In-person meetups are back, and Amsterdam Science Park’s Business Club hosted their first live event of 2021. This time, it involved an immersive interactive workshop in the Matrix VII building, in which members attempted the world’s fastest business acceleration exercise.
After short introductions from Matrix Innovation Center’s Ivo Sweep and Amsterdam Science Park’s Leo le Duc and Anikka Fulop, guest speaker Lucien Burm took the floor. Burm is Chair of the Dutch Startup Association. He is also a mentor for countless Dutch innovations through 10X, an acceleration company co-founded by Johan Schaap – who also joined the event. The experts gave a short presentation on their learnings from launching some of the most innovative startups in the Netherlands. This began with the disappointing projection that the general business climate indicates less long-term growth than companies previously reached, and that the average age of companies is decreasing. The solution, therefore, is to continually innovate and launch quickly.
The main part of the event was an experiment to see how much new business could come out of a single meetup. Participants broke into four groups and put their entrepreneurial minds to the ultimate challenge – come up with a ready-to-launch business in just two 30-minute rounds. Naturally, in a room filled with Amsterdam Science Park’s most savvy businesspeople, some brilliant ideas emerged. Among them were a robot programmed with speech from grandparents and family members, a ‘doctor on demand’ app which connects the public to medical specialists, an online community for booking nannies and an initiative to repurpose ammonia from livestock for manufacturing.
The teams delivered these concepts in one-minute pitches and the rest of the group offered quick-fire suggestions for improving them. In following the 10X acceleration programme, these had to be helpful additions to the ideas, not critiques of them. The second round was a validation task, in which the teams had to prove there was a market for their idea. Some presented figures – “300,000 people in Amsterdam report feeling lonely,” for example –, others interviewed people they knew who fit the target audience. By the end of the exercise, the group discovered how quickly business ideas could accelerate with the right expertise. “It was an opportunity to pitch an idea I’ve had in my head for some time and to hear input from other people’s perspectives”, said Bart van den Bosch, a senior scientist for Avantium.
Bart van den Bosch, Senior scientist, Avantium
“It was an opportunity to pitch an idea I’ve had in my head for some time and get input from other people’s perspectives
Monalisa Goswami, director of Spark904 & Open Kitchen Labs, described this meetup as a chance to talk about completely different topics with people she frequently works with. “The pace was fast, and we enhanced each other,” she said. Another member of the Business Club, Jules Scheltes, director of DEAM, said it was “a fun, creative process and a good way to get to know other people working here.” While the high-speed experiment was a great success, entrepreneurs wanting a more personalised acceleration experience (and more thinking time!) can team up with the experts at 10X.
The Business Club intends to continue hosting its future meetups in-person at Amsterdam Science Park. As Anikka Fulop said in her opening address: “There’s much more value when you meet each other physically.” The event concluded with networking drinks for further discussions with the many experts in the room.
Find out more about joining the Amsterdam Science Park Business Club. Membership includes invitations to quarterly meetups and many opportunities to exchange knowledge with the innovators at Amsterdam Science Park.
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