Many economic sectors are struggling at the moment. So the City of Groningen, Studio Plakband, Appademic, Yes!, NOO, Startup Weekend Groningen and Founded in Groningen decided to bring together all of the Groningen entrepreneurial and creative talent. The goal? To come up with solutions for local retailers, the hospitality sector, beauty and grooming businesses, health- and daycare and education, by organizing two 26 hour long idea sprints.
Four teams of entrepreneurs, developers and creatives tackled three challenges for the first edition: supporting local retailers, help out barbershops and come up with ways to make remote education for schools more interactive and help motivate kids to learn. The jury for this first sprint consisted of Aziz Al-Harazi (founder and CEO Payt), Paul de Rook (City Alderman) and Jellie Tiemersma (Treasurer VNO-NCW Noord), moderated by Wilbert van de Kamp. These are the ideas, along with feedback from the jury:
Online platform for local shopping Warehouse Groningen wants to support local retailers by offering theme packages. The first team, including Tomorrowmen founder Yorick Voorthuijzen, came up with G(r)unnen, a themed box with local products, curated by local celebrities and influencers and designed by local graphic artists. “We want people to discover new local shops through their favorite artists and influencers. Like famous rapper Kraantje Pappie, curating a box with clothes from his favorite local stores, a bottle of his favorite wine, a ginger shot from Smooth Brothers where he’s a frequent customer, designed by Knetterijs, a local artist collective and personal friends of Kraantje. We want these boxes to have real value, with limited editions, along with a booklet with stories of those store owners. And of course have those monthly boxes delivered in a sustainable way.”
The jury verdict: “Overall, it’s a really great idea”, says Paul de Rook. “There are local initiatives doing similar things, so while it may not be original, it can be quickly and easily implemented, using existing channels. We would still need to figure out pricing and a more detailed plan, but we’re enthusiastic about the potential.”
Beauty and grooming
The local beauty and retail sector, like barbershops, currently don’t have any form of revenue. The second team, including entrepreneur Srinivas Sista, came up with WOW!, a digital platform for barbers. “With our subscription based platform, users can get hairstyling tips and tricks from their local stylists, as well as personal online consultations. This will help barbers make some money during the lockdown, as well as create an alternative income revenue afterwards. It will also offer a long term solution for people with disabilities or elderly people with limited mobility.”
Jury verdict: “We like the idea and the value behind the concept. However, this will need to be validated further, before we can start thinking of steps to implement it together”, Aziz says.
Even with primary schools opening again in a few weeks, online classes will still be very important for the foreseeable future. The biggest challenges are the lack of class interaction and motivating kids in creative ways. The third team, including Mr. Chadd co-founder Jan Gustavo Kuipers, wants to create a platform where teachers and students can interact more. “Teachers can add video content and our Mr. Chadd coaches can help students with questions. This way, we want to implement more personalized learning in an interactive way.”
Jury verdict: “This certainly has potential, but it needs to be validated with schools and teachers. And the plan needs to be a bit more detailed in terms of how this platform is different from existing educational platforms”, Jellie says. “But we can use our network to help out, as well as additional funding if the idea is more concrete.”
The final team, including Marijn Pool, wants to tackle the challenge of motivating kids to learn, by adding a competitive element to an already existing educational multimedia platform called Spacetime Layers, developed by a local Groningen school and students, with teacher and entrepreneur Patrick Trentelman. “We want to add the option where students can compete with other schools with their school projects.”
Jury verdict: “It certainly has potential and it’s a cool way to motivate kids. But we will need a more detailed plan with clear implementation steps.”
Feel like joining? You can! Our next sprint is on May 1 and you can sign up (nottodaycorona.nl) and tackle challenges provided by soccer team FC Groningen, the hospitality sector and daycare services.