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:


Register for VentureLab North Events

Christmas Drinks
Dec 13 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Farewell Group 9
Jan 17 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
VentureClass: Avebe – beyond the potato
Jan 23 @ 7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

It’s our pleasure to announce the first VentureClass of 2020 on Thursday evening 23 January by Ronald Apeldoorn and  Robin Spelbrink of Avebe.

Date:             Thursday, January 23 2020
Time:            07.00-10.00 p.m.
Moderator:  Aard Groen
Speaker:      Ronald Apeldoorn and Robin Spelbrink
Location:     Startup City, Kadijk 4, Groningen
Apply:          click on the link


Avebe is a cooperative of starch-potato growers focused on the market. Traditionally the focus was on extracting starch from potatoes. However, by developing innovative methods Avebe now also extracts proteins from potatoes that are intended for the food industry. But there is more…. A potato is a source of opportunities with even more ingredients that can be turned into value. In other words, if it’s in there, Avebe will extract it! Every day 1,350 Avebe employees work on using all the opportunities provided by potatoes to make life pleasanter, healthier and more convenient – for clients, members, and society as a whole.

In this VentureClass you have the opportunity to learn more about Avebe as a company, their innovative projects, and one project in particular: In addition to starch, the potato tuber also contains protein, which in the tuber serves as a nitrogen storage, defense mechanism against food and as enzymes to catalyze the metabolism. When the protein fraction of the potato is extracted via mild processes, the enzymatic action of the protein is retained. It appears that a large part of the enzyme fraction of the potato consists of lipase, and this lipase can be used not only to hydrolyze ester bonding but also to synthesize it. Under water-poor conditions, potato lipase appears to be able to form esters from fatty acids and small alcohols, thereby forming biodiesel. Avebe has filed a patent on this and has made this patent available to VentureWeb and IHOG to set up and work out a business case for this.

Join us to hear more about Avebe – and the following networking drinks on January 23!


Register for VentureLab North Events

Kick-off Group 12
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
VentureClass – Fizzy Transition – from CO2 Storage to Coral Nurseries, and more
Feb 27 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

It’s our pleasure to announce the next VentureClass of 2020 on Thursday evening 27 February by VentureLab alumn Ludo van Hijfte of Fizzy Transitions.

Fizzy Transitions

Fizzy Transition Ventures delivers solutions for a smooth transition to a sustainable world by building on the foundations of our current infrastructure. We are front runners in building the “carbon capture and storage (CCS)” chain by developing the world’s first CO2 transportation system over water that delivers directly to depleted offshore gas fields. In parallel we are designing super-diversity “ECO-Reefs” on existing offshore structures that help restore the marine environment and can support both eco-tourism and local communities.

Ludo van Hijfte
Ludo van Hijfte (50) has enjoyed a varied career after graduating from McGill University with a degree in Mining Engineering. He started as an engineer with a Canadian mining company, became a research analyst with a Canadian investment bank and subsequently spent 15 years at Shell where he gained experience in various roles in the fields of corporate strategy, portfolio management, business planning, economics and new business development. He is Managing Director of Fizzy Transition Ventures which he founded in 2017.

Join us for the VentureClass  to learn more about the divers and exciting things happening at Fizzy Transitions!

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


Register for VentureLab North Events

Jun 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
VentureLab Pre-Summer Drinks
Jul 10 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm