Meet Lusanne Tehupuring! She will be joining the Founded in Groningen team as the new private lead and make sure we can keep on putting Groningen on the map and connect entrepreneurs in the coming years.
Why did you decide to join the Founded in Groningen team?
I’ve met a lot of entrepreneurs in the last couple of years and also joined a number of networks. I’m part of the ‘Mediacentrale generation’ , when companies like Accepté (now Paylogic), iWink and Store Support where there. At the time, that was made possible by YEAH!, without any government funding. What I love about Founded, is that startups and entrepreneurs no longer have to lobby or pioneer in that area and are able to focus on their product/ company and Founded in Groningen connects and facilitates. Doing things effectively, with a common goal as a city, is something I think is very important. I’m glad the Province and CIty stimulate entrepreneurship in the region in this regard.
When Lian de Boer told me Koen Atema decided to move on to new things and that it was time to take the next step in making sure Founded would ‘grow up’ as a platform, I didn’t have to think twice: this totally fits. On the one hand, I have an entrepreneurial mindset and I’m familiar with the startups and scale-ups in Groningen. On the other hand, I also have enough ‘corporate’ experience to understand the importance of Founded for other stakeholders.
What did you do before this?
I always tell people my experience is focused on learning and developing. I’ve worked for the Hanze University and Noordhoff Publishers in a commercial role. I think it’s important to keep on developing, as a person, a team, organization and of course a product. That’s what I do from a marketing perspective and that’s also where my passion lies. I’ve been working as an independent contractor for about a year now and also handle the marketing for Zupr one day per week. They were also part of the Startup in Residence selection for 2018/2019.
What are your thoughts on the Groningen ecosystem?
I think we’ve taken a lot of steps in the right direction in the past few years, if you look at the national and international interest in Groningen. We also have great companies that show Groningen is a good place to grow as a startup.
What I love about Groningen is that it’s small enough to know where to find each other, but at the same time big enough to have an actual impact and create a real ecosystem. Although I personally think it’s important for us northerners to create a good ecosystem, I also think it’s important that we work together as much as we can. There’s so much happening here and I hope to get the full picture in the coming months.
What do you like about Founded in Groningen?
I think it’s great that Founded is a very pragmatic organization, which is something entrepreneurs also want and need. So that’s something I hope we can continue, because I don’t like pipe dreams and not making good on promises. It’s about doing things and being there for entrepreneurs, but of course you need a common vision and strategy as well. What I really like about FiG is its ability to connect all the great initiatives here and giving them ‘a single face’.
What could use some improvement?
It’s important as FiG to really show that Groningen is ‘the place to be’ when it comes to entrepreneurship, and preferably broader than just startups and tech. The grounded mentality we have here in Groningen also tends to get in the way, so I’d like to see a little bit less modesty here.
I hope we can show our value as an organization and make sure even more parties in the city and region join our platform. Startup Visa as an initiative is also important in that. You have to make is as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to settle here and get up to speed as soon as possible.
How do you see Founded in Groningen in the near future?
We’ve built a solid foundation and had some great results in the past three years. Now it’s time to transform Founded in Groningen from a startup to a scale-up, so to speak. That means keep on professionalizing the team, continue the good things and make sure we’re future proof. In short, a proven concept that benefits the entire region.
An important aspect is what I call KISS it! Keep it Smart and Simple. Smart as in doing things efficiently, effectively and keep on improving things in a measurable way. Simple as in being able to explain things in simple way for everyone involved, focus, deliver and don’t make things unnecessarily complicated.
I also hope that, as a team, we can help corporates and more traditional companies benefit from the ecosystem. Startups and other companies can really benefit from each other, but it’s important to help facilitate that, because they really are two different worlds. Making sure people understand each other’s language and bringing them together is our job. And it’s also our job to make sure people are still happy with Founded in a few years.