dale Morris and the Embassy on twitter:







Posted by Mariella Priem December 02, 2016

Meet the second city in Texas- San Antonio 


Ranked as the #1 city for economic growth potential by Business Facilities and #3 among America’s Secretly Cool Cities by the Huffington Post, San Antonio continues to be a shining star in Texas. Located in south-central Texas, San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States and has a population of over 2 million. The 15 colleges and universities in the area educate 160,000 students, providing a steady supply of skilled talent to the City’s workforce of 1.2 million.


From the 350 small companies getting their start at the local tech incubator (Geekdom) to larger operations like Maruchan and Toyota, businesses of all sizes thrive here. San Antonio provides a business friendly environment to a broad range of industries including aerospace (Boeing, Lockheed Martin), healthcare (Humana, United Healthcare), bioscience (BD- Becton, Dickinson and Company, Medtronic), information technology (Rackspace), cybersecurity (root9B, Digital Defense), new energy (Mission Solar Energy, KACO New Energy), and advanced manufacturing (Cytocentrics, Indo-MIM).


Businesses are attracted to San Antonio’s low-cost of doing business, skilled workforce, central North American location with close proximity to Mexico, and high quality of life. In San Antonio, you’ll find a business community and a local government that provides business environment that values growth and an eagerness to assist new international businesses succeed here.


For more information on San Antonio and to explore target industries in six additional languages, visit the international landing page





Posted by Mariella Priem November 18, 2016

World Champion Stella Lux visits Austin! 


The car of the future, the Stella LUX Solar Family Car will be in Austin this November the 22nd and 23rd. The Stella Lux is two-times World Champion World Challenge Australia 2013 and 2015. The car will be driving around Austin at 10.30 am on Tuesday November, the 22nd with Mayor Adler and accompanied by the UT Texas Solar car. 


Posted by Mariella Priem November 18, 2016

Austin ranks no. 1 in the Kauffman start-up index 

The Kauffman Index, from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, measures entrepreneurship at the national, state and metropolitan levels across a three metrics: the rate of new entrepreneurs, the number of entrepreneurs who started their companies when unemployed, and the number of startups per capita.

According to the data, roughly 555 out of every 100,000 adults in the Austin region became entrepreneurs in a given month during the past five years, on average. Further, nearly eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs in the Austin area were employed at the time they created their startups, on average. Lastly, Austin claims about 180 startup businesses – defined as businesses less than a year old that employ at least one person besides the owner – per 100,000 residents. You can explore Austin's data in the chart embedded below this story.

In 2014, the Kauffman Index ranked Austin No. 2. San Jose, California, ranked No. 1 in the 2014 report, fell two spots to No. 3 in this year's edition.

The latest Kauffman Index ranked Miami as No. 2, with Los Angeles as No. 4, followed by Denver, San Francisco, and New York City. The full metro-area rankings from the report can be found here.

Elsewhere in Texas, Houston snagged the No. 8 spot, climbing one spot in the rankings from last year, while San Antonio ranked 10th. Dallas-Fort Worth fell two spots to No. 15.

Posted by Mariella Priem October 20, 2016
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