Pepijn Schoen is one of the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) of the SBC Amsterdam ’14 Program. Pepijn is our Coding hero, who offers his expertise to our startups 3 days per week. He is here to help on the required tech for an in-your-hands application.
Pepijn spends the rest of his days working on a company that enables touch in virtual reality environment using haptic interaction at Heemskerk Innovative Technology. Pepijn has a true entrepreneurial spirit; he is already active in the startup scene by founding his own company, Eliandor and also his own coffee subscription service to distribute fresh coffee to all coffee lovers on a monthly basis.
In this Guest Blog, Pepijn shares his personal experience @ the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam HQ.
We are already 21 days away from Demo Day. Over the past weeks, I’ve been working closely with many of the amazing 11 teams that made it into the program. Our team of Entrepreneurs in Residence is here to support them in all kind of fields such as design, coding & business development . I enjoy the dynamic and creative environment of SBC; therefore I am glad to be part of this close-knit team consisting of both experts who joined the force just for this program and permanent collaborators.
My focus happens to be on technology. There’s an amazing amount of expertise and knowledge in nearly most fields on the SBC Amsterdam floor, so the biggest challenge for me is to connect the teams to each other. We have senior and junior developers. We have Node.JS, Angular, PHP, Ruby and C# programmers; even the odd VB.NET back-ender.
Every Tuesday, the CTOs get together and put the biggest challenge, each one of them is currently facing, on the table in the so-called Braintrust. We always try to identify a solution path to support our teams in taking action on these specific problems before the end of each meeting. For example, we’ve discussed where to find good Python developers for SendCloud, who was limited in their growth by developer manpower. They’re now attending the Python Meetup groups. In order to get at the solution, we sometimes have one of our great mentors or alumni present their insights in decision making on technology stack, development methodology, hiring and other big questions.
One of the biggest successes of the program so far, in my opinion, is the tight tech culture we have activated and promoted ever since the program was launched. Developers feel free to ask other techies for help which brings exceptional added value to the progress of the teams. The lowest barrier platform we have created within this concept is the community Skype group; over 400 messages have been exchanged through this channel over the past 2 months. There is a wide array of topics discussed, from high-expertise to programmer humor. For example, we discussed continuous deployment tools like Wercker and alternatives, but also sent links to XKCD web comics.
I find the progress of the teams, tech and business wise, remarkable. Both Iristrace and Wagaduu! put forward a completely new version of their product. Printie put out their printing kiosks at various locations. SendCloud is now growing by 8% each week. The program has been so intense and eventful with countless learning points for the teams. It would be extremely beneficial for everyone, if they could share this precious gained knowledge with the next programs. I’m super excited for the rest of the program and I can’t wait to share my gains from this program in future SBC programs across the world. I am sure that the teams will continue to deliver great value and you should definitely look forward to seeing the businesses they have developed on Demo Day.