Today, around 700 women entered the ecosystem of ambition and success, at The Next Women Summit. The Next Women gathers female starters, entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals and brings them together to let them be successful. “We offer opportunities to be inspired, get in contact, network, gather knowledge, and find funding”, said Simone Brummelhuis, Director at The Next Women.
The Next Women
Marianne Zwagerman calls it “the most ambitious place of Europe, and ambition is all about scaling up”. June 12 2017 is all about ambition, and how to optimally exploit your ambition. Femke Furnee, owner of FEST Amsterdam, is a good example of one of those women that made excellent use of her ambition. She once entered the startup competition at The Next Women Summit, and now she is well on her way to become one of the ‘Women Next 100’, the one hundred most successful and influential female entrepreneurs in The Netherlands.
As diversity is a very important topic and in startup land there are many female entrepreneurs, we gave six startups that participate or have participated in the Accenture Innovation Awards the opportunity to be present at the innovation alley: iThrive, Co-libry, Searious Business, Have a Seat, Microsure, and Ligo.
The first speaker of the day is Chantal Janzen, Founder of &C and famous TV-host in the Netherlands. She talked about ambition and how she incorporates this in her own life. From a not-so-prima ballerina, to an okay dancer, and ultimately to a successful musical star, singer, dancer, and TV host. On ambition, she quoted Pipi longstocking: “I have never done it before, so I think I can do it”.
Startup challenge: scaling up
Every startup faces this challenge one day: when and how should we scale up? Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau, known for his dedication to startups and Special Envoy at StartupDelta, interviewed two startups on their challenges and strategy in scaling up: Sarah Leary, Co-Founder of Nextdoor, and Ilse Kamps, CEO at Catawiki. Three important questions that concern every startup were answered.
When is the right time to go international?
At about the point you feel you have a product that could scale to grow, you should invest in making your product fit for other markets. Get external feedback, validate your idea and do this as soon as possible. To give an idea, Nextdoor aims to test their hypotheses in 2 months.
What makes a market a great test market?
It works well to find a smaller test market that is receptive to the type of product or service you are providing. Are you in tech, find a small market that likes tech. Nextdoor found the Netherlands to be a great market to test and learn. A small test market that accepts your product can be a great Launchpad to other countries.
What should your team look like?
When scaling internationally, make sure you have a team that understands your new market. This is very important, because you want to provide a product that fits the needs of your target group. And passion, find a team that has passion and love for the mission.
Sleep your way to success
“Use the power of sleep to fuel your ambition”, is the message Els van der Helm wants to bring across to every person worldwide. With this idea, she started Shleep. Nowadays, there is still a taboo on sleep, we associate it with being lazy and as a waste of time. Education is key in this issue, because sleep deprivation is actually a lot unhealthier than you might think.
Sleep deprivation has a major effect on attention, learning and memory, creativity and insight, mood, emotional reactivity, and leadership. Thus, not very good for your performance on the job either. With a PhD in Psychology, Els researched many outcomes of sleep deprivation. Did you know that if you skip one night of sleep, your performance can be compared to when you have a 0,1% alcohol level? You’re basically sleep drunk.
But now, how can we make sure that we, and our employees, get enough sleep to be efficient and effective on the job? Three tips that are a great start: stop snoozing and thus fooling your brain, determine what makes you relax and make this a habit before going to bed, and create an evening ritual to teach your brain. So, aiming to be more productive at work, and more importantly lead healthier and happier life? Make sure you get enough sleep!
Pitch competition & The Next Women 100
We conclude the day with the winners from the pitch-round, in which entrepreneurs took the stage to spread the word and get investors on board. The winners are:
1st place: Endeer, with disruptive lingery solutions to make bras healthier and more comfortable.
2nd place: Bellamy Gallery, making clothing last longer and cutting back textile waste.
3rd place: Lifesense, smart underwear and exercise app to train your pelvic muscles.
Overall, a day full of ambitious female entrepreneurs that have a passion for innovation and aiming to thrive.