Stories of participants

The Rotterdam100 takes you on a unique journey through the entrepreneurial, business and scientific life. To give you a glimpse of what you can expect, some of the former participants shared their stories. 

What are you currently doing?

I am currently working in both of my own companies. I have a food truck called Waikiki, that sells pole bowls because I love food! But I also started a company called Closure, together with a friend of mine. Closure is a service for both the bereaved as well as companies; it is a two-sided platform that one the side provides a form that they can fill in one time so that they do have to email all companies where the deceased had a subscription. Our will service will do this. On the other side, we subsidize data so that a company does not have to put precious time in processing of the data.

That sounds super interesting! How did this come about?

My co-founder is econometrist as well and before this, she was a payment consultant at Innopay and I was an intern at KLM when something quite strange was happening in the world that made us come up with the idea. In May, the new GDPR will issue the new legislation and regulations, which in turn, includes a great deal of regulation concerning a person’s life. When you die as a person, you are no longer a natural person, but you are also not part of the GPR anymore. When we thought about a person’s next of kin, we thought we could unburden people. And then during that process it appeared that you could also unburden companies, which made the whole concept so much nicer, because we have such a construction that companies benefit and pay for the next of kin, making it free for the unburden relatives. We both decided to take some time off and launch our company!

Very inspiring, did your participation in Rotterdam100 in any way help you with your career?

In terms of networking, I am still talking to some of the companies who were challengers during Rotterdam100. It’s definitively easier to get access to their network after meeting each other at the event. We both benefited from this connection. For example, a certain party from the Rotterdam100 last year is even interested in doing a pilot with Closure! Other than the partners I met so many other interesting people that might benefit my career. Besides this, I still go to Eldridge Labinjo’s pitch sessions which are held every month. I really liked the Pitch Training that he gave us during the Selection Day, he gave super helpful tips. So yes, it has definitely helped me!

And how did you survive the 24-hour creation battle?

I actually thought it was totally fine. Everybody is pumped up with excitement and ready to solve a killer pitch. Of course, it also helps that I perform best when barely sleep! I did the pitch in front of the jury and we slept 15 minutes just before to be little refreshed haha. Obviously afterwards we were super tired, but if you feel satisfied and it was absolutely worth it!

To close of why would you recommend the Rotterdam 100 to others?

For me, the main reason to apply for any talent competition, and the Rotterdam 100 was by far the most fun one, is the people that attend. You meet so many inspiring and fun people.
It is funny because I still come across people from the Rotterdam 100 in various places. So definitely network and the fun! The 24-hour creation battle itself was such an amazing experience. Besides the working on cases time, the sessions were super good and we were even invited to do some karaoke. I did not do that in the end, because let’s just say it would not have benefited the team spirit if anyone heard me singing. But once again I loved the Rotterdam100 and it brought me a lot so I would recommend it to anyone who is ambitious, eager to learn and loves meeting new people!

About the Pitch Day

“One of my professors notified me about the talent competition Rotterdam100 because he knew that I’m very interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, startups, and the Next Economy. Themes that are central to the Rotterdam100 competition and that is why I decided to apply.

The competition started with the Pitch Day, where we received a pitch training from Eldridge Labinjo. Before this day I didn’t know what to expect, however, when I arrived it was all so impressive, all those people, those national and international students!”

It was a big happening and a really great experience.

Jeffrey Geene, Young Professional Business & Finance
Case ABN AMRO – Destroy The Bank

Case solution – Know

My team and I build an application for ABN AMRO: ‘Know’.

It’s a platform on which companies can buy transaction data from consumers. For example, A company can ask for the transaction data of 4000 women, 20 – 25 years old and living in the Netherlands.

A woman can then independently decide to disclose her transaction data and in return receive a voucher that she can give to a charity of her choice. 

About the 24 Hour Creation Battle

“One of the most inspiring things of the Rotterdam100 were my fellow candidates during the 24 Hour Creation Battle, some of them already had a lot of (work)experience in their discipline. Through working with them I kept on learning new knowledge and ways of doing stuff, over and over again.

 If I would have to name the most inspiring person to me that would be former Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. He gave a speech on the end of the 24 Hour Creation Battle when everybody already used a lot of energy in solving their cases, including me. Then the former Prime Minister came on stage with a super energetic speech which literally and figuratively shook us awake! It was inspiring to hear that he also started at the bottom and took a lot of amazing steps to reach the top.”

A valuable experience in which you come in contact with the world outside of science and interact with talented people.

Lars Suanet, Computer Science at Leiden University,
Case CGI/Port of Rotterdam: ‘A Logistic Nightmare’

Case Solution of Lars’s team

My team and I build a dashboard tool for CGI and Port of Rotterdam.

It’s a dashboard that helps the port in analyzing and interpreting the available arrival data of vessels and trucks.

The tool collects all related information from the daily activities that directly influences the work within the port.

The same tool reads the collected data, displays patterns of behaviour and eventually forecasts operational scenarios. 

After Rotterdam100…

As winners of the Rotterdam100 2017 edition, our team was invited to join the global Get in the Ring Competition in Singapore! The intense week packed with professional and social activities brought us closer as a team, while at the same time allowed us to gain new insights in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. We participated in amazing workshops and have met many interesting people who we are still in contact with. Attending this conference together gave us a solid base to turn our winning idea into a real start-up: Circal Technologies.”

Cato Bui, Master Strategic Management Rotterdam School of Management,
Case ENGIE – Run (Ning) in Circles! (Winner Rotterdam100 16/17)

Case Solution – EmissionS

We are striving to prevent pollution of container ships by using their emissions to grow algae on board for future usage.

Algae is used as a natural filter for CO2, but also has the potential as a biofuel i.e. for cancer treatment.

This team illustrates what Rotterdam100 stands for – thinking beyond the case and into the future.