The Dutch SoLoMo Ecosystem

14 Dec

ESA-BIC LogoIf the engagement at last night’s LBMA Event at the European Space Agency incubator ESIC was any indication, there is great future ahead for the SoLoMo community in The Netherlands. With speakers and panel members from local start-ups like Scoupy, Whatser, Spaaza, Localsensor and Flirtmart, the attendees were treated to excellent content and discussion on entrepreneurship in this space. Add in those speaking on behalf of incubators RockstartStartupbootcamp and Rhodan and people walked away with understanding the phases of a start-up, from incubation through acceleration to adoption. Big thanks to the sponsors of the evening, ESA-BIC and GeoRun for making this event free for most attendees.

Intro by PJ Verhoef

Local chapter president PJ Verhoef kicked off the evening by thanking “Amsterdam” to travel well outside their comfort-zone to meet each other at the intersection of rocket science and business incubation. Going through the background of The LBMA in Europe, he invited attendees to apply for (“founding” or regular) membership by detailing the benefits of each.

The Role of the Incubator by Martijn Weeber

Martijn explained what incubators and accelerators can offer to start-ups in general, and space related technology in particular. After showing some of the rocket science start-ups under their roof, he put forward an attractive  invitation to apply for the upcoming call for proposals, with grants of up to 50k euro for R&D. Incredulous start-up entrepreneurs asked how they could make money if no equity was involved in the deal. The answer is that ESA is looking to transfer their technology to society through entrepreneurs such as present.

Scoupy from Incubation to Acceleration to Adoption by Valentijn Bras

With a pace as fast as the growth of his company, Valentijn went through the history of his mobile couponing start-up. Along the way, many decisions were taken that proved to provide a basis for their current success. Amongst which were the choice to invest heavily in (expensive) SME sales from the start and to be very selective on the type of venture partners to use at pivotal moments of the growth cycle. Valentijn ended in style, by announcing their new branding campaign and offering a special “LBMA” location based coupon with some great prizes for the attendees.

What we Learned at Whatser by Michiel Verberg

Michiel helped all existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in the room with a great talk on lessons learned in his company. Starting out as a mobile city guide, Whatser discovered a few pitfalls  about the market that can be avoided, but more importantly, distilled new opportunities from these challenges. The Dutch LBMA had its first scoop in its history with the announcement of Whatser’s pivot business concept. Michiel will likely have spent a lot of time at the networking party answering questions on detail. We’ll all just be looking towards further announcements, coming very soon.

The formal part of the evening ended with a great discussion by our panel on topics ranging from the threat and opportunity of LBM to retail and the investment climate in The Netherlands through the most interesting/important developments for 2013. During drinks, many attendees said they liked the combination of high quality speakers and attendees with a more intimate setting. “At bigger conferences (that attract the same bigger names) often one is lost in the crowd, looking for interesting and relevant networking contacts”, was heard several times. We’ll commit to keeping our events focused and intimate like this for the coming year.

Sounded interesting? Come join us at next event or contact us for further information on membership.


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