VentureClass Game Changer
Apr 18 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

We are happy to announce the next VentureClass of 2019 on Thursday evening 18 April: Game Changer. In this VentureClass Arjen Boekhold known from Tony’s Chocolonely will talk about his Game Changing ways.


Date:               Thursday, April 18, 2019
Time:                07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator:    Aard Groen
Speaker:         Arjen Boekhold
Location:        StartUp City, Kadijk 4, Groningen


Arjen Boekhold is Game Changer. He inspires, challenges and assists companies to make positive impact part of their day to day business case with his company Game Changer Unltd.

In the last 7 years Arjen has been responsible for the impact business strategy of Tony’s Chocolonely. Tony’s Chocolonely isn’t your average chocolate company, but a chocolate company with a huge mission; to end modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry. With amazing chocolate recipes they set the example and show that chocolate can be made in a more responsible way; in taste, packaging and the way they build long term relationships with cocoa farmers and the way they handle an open and transparent value chain. Arjen, being one of the first Tony’s, will tell the story of Tony’s Chocolonely, how they are “crazy about chocolate and serious about people”, and shows how companies can change the world for the better!

Besides his work as Game Changer, Arjen is also part-time lecturer at the University Groningen Centre of Entrepreneurship.

Join us on April 18 for this VentureClass!!

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Group 7 Farewell Drinks
May 17 @ 5:15 pm – 7:00 pm


Join us for the certification and farewell for group 7 who finish the programme on 17 May 2019!


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VentureClass Women Entrepreneurs in the Spotlight
May 23 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
It’s our pleasure to announce the next VentureClass of 2019 on Thursday evening 23 May, in collaboration with TheNextWomen and Northern Knowledge. For this special VentureClass we are shining the spotlight on women entrepreneurs, with several pitches, and keynotes by Suzan Wierenga of KAW Architecten and Hilde Hacquebord of Diataal.


06:00 p.m.: Doors open and warm buffet
06:30 p.m.: Welcome & Introduction by Annemieke Galema, TheNextWomen, & Aniek Ouendag
06:45 p.m.: Keynote by Suzan Wierenga
07:05 p.m.: Introduction of Pitchers
07:10 p.m.: Pitch 1 + Feedback
07:25 p.m.: Coffee Break
07:40 p.m.: Pitch 2 + Feedback
07:55 p.m.: Pitch 3 + Feedback
08:10 p.m.: Keynote by Hilde Hacquebord
08:30 p.m.: Networking Drinks

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VentureClass – The Seaweed Company
Jun 27 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Joost Wouters

Joost Wouters is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author. He started his professional career at Procter & Gamble in 1995. Later he joined the Management Team of Pepsi Cola Benelux. When his first son was born, Joost decided to quit his job and start a Management Consulting firm, so he could blend work and family life. Over the last 16 years, Joost worked with the leadership teams of large and small companies such as Danone, Unilever, Heineken and Reckitt Benckiser, in places all over the world.

In 2006 Joost and his family moved to Spain, where he built a house and Leadership Center at the Mediterranean. Ten years later, he returned to The Netherlands to continue his adventure and contribute to a liveable future for his kids and the generations to come. As SeaEO of The Seaweed Company he and his team aim to implement CO2-reducing seaweed-based business models at large scale.

The Seaweed Company

The Seaweed Company combines unique biological and technological expertise to integrate the seeding, growing, harvesting and processing of seaweed. As a result they are able to cultivate certified seaweed on a commercial scale at open sea, and produce seaweed in the quantities needed to fully benefit from large-scale CO2-reducing applications.

Without using any land, fresh water, or fertilizer.

At their concession in Ireland they have started a commercial seaweed site. This will be the first step towards achieving their goal to deliver CO2-reducing seaweed products and applications on a large scale.

Join us on June 27 for this VentureClass and networking drinks


Date:                Thursday, June 27, 2019
Time:               07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator:     Aard Groen
Speaker:         Joost Wouters
Location:       Startup City, Kadijk 4, Groningen
Apply:            click on the link


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Summer BBQ
Jul 12 @ 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
VentureClass ‘From Ampelmann to FORWARD.one’
Sep 26 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

It’s our pleasure to announce the next VentureClass of 2019 on Thursday evening 26 September by David Cerda Salzman, co-founder of Ampelmann and FORWARD.one.

Date:              Thursday, September 26, 2019
Time:             07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator: Aard Groen
Speaker:      David Cerda Salzman
Location:     Startup City, Kadijk 4, Groningen

David Cerda Salzmann

David Cerda Salzmann is a Civil Engineer who graduated within the section of Offshore Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in 2004. Subsequently, he started a PhD research entitled “Ampelmann – Development of the Access System for Offshore Wind Turbines” which was completed in 2010. During his time as a PhD student, he was involved in developing and teaching different courses inside and outside the Offshore Engineering curriculum. He remained involved in education at the Offshore Wind group at the Delft University until the end of 2012.

While conducting his PhD research, he co-founded Ampelmann Operations BV In 2007. Within this company David was responsible for the software development, design, calculations and certification of the Ampelmann systems. He became Manager R&D in 2011 and developed the Educations program for the company in 2013. He has been working as an Internal Consultant for the company from 2014 until 2018.

In 2018, together with two of his Ampelmann co-founders and two former bankers, David founded a Venture Capital firm named FORWARD.one – a VC specialized in investing in innovative hardware startups. He has been and still is actively involved in the coaching and mentoring of several startups.

Join us on September 26 to hear David’s story and afterward for networking drinks.


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Farewell Group 8
Sep 27 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Kick-off Group 11
Oct 4 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
VentureClass – Make Pekel Great Again
Oct 24 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Dear relation,

It’s our pleasure to announce the next VentureClass of 2019 on Thursday evening 24 October by Jakob Zwinderman – who will talk about the all the initiatives to Make Pekel Great Again!

Sign up for the VentureClass will be a little bit different this time – not through our systeem, but with Ticketguard, a company of Liu Kars from Pekela!

Date:            Thursday, October 24, 2019
Time:            07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator:   Aard Groen
Speaker:      Jakob Zwinderman
Location:     Startup City, Kadijk 4, Groningen
Apply:          click on the link

Innovatie Hub Oost Groningen (IHOG)

The story behind the IHOG starts with Zwinderman, who tries to stimulate employment in the region in various ways. Willen Jonker, part-time professor of data & security at the University of Twente and chief executive of the European driver of the digital sector EIT Digital, devised the plan for the hub. The ambitions are great. It was during a game of clover coats with Zwinderman and Jonker that the latter wrote an envelope on the back of what the hub could achieve. 30 new companies with 5,000 permanent jobs in fifteen years, read Zwinderman.

Who are the driving forces behind the East Groningen Innovation Hub?

Willem Jonker, professor of data and security at the University of Twente, CEO of EIT Digital and spiritual father of the hub
Aard Groen, professor of entrepreneurship and valorization at the RUG. Man behind the VentureLab business incubators in Groningen and Twente
Erik Heeres, professor of chemical technology at the RUG
André Heeres, professor of biobased chemistry at Hanze University of Applied Sciences and working at Syncom
Jakob Zwinderman, entrepreneur in Pekela, consultant met Sherpas Proyects and chairman of the Pekela Business Foundation.
In addition to the IHOG, Jakob Zwinderman is also involved in the Pekela Innovation Workshop: The Oude Pekela Innovation Workshop is a collaboration between educational institutions, the municipality of Pekela, entrepreneurs, residents and institutions from the region. The Innovation Workplace works with students on projects to lift the region to a higher level. This includes creating a pleasant, sustainable (green) living environment and strengthening the economic position.

Jakob is also involved in theStichting Bedrijvigheid Pekela, en Gebiedscooperatie Zuid- en Oost-Groningen en zet zich dus op alle fronten in om Pekel Greaoundation and South and East Groningen Territory Cooperative and is therefore committed to making Pekel Great on all fronts!

Join us in October to hear the story on how Pekel is becoming great again and afterward for networking drinks.


07:00 p.m.: Doors open
07:30 p.m.: Welcome & Introduction by Aard Groen
07:45 p.m.: VentureClass by Jakob Zwinderman
09:00 p.m.: Networking drinks:You can sign up for the VentureClass by clicking on this link. We are looking forward to welcome you!

VentureClass ‘Funding; do’s – don’ts – and how to’s’
Nov 28 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

It’s our pleasure to announce the next and last VentureClass of 2019 on Thursday evening 28 November by Marc Wesselink, who will talk about funding, and the top 3 biggest mistakes you can make!

Date:              Thursday, November 28, 2019
Time:             07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator: Aard Groen
Speaker:      Marc Wesselink
Location:     Startup City, Kadijk 4, Groningen
Apply:           click on the link

Marc Wesselink

Marc is a serial entrepreneur who started 12 companies between 1994 and 2008 and invested in over 150 between 2004 and 2018. His purpose in life is to help as many entrepreneurs become successful founders of companies which can create an impact. He is active in Europe & Africa.

As one of the founding partners of Startupbootcamp, he was part of the global roll out and recruited over 160 companies for the Amsterdam & Cape Town programs and have helped them raised over 150 MIO EUR funding. He was responsible of managing the portfolio of Startupbootcamp with a value of over 500 MIO EUR.

Since October 2018 he started his next challenge since the investment landscape in Europe & Africa is still in need of one: How to improve investment in Pre-Seed, Seed & Early Stage companies. He has created an entire digital way of investing in early stage companies at large scale and de-risk it at the same time. The platform will be capable in investing > 150 companies a year by using automated processes and follow on investment based on real time data. The fund will also offer execution power with a network of experienced professionals who will help single founders, founder teams & corporates to start & scale a company.

Join us in November to hear more about Marc and the do’s and don’ts in funding – and the following networking drinks!

07:00 p.m.: Doors open
07:30 p.m.: Welcome & Introduction by Aard Groen
07:45 p.m.: VentureClass by Marc Wesselink
09:00 p.m.: Networking drinks:


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