On 26th May 2016 I attended the Impact Startup Fest in The Hague, the Netherlands. With the tagline of “Innovation for a better world”, the event was part of the “StartupFestEurope” Festival. It was opened by Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau (Prince of the Netherlands), talking about “Outpace the cynics, reinventing the public sector”.
Held at the uber-cool Callebro Fabriek in The Hague, this industrial style venue houses a number of startups already with flexible officespace. On the day of the festival itself, several hundred other people from startups and established companies in the area came together for a series of workshops and investment pitches.
Workshops included topics such as:
- Best practices in buy social
- Can you take justice online?
- Introduction to Dragon Dreaming
- What is a B Corp and why come one
- How to do marketing for startups
- Circular economy: opportunities and challenges for impact startups
There were just too many to choose from for me! Mainly as I was there just for general information to share with my students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (where I teach marketing & ebusiness) but I imagine for startups, these kind of topics and workshops would be very useful for them.
There were a few stands where you could talk to representatives about various projects and companies.
A delicious lunch gave us energy to keep on going for a few more hours.
And inspiring signs….
There was a matchmaking track for start ups and investors, as well as “Impact startups on stage” where a number of startups pitched including:
- Black Shore
- Urban Mining
- Startups in Residence
- Missing Maps by the Red Cross
- Campus Party for jury
- Beep Parking
- Nieuwe Kiezen
I didn’t get a chance to watch many of these, or find out if they have websites, but it would be interesting to see how many of them take off from this starting platform. A great opportunity for them to practice pitching, refine their message, and potentially find investors.
What I personally liked best about the day is the energy and atmosphere when you bring together groups of innovative people together. There was quite a lot of information to take in, and as I wasn’t there looking for investment or anything specific there wasn’t one part that was most useful to me. I enjoyed talking to several people though and listening in to a few presentations and pitches.
You can see all my photos from the day in my Google Photos 2016 Impact Startup Fest The Hague album
The programme may be a little difficult to read but here’s a copy.
It was also useful to see some resources in the workshops which are in line with what I teach at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, as a lecturer I want to make sure I keep up to date with trends and tools. For example, until this event, I hadn’t heard of Nesta, which is a not-for-profit based in the UK who “back new ideas to tackle the biggest challenges of our time”. They have a number of free, useful resources to check out, such as this book Winning Together: A guide to successful corporate-startup collaborations (also available as a free PDF here) …
And a persona template, designed for startups to better understand their target market.
This seems to be an annual event, so depending on when and where you are reading this, you may like to attend the next one!