UITNODIGING – 13 juni 2013
License 2 Growth, UtrechtInc
De afgelopen 100 dagen hebben 8 UtrechtInc startups deelgenomen aan de Pressure Cooker. Onder begeleiding van UtrechtInc en haar mentoren hebben de ondernemers gewerkt aan hun bedrijf; het valideren van hun business model en het ontwikkelen van een prototype. Op donderdag 13 juni presenteren de zeven overgebleven startups hun resultaten: Clubwatcher, <a href="http://www.rentman.nl/" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'outbound-article', 'http://www.rentman recommended you read.nl/’, ‘Rentman’);” style=”color:#ff4b33;” target=”_blank”>Rentman, Ref2Connect, Repurpose, EasyAnswer, Antibodychain & Surveyblender. De Adviescommissie beslist vervolgens wie deel mag nemen aan stage 2 van UtrechtInc. Spot hier de nieuwe aanwinsten van UtrechtInc als eerste en wellicht tref je een goede investeringspropositie!
15.30 uur | Ontvangst
15.45 uur | Start pitches voor Adviescommissie en UtrechtInc Community, Investeerders van o.a. De Investeerdersclub & overige genodigden
17.00 uur | Stemmen en beraadslaging Adviescommissie
17.30 uur | Bekendmaking welke bedrijven doorgaan naar stage 2 bij UtrechtInc
18.00 uur | Champagne! Netwerken en feestje vieren!
Laat ons alsjeblieft voor do 6 juni weten of je aanwezig bent. Meld je hier aan!
The Rise of the SIM-only
Indeed, it was in the fine city of industry and arbour that he attended courses and met like minded individuals. What’s more he came up with an idea that broke open the closed, secretive world of telecommunications.
Ever heard of SIM only subscriptions? Well before Sander introduced them in the Netherlands, they were almost unheard of! Yup, Sander changed peoples lives. Still does.
Let’s revisit 1998, when it all happened.
The Vengaboys were going Boom Boom Boom Boom. Celine Dion was torturing us with that awful song from Titanic; and most of you were probably enjoying Babe: Pig in the City at the cinema. At 23, Sander was watching other movies.
He started to build his empire: Reclavisie. Christian Visser, one of Sander’s first (freelance) employees: “I was a student at the college of design in Rotterdam in desperate need of cash and experience when I found Reclavisie in the Yellow pages. I called Sander. Before I knew it I was designing flyers, folders and posters, making campaigns and build up a big portfolio. The office of Reclavisie was chaotic, small, crowded and warm but most of all a lot of fun! “
It was a staffing agency, a consultancy bureau and even a marketing agency. All this from his rather large attic space in Rotterdam West.
After chatting with a friend of a housemate, Albert, Sander was introduced to the telecoms world. They had an idea that was to break the market open. Give clients back the premium paid by a telecom provider to a reseller, used to cover the giving of a mobile with the subscription. It was a golden market. Untapped. Paydirt.
One webshop after another, growing his user base. A stand in the central hall at the university followed; 100 subscriptions in the first week, 500 the month after. Building in turnover and confidence, Sander wanted to push ahead. Albert was not as convinced. ¦ 1,000 bought the rights to the concept and the customers.
New phone lines installed in his student room, hiring in students to call and get even more customers and service the needs of those already signed up.
Eventually there was no space in the attic for another hire. No space for any more people to process all the paperwork. So he did what any student with a proto-company would do: sign a five year lease.
At the beginning of the year he had been a child.
His investment and lease forced his growth. Staff too.
It was fun, and as fun normally is, it was messy. And therein is our next chapter! Success was on the horizon! But something darker too.
Serial Column written for HOPE by Keith Wallace, also to be read here.
After mutual greetings are exchanged, we figure out Sander knows the former owners of the cafe and I the new. One of those co-incidences that proves it truly is a small world, especially in the West of Holland.
But our happy crowded Randstad is not where Sander was born. He hearkens from those fine cultured, yet devious environs, below the rivers. A slightly soft ‘G’ and a mantel of bon-viveur give this away.
