Day with Lean Evangelist
After a week of quickly getting to know their way around the office and adjusting to a whole new lifestyle (spending 14 hours a day in a beautiful Amsterdam office, saying “Goedemorgen!” when walking into the office and meeting 10 new interesting persons a day), the 9 startups began this week in full force, early morning with an all day workshop on the lean startup methodology and customer development. It was a challenging day with tons of new information on how to use the lean methodology on a daily basis provided by Kees van Nunen, Niek van der Voort (Amansys IT) and Tijs Markusse (UtrechtInc).
Throughout the day the startups were challenged to build the tallest freestanding spaghetti tower with a marshmallow on top, to present their business model canvas and progress so far, but to also create the profile of the person that will be using their services, by brainstorming the different needs and types of approaches. Why do startups fail? Who is to blame? Why is it important to create good topic maps? These are some of the main topics approached.
Doing Dutch Business
Among 9 teams in the current Startupbootcamp program only 2 startups are Dutch. But being accelerated in Amsterdam means doing Dutch business. This is in itself a challenge for the teams from other countries which do even not know what “pindakaas” means and probably have less experience in riding a bike than a 4-year Dutch child.
Manny Soar, an entrepreneur with impressive experience in international business, helped out startups to figure out what Dutch business culture is like and to what extent it is similar or different from British, American, French and German ways of doing business. The main characteristics of Dutch people he mentioned are as follows: they are cautious and thrifty but it doesn’t prevent them from being innovators, they are tolerant but direct and opinionated at the same time. Besides, Dutch culture is quite individualistic but people still value consensus. Obviously, these Dutch character characteristics have a strong effect on the business in the Netherlands. So being practical enough, the Dutch are into solving problems. Their directness and straightness make them go down to business quite quickly and do what they say. Here it is interesting to mention that in Holland even oral agreements are defended by law. Much more valuable information is in Manny’s presentation.
De-Risking the Health of Your Startup Life
Startups in and out of an accelerator program often get so concentrated on the hard working that they easily forget about simple things such as eating. However, like we always say on Startupbootcamp Amsterdam “It’s all about the team”. In order to have a healthy startup, the team should have a healthy body and brain.
Bio-Hacker, Matt Dippl held a session on De-Risking the Health of Your Startup Life. On the one side, Matt explained the “7 High risk performance killers”. Those are side effects such as hormonal deregulation and deficiency of nutrients caused by bad food habits, stress, sedentary lifestyle and so on. On the other side, Matt introduced the “7 principles of functional medicine” which are the steps to have a killer performance such as managing stress, optimization of nutrition and detoxification.
To sum up, the brain and body need to be healthy. By changing your habits, you are able to align your brain function to your physical performance. Check Matt’s presentation powered by Startupbootcamp 2013’s Startup Presentain: http://goo.gl/4jM90.
What can Microsoft do for startups?
Emerging Business Manager Mark Voermans told Startupbootcamp teams how Microsoft can help them. The answer is BizSpark. The program provides promising startups with technology, visibility and different kinds of support. According to Mark, most teams find the new connections they get, the biggest value of co-operating with BizSpark. In fact, Mark called himself to be a kind of a match-maker since he always tries to help startups by connecting them to the right people.
As you can see, Startupbootcamp Amsterdam 2013 is up and running. Thanks to the help of our interesting speakers, the great effort of our mentors and the positive energy of our startups, we have all the confidence in that the third week will be booming as well.