It was inspiring to be on the panel of dragons during the Dragons’ Den event hosted by the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce on January 14. The inspiring part was listening to dynamic, innovative British SME company owners or managers give passionate presentations on their – often unique and innovative – products and services. The dragons gave their feedback focusing mainly on the opportunities of launching these new products in the Netherlands and on how the SMEs could strengthen their pitches.

The previous dragon’s den event took place in a conference room in Amsterdam. Here members of the British trade mission prepared for their meetings in person with potential Dutch business partners . The success of this online version of the NBCC Dragon’s Den event was yet another confirmation that it is highly unlikely there will be a full return to work and travel patterns prevalent in the pre-pandemic era. Hybrid events will be the norm; online whenever possible and feasible and meetings in person for the added value that is sorely missing right now. Seeing and touching a product and interacting with the owners definitely add something special; after all becoming business partners is all about the subtleties. Still, the objectives of this event were met and I am sure many of those unique medical, retail, and IT products and services will find their way to a happy Dutch clientele.

Janet Poot