Today he has a multi-million Euro turn-over, a successful group of companies, employees enough and more on the way. How did this all start? As with most things it started with good intentions, noble intentions – those intentions that make one break into an altrustic smile.
Sander heard of a blind Polish guy who required money to get his eyesight restored. He jumped to organise a lawn sale that could help raise monies. Paper collections followed. All these efforts charitable. Local news. Indeed, Sander thought so, he even edited a paper about his charitable actions. This, he states proudly, was where his first subscription sales took place. Five Guilders annually. A bargain!
He got a taste for ‘organising things’ and became rather good at it. The familygarden providing the setting for many of these events. His father was supportive. His mother a little less so, but I guess she was the one serving coffee and orange squash for all the visitors. Sanders mom: “At that time we always confronted Sander with the question about the progress of his study – get that certificate; it was the main reason to leave for Rotterdam…ánd the way to get success much easier…we really were afraid he wouldn’t make it without a certificate and it would be a waste not to finish his study!”
After a bit of summer work at the age of 15 he decided to concentrate more on making a bit of money for himself. Business acumen kicked in. He became a car washer.
Armed with a fire hose, some soap and buckets he installed himself in the car park of the local arbeidsinspectie in Kerkrade. The employees bought into the service, as did passing clients. But the family holiday was going to eat into his profits. Nooo! He made his first executive decision, he brought on a business partner and his first employee to continue the service while he was away. MauSan Carwash was born. It never quite made it into the books of the chamber of commerce, but Sander smiles and proudly announces, it was my first real venture.
A career as an entrepreneur might seem inevitable. Not so it seems. This was rural Limburg; where one grows up to be a civil servant or work on the land. Mother Waterval, a civil servant, said, Study hard, get qualifications and find a good job. No succour there; but a common reaction of one trying to protect their brood.
Father Waterval, former director of a school, was warmer to a business future for his son. He had developed some creative learning systems in his spare time, but had never fully commercialised them. He saw this passion in his progeny.
Was there a business hero? Someone in the neighbourhood that he could follow in the footsteps of. He ponders slightly. Thinks aloud. And says no, he was inspired by Ciske the Rat.
Maybe it was this icon of the Randstad that drew Sander from libatious Limburg to the sobriety of South Holland’s Rotterdam. He again is direct in his answer. Erasmus was the best business school at the time; I made the right decision. Rotterdam made me – it was there I learned the tricks of the trade.
Serial Column written for HOPE by Keith Wallace, also to be read here.
A serial column for HOPE on entrepreneurship, investment and fun by Keith Wallace. An introduction.
Entrepreneurs, Business People – call them what you like.
Are they born or is there a special breed of man who is predestined to be take on this role?
It’s a big question: perhaps one of the greatest of the new milennium. Europe’s universities are pumping out business administration graduates like they are going out of fashion, but do they make a difference? Can they increase our economic activity to halt the decline of Europe’s trading position against our global rivals?
Further, can informal investment play a role in bolstering these plucky individuals?
Many questions. But do we have answers? The best I can offer is a subjective journey, a series of dialogues looks to entrepreneurship, education, success, failure and investment.
They centre round two people; and one company.
One, Sander Waterval, Rotterdammer, founder of MoCo, entrepreneur, investee. 22 employees, and moving to a new phase of his business life.
Two, Keith Wallace, Haagenaar, founder of De Investeerders Club, involved in Dutch Informal investment for over ten years.
Mobile Communications (MoCo) – a Rotterdam incorporated group of companies, housing three fast growth telecommunications companies. The organisation targets vertical markets, such as education, health and logistics. It currently has 22 people and is recognised by the ministry of economic affairs as ‘ High Growth’ leader – with ambitions to grow the turnover from roughly €4M to €20 million turnover.
We’re friends. Have done business together. And have an amount of mutual respect that allows for a frank exchange. I’m even a customer of MoCo. And he starts the tale!