StudyPortals had the honour of being invited to join the joint mission to Atlanta, Georgia, USA led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and the Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois. The Economic Mission to Atlanta, Georgia, USA is the latest Trade Mission organized by the RVO (the Netherlands Enterprise Agency) with the goal of strengthening the economic relationships between the Netherlands and Flanders on one side, and Atlanta, Georgia, USA which is the most important logistic and upcoming tech center within the USA.
The RVO selected StudyPortals to join the trade mission within the context of the Dutch edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Week that celebrates entrepreneurial spirit and rewards the best startups within the Netherlands. The StudyPortals mission of increasing study transparency worldwide is strongly relevant to the USA, which is the largest growth market in higher education, and has particular potential for international students.
Throughout the trade mission, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his support for StudyPortals and its mission to increase study transparency worldwide, and mentioned that while state secretary of education in 2006, he noted the need for a transparent overview of study options on a national level and is therefore glad to see that someone is taking up this challenge on a global scale.
StudyPortals was also the first company of the economic trade mission to take the stage. Prime Minister Rutte even submitted a review of his own study experience at Leiden University in support of StudyPortals’ student experience portal. The Prime Minister rated his MA in History study experience with a 9 out of 10, mainly due to the fact that students get access to the best Professors from their first year within the university.
The Trade Mission also featured a discussion of the economic and social importance of international students within the Netherlands, as well as the need for quality information about international student mobility options, and equal opportunity to a quality education for students around the world.
Alongside StudyPortals, the trade mission also included other fellow Dutch and Flemish company leadership such as KNAW, TNO, NXP, Rabobank, ING, Schiphol, Municipalities which also received the chance to network and attend company visits within Atlanta, such as trips to the Federal Reserve, Coca-Cola, UPS and also Georgia tech. These visits were complemented by breakfast meetings and an informal barbecue with the Dutch/Flemish delegation and an official business dinner including many representations from the Atlanta region.
StudyPortals was represented by its CEO and founder, Edwin van Rest who also took the time to visit the local universities’ leadership such as Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, University of Georgia and Emory College. All institutes responded enthusiastically to the StudyPortals story and were interested in opportunities to optimize their student population while contributing to better choice for students.
Overall, attending the economic trade mission was highly informative, and StudyPortals is grateful for the PMs for their support, the RVO’s invitation to join the mission, as well as the sponsoring and perfect organization. In the end, the trade mission proved to be a great introduction to the local economic landscape, and provided great introduction into the education leaders in the region. StudyPortals can surely recommend any entrepreneur or startup to use trade missions to countries they seek to conquer!
StudyPortals is the international study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare their study options worldwide. With over 80,000 published courses from over 2,100 participating universities and 13 million visitors per year, StudyPortals is the leading marketplace for study seekers.
StudyPortals was initiated out of an international student organization in 2009 and initially focused on the European education market. Since 2014 the organization with its headquarter in Eindhoven, the Netherlands expanded its services and is now also covering universities in the US, Canada and Australia and Asia. For universities, StudyPortals is a key channel for international student recruitment. In 2015, StudyPortals also received the FD Gazellen Award from the Financieele Dagblad for the best international growth achievement in the Netherlands.