When it comes to business we're always told there is no such thing as a free lunch. For the most part I would agree but in Amsterdam, once again, all the rules were broken.
For several months now there has been a lot of talk in the press about bilateral trade. Every country wants to boost its trade, taking head from Germany's example of how growing your exports can keep you on a path of economic growth while all the rest around you struggle in and out of recessions.
So when we were invited to Amsterdam for a two days Knowledge Transfer and networking event, we thought it might just be a good idea to attend (plus the food and drinks were on the house).
The Creative Industries "Knowledge Transfer Network" has been set up to help businesses in the digital/creative sectors in different countries do business with one another. Given that the Netherlands is not only the UK's 4th largest trade partner, but also a mostly English speaking nation that is a stone throw away, the opportunities to achieve something from this event looked promising.
We were inspired by the success stories of Jeff Coghlan (Founder of the multi award-winning MatMi) and Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten from The Next Web (TNW).
We also had the opportunity to talk to people representing Angel investors in both Holland and the UK. Some of the opportunities currently available to investors in the UK, thanks to a 50% tax break on investments of up to £150,000, makes the outlook of finding investors, even in the current climate, much more promising.
However, the most useful part of the trip from the island over to the mainland, was in the actual collaboration ideas that we managed to develop with several Dutch and UK businesses that were there. Exciting times are upon us... stay tuned for more details soon.