According to the webpage of the Maastricht region, “the people of the Maastricht region have the best of several worlds: the free and open nature of the Dutch with the joie de vivre of the French and Belgians and the precision of the Germans.” This international environment is supported by one of the best universities in the Netherlands, and a young, open-minded and creative student population sparkles the region with new ideas. Together, this should create an environment which is perfect for entrepreneurs and people who seek to start up their own businesses. I went to see what opportunities potential entrepreneurs in Maastricht really get offered and how Maastricht is dealing with the loss of high-potential students after graduation.
We all know that choosing to be an entrepreneur is not the easy path to money and success. It is a path full of pain, setbacks and failures until you—maybe—reach the route of continuous success. To be successful, you need to be driven by yourself, be creative and have an appetite for productivity. You are a student who wants to become a business owner, a graduate who is ready to start your own company or already working on your business idea. This, unfortunately, also entails that you are one of the prime candidates for the burnout syndrome if you are not careful.
You have probably heard of this thing called crowdfunding—it’s been lauded in the news a lot, with success stories of projects from games to smartwatches being launched through crowdfunding. But what exactly is it? Lydia Gommans, Project Manager at LaunchBase, and Maarten Kamphuis, an entrepreneur from Delft University who’s success depended heavily on his crowdfunding campaign, invited me to an exciting workshop for all Base programme participants earlier this month in which they answered this question.
Benno Groosman, the Director of LaunchBase, started his entrepreneurial career ten years ago in the Netherlands. After visiting several countries to work in the field of entrepreneurship, his path led him to Maastricht. Working with the Base track of the LaunchBase programme, he now shares his experiences with rising entrepreneurs. He spoke with us about his road Maastricht and his passion for motivating and activating Limburg-based entrepreneurs.
This is the first in a new series of articles that will focus on the activities and accomplishments of the LaunchBase programme, an incubation platform of the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E). Composed out of two specific programmes, LaunchBase covers a comprehensive approach to business development.