What I learned from attending 5 startup events in less than 1 month

Key takeaways from a Dashmote Co-Founder

“We are here to grow ourselves by surrounding us by people we can learn from” — Dennis z.s. Tan, Dashmote CEO on Startupbootcamp Smart City | Tweet this!

When many people think of the term ‘entrepreneur,’ they think of an individual who is going against the grain to launch a product or a service that he or she believes will have some sort of impact. However, one of the greatest things about being an entrepreneur is that although you may be one individual (or part of a small team), you are also part of a diverse community of like-minded, intellectual people who are hungry for innovation and collaboration and eager to share with you their wide array of expertise. As a Startup Founder, I have the privilege of attending many interesting events and learning from this community of influential individuals. In this post, I want to share all the learning I took from the last 5 events I participated in.

Event #1: Startup Friday

“As corporate, first be agile then do Growth Hacking” — Peter Sabben, Co-Founder @ Growth Tribe | Tweet this!

Almost any startup today will tell you they are implementing some type of growth hacking into their marketing strategy. These methods are becoming almost necessary if you want to grow your business at a pace that will allow you to keep up with your competitors. However, many people will forget to tell you to first establish a foundation in your market. Know your target audience and where they are located. That way, you know where and when to hack. This will allow for optimal impact.

Event #2: Amsterdam Student Entrepreneur Award

“A best practice is to start with a vertical niche & dominate it” — Ruben Nieuwenhuis, Director @ Startup Amsterdam | Tweet this!

Define your target market, go after that market, & dominate that market. Truth is: there IS a possibility of too much marketing. I think many founders share in common the regrettable mistake of trying to tackle too many markets too early in the game. It’s essential to hone in on a select few to start in order to establish a foundation that you can truly build upon. This is also how I managed to win the event and become Amsterdam Student Entrepreneur of the year (hurray!), by focusing on my audience and not wasting resources on trying to reach people that were not there.

Event #3: Week van de Ondernemer

“Don’t put your product in the centre, but focus on the customer experience of the product” — Damir Grcic, Marketing Manager @ PostNL | Tweet this!

Last week I attended the Week van de Ondernemer in the Beatrix Theater Utrecht, where the newest and most innovative entrepreneurs joined together to discuss how to build a better business. This year, I had to opportunity to partner with PostNL and host workshops which discussed the power of visual marketing. During the event, Damir Grcic of PostNL emphasized the importance of focusing on the customer experience of your product. It is not enough to simply focus on the product with no regard to your clients feedback and interaction. After all, your business is about the client, not the product. We are all trying to build solutions. Our missions, whether they be convenience, sustainability, affordability, efficiency, or so on, all have one thing in common: They are not products. AirBnb’s mission is not to create the best accommodation (in fact, they own zero percent of their housing stock), but to make the accommodation-booking process and convenient, affordable and profitable process for the clients involved. Similarly, Dashmote’s mission is not only to create the best stock photos, but also to provide the most extensive collection of high quality images at little to no charge for the client, ultimately allowing customers to save both time and money. So, you can focus on the true heart of your business (because we know not everyone’s passion is in stock imaging..).

Event #4: NK Pitchen

“A pitch is not a monologue but a start of dialogue. Know your audience and tailor your presentation towards this audience to get this engagement” — Nathalie Mangelaars, Founder @ Pitch Queen | Tweet this!

This quote was a great piece of advice from Nathalie Mangelaar, the Founder of Pitch Queen. After pitching at what seems like countless events, I have really come to understand the importance of knowing your audience. In the world of pitching, your audience should be treated as your client. Not every client wants the same thing, and not every audience wants the same thing. Remember to think about the ‘who’s and ‘what’s of each context. Who is attending this event? And what can I offer them that would be of specific interest to them?

Event #5: CeBIT

“I believe the most disruptive, transformative trend is now in front of us, and its cognitive. This ability to think, to learn, to understand. The system, the products the processes, everything you do. And it is the dawn of a new era: The cognitive era.” — Ginni Rometty, CEO @ IBM | Tweet this!

CeBIT is the world’s largest tech event. In their terms, it is a global event for digital business. It brings together the biggest names in tech & communications. I had the opportunity to attend this years event and was blown away by the recent advancement in IT. This year, IBM focused its theme around ‘the cognitive era’ — meaning, this is the time where passionate people all across tech, business, and entrepreneurship are joining together to break down the barriers of human (and in IBM’s case, robot) thoughts. As Ginni Rometty and IBM have pointed out, now is essentially the greatest time for innovation. We are using this information to create and build products and services that are greater than ever before. Now is truly an exhilarating time to be an entrepreneur.

For more details on IBM’s cognitive era, checkout the Dashmote blog: http://bit.ly/DashmoteBlogCeBIT2016

Dashmote’s ambition is to give everyone instant access to all visual content, try out Dashmote here.

Edited by Jamie Guthrie