Wilbert, our food guru!


My name is Wilbert, and I tell stories about food. Most of the time, I do this under the name “eengarde”, which translates to “a whisk”. I like to stir things up, that’s why. Together with Renate, Matthijs and Joëlle, I organize this weekend.

Startup Weekend Groningen Food is a big opportunity to change our food system. The current system does not work so well in my opinion, and in order to change that, we need innovation and fresh ideas about food. With this weekend we can start changing the world of food. 

During the weekend, I will be open for questions 24/7. I know my way around food in the Netherlands: if you need contacts with product developers, manufacturers, farmers, fishermen or other people who work with food, make sure you ask me a question. I am part of the Youth Food Movement, which is part of an international movement – Slow Food Youth Network -, so there are literally no borders to the people I can contact for you. 

As mentioned before, I tell stories about food. But that is not where it ends: by doing that, I try to reconnect people to food. When people know more about where their food comes from, they start changing the way they eat. In the end, this reconnects people to each other as well. 

A lot of things are happening in food lately, but the startup scene needs to tap more into that. There are new concepts arising, like a package-free store. We even have one in Groningen. But there is room for way more innovation. We could make supermarkets dispensable by creating direct links between producers and consumers, but also create less waste by using different ways of packaging, like DSM is creating. Growing our food needs to be more innovative as well. Fertifill, one of our sponsors, is working on making production higher and more stable: a good cause! 

On Monday morning, you will definitely be hungover after our great afterparty with DJ Sebastiaan Hooft. What to eat then? Start with a nice beetroot-ginger-lemon juice, but be sure to take in some fatty, salty stuff as well. My suggestion would be the Groninger Friet from Friet van Piet. 

See you at the weekend! 

Get your ticket right now at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-weekend-groningen-0615-tickets-16343029441

These are the coaches!

We’ve selected a group of skilled people to help you during the weekend. Let’s introduce them so you know who to go to! We are happy to welcome some new and also some familiar faces.

Niels Grootenbroek

Niels works as marketeer for Hooghoudt, but also knows his way around in food startups. In fact, he has his own ice-cream manufacturer startup. He can learn you all about telling stories about a product and how that impacts – or is – marketing.

Krispijn van den Dries
Krispijn is a rural entrepreneur, which translates to farmer. Besides running a farm, he also knows how to sell his produce directly to consumers. He can learn you all about starting your own business in food and how to create maximum impact with campaigns.

Pol de Bruin
Pol has crowdfunded his own restaurant in Groningen – Midi -. Now one year open, this restaurant is quite the success. Pol can teach you how to open your own place, but also what it takes to live the life of a restaurant owner.

Sebastiaan Hooft
Sebastiaan is the founding partner of a number of organizations, and has been active on the advisory boards of all of them at some time. Last year he also started his DJ career and creates the most lovely smoothies.

Michel van Galen
Michel is one of the owners of the minor concepting at NHL Leeuwarden. This minor functions as a community of practice in which creative talents get the opportunity to develop innovative concepts delivering a conscious, valuable contribution to themselves, those around them and society at large. He really knows how to get the best out of a persons

Meet the jury

Behold, our jury for Startup Weekend Groningen FOOD! We took the time to carefully select a good jury. With different expertises and backgrounds we believe these are the right persons for our event.

Naresh Ramdjas
Naresh is a chef with a pinch of designership into his way of working. As a judge, he will focus on the design of the idea, but also on the gastronomic side of it.

Meet him on Facebook and Twitter.

Joszi Smeets
Joszi is a young woman, who wants to change the world with food. She is 26 years young, but already director of the Youth Food Movement. As a judge, she will focus on the sustainable side of the idea and the potential for impact it has.

Want to see what Youth Food movement is all about? Check their Facebook.

Niels Willems
Niels knows all about entrepreneurship. As a coach, he has worked for Ahold and Bol.com, so he knows all about business, but also knows how a lean startup should work.

You can already follow him on Twitter.

It's not all about food!

Wait? It’s not all about food? But it says Startup Weekend FOOD! You are 100% right, food may be the theme but it also is still all about creating startups. Lets take a look at all the possibilities our weekend offers you.

We don’t have to tell you how important design is. A product stands or falls on good design. You won’t be designing food. You are designing a product or a service in such way it is easy to use and people would understand what you are selling. Design is the backbone of everything. At the end of the weekend you have to have a product that looks nice to the public.

As a creator you are in a constant search of how to bring your product to life. Let’s take this awesome service for example: Jafflechutes. Great idea and a lot of things that need to be created in order to make it work, to make it real. How about the ordering system? Or the parachutes for the sandwiches. Without a creator the product remains just an idea.

You won’t be standing in a foodtruck all weekend (unless you pitched that idea and you really want to). Business is everything from selling and placing your product to understand who your target audience is. Marketing, user validation, the whole financial picture, picking out the right crowd.

It’s not all about food. But food is what it’s all about for you. Without you we will just have a Startup Weekend, you are bringing the food to SwