Linda Dijkshoorn (Founder and CEO EV Biotech)
EV Biotech uses predictive software models and bacterial engineering to develop sustainable alternatives for the production of chemicals. Simply put, the startup creates bacteria that can produce things like vanilla for example.
Linda in a nutshell: fixer, chatty, cheerleader, optimist, businesswoman.
“What I love about Groningen is the strong ecosystem and network. You’ll find the right person in no time and cooperation and helping each other are central here in the North, with a lot of focus on development, innovation and growth. You won’t find that anywhere else!”
“A big opportunity for the future would be getting PhD students enthusiastic about starting their own companies. There’s just so much potential in terms of talent and unused IP. But unfortunately, working with IP isn’t easy and there are too many rules and regulations that scare off ambitious PhD students with aspirations to become entrepreneurs.”
Alex van Ginneken (NOO, Nieuwbouw Online BV, various boards)
Alex is a serial entrepreneur, investor and online business coach. He’s chairman of the NOO (Northern Online Entrepreneurs), founded and sold several companies, is a partner of Nieuwbouw Online, a SaaS platform for real estate, and also board member of G-Force Capital and World Trade Center Northern Netherlands.
Alex in a nutshell: enthusiastic, IT, sales & online marketing
“Groningen excels in terms of a good network and finding reliable and loyal personnel. And it’s also a great place to live and work. We’re good at finding each other and happy to help each other.”
“But there’s also room for improvement, like a bigger focus on internationalization during early growth stages, work permits and visa, affordable housing and also upgrading education and opportunities for funding.”
Arne Bos (managing director Parkos)
Parkos is the go to platform for booking safe, reliable and affordable airport parking spaces.
Arne Bos in a nutshell: analytical, calm, social, ambitious and competitive.
“Groningen is a great place to do business because it’s a very internationally oriented city, where people have a grounded, “can do” attitude. I also like the mentality and local pride, as well as the spirit of actively sharing knowledge. But I think one of our primary concerns for the future would be developing, attracting and retaining talent.
Thap van der Veen (Founder NightCyclus)
NightCyclus is the app for the Groningen nightlife. It offers an overview of all the local clubs and bars and gives the hospitality industry a unique way to target their audience through marketing.
Thap in a nutshell: a creative mind with perseverance.
“Groningen is a large student city, where the hospitality industry plays a vital role. What I like about the regional ecosystem is that it offers a very interesting network. And in order to create and grow businesses, we need to inspire people to just go out and start their own company. One thing that would help is making it easier to find the right business coach.”
Kim van der Esch (Founder & CEO Mr. Chadd
Mr. Chadd is a digital, on demand homework assistant and learning platform, where qualified experts answer questions for any course, before, during or after school and during weekends.
Kim in a nutshell: organizational talent, ambitious, perseverant, sensitive and eager to learn.
“The Groningen ecosystem is accessible and forward thinking. And it’s also a place where I feel comfortable, which for me is the foundation to let my qualities really shine. Being an entrepreneur is not about doing everything on your own, but also having an expert help you out from time to time. It’s easy to find the right person in Groningen and that’s one of the reasons why companies in the Groningen ecosystem are able to gain traction.”
"One thing that should be a priority in the future is creating a toolkit/platform where new and established companies can meet. If you’re looking for, say a marketeer, business expert, coach or designer, you’ll find them there. This will strengthen a sense of community, sharing skills and knowledge will become easier and it will also benefit employment opportunities.”