March 31, 2023

Tips For The Young Entrepreneur


  1. Sometimes things don’t go as expected.
  2. New service = new market.
  3. Weigh your investments carefully
  4. Knowledge of marketing and sales is scarce.
  5. Make it difficult to break up.
  6. Possible world dominance?
  7. Make something people love.
  8. Invest with your own income.
  9. It’s all about execution.
  10. Find the right marketer.


An Educational walk

The inventiveness of the startup walk is of course already in the concept itself. No boring afternoon sponsored by grants in a gray conference room, but a nice walk through the center of Amsterdam with a bunch of young people. Of course, the organization of such a walk already starts with a startup: . Anyone can easily announce their own walk or event on this website. A promising concept that others also believe in, because the company has recently received a substantial financial injection.


The startup walk is simple in design: in a few hours we walk through the center of Amsterdam along 3 locations and we speak to a lot of owners and investors. They all share their tips and tricks and give you a glimpse into their kitchen, making for a particularly inspiring day out in Amsterdam. Here are the top 10 tips:


Tip 1. Sometimes things don’t go as expected

The walk starts atWakoopa, the company that tour leader Robert Gaal started himself together with partner Wouter Broekhof. Robert has now left the company and Piet Hein van Dam (who previously worked for Motivaction, among others) has taken over the management. Wakoopa’s experience is that with your startup you sometimes end up differently than you had foreseen.


Tip 2. New service = new market

Wakoopa has learned that the startup is not just about technology. If you are setting up a completely new service, you also have to develop the market yourself and teach your customers what they can do with your service. For example, how do you provide insightful reports for the billions of impressions you can measure with Wakoopa? Making the company’s fast-growing infrastructure manageable is also a great challenge.

Tip 3. Weigh your investments carefully

The drive to grow and invest is typical of the company: “You invest every bit of cash flow directly into your company, for example to hire a developer for six months who can build additional functionality for your service”. Wakoopa has now completed 2 investment rounds. A lesson for starters is that you should not focus on the money you raise from an investment round, but that you should carefully balance the money you receive and the control you give away over your company.


An important success factor to interest investors appears not so much to be the idea or the product, but in particular the team behind the service. At Wakoopa, for example, this was that the 2 initiators were also able to build the service themselves. Estimating growth and revenue is always a gamble, but showing investors that you’ve thought about that gamble with various scenarios or calculations will significantly increase your chance of success.

Tip 4. Knowledge of marketing and sales is scarce

It is funny that various startups, including Wakoopa, indicate that attracting technical people is difficult, but generally successful. That’s because many owners have a background in technology themselves. Attracting marketing or sales people who have an affinity with modern online marketing turns out to be much more difficult.

Tip 5. Make it difficult to break up:

After a refreshing walk on the canals, the tour ends with the founders of The Next Web and we talk to Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten and Patrick de Laive. They tell extensively about the start of their media company and their plans for the future. Important parts of their company are the blog, the annual event and various companies that have started in their incubator, such asTwittercounter† For them, the combination between the blog and the annual conference is effective.

For example, the blog shows where their visitors come from geographically and provides inspiration for the location of new events (New York instead of Los Angeles). The gentlemen think like a publisher and want to set up a successful publishing company on the internet. As a publisher they sometimes run into limitations. It turned out to be difficult to find a good system to sell tickets to business customers for The Next Web. The Paydro service has been developed from this, which other publishers are now also using.

Tip 6. Possible world dominance?

Investor Guido van Nispen also likes to share his tips and says that he always looks at whether a company can achieve real world dominance. Entrepreneurs should therefore not think too small and work on a truly unique idea. He advises to quickly start a BV structure, so that you are more than ‘3 friends with some agreements’ from the start. He also urges starters to properly arrange matters such as administration and tax right from the start.


Tip 7. Make something people love

Then we talk to Stefan Fountain of Social , a Dropbox-like service for address books. He and his company have grown, shrunk, grown again in recent years and have just been acquired by Viadeo (a French competitor of LinkedIn). It was his experience that his investors were great people, but that it took him a lot of time and energy to get his technology properly explained. He advises not to focus on the money, but to focus on building something that people love and want.

Tip 8. Invest with your own income

Then it’s up to Ruben Timmerman from Springest, a comparison site for training. Financing his company was relatively easy: he earned the first €25,000 as a speaker and was then able to invest. He now employs about 15 people, half of whom are developers and the other half for marketing/sales. His challenge is to automate sales more and more so that less manpower is needed.

Tip 9. It’s all about execution

Timmermans mentions as a success factor that his people are real ‘execution motherfuckers’: in everything the emphasis is not on making plans, but on execution. “We try things in 10 different ways and then we discover what works”. Updates of its service are continuously built and implemented.

Tip 10. Find the right marketer

Then we visit Paul Veugen of Usabilla , a tool for collecting feedback on concepts. In particular, Veugen finds finding good marketers a challenge “we don’t benefit from marketing by the book”. That’s because the classic paid marketing doesn’t work for its business; they focus fully on marketing through online content.

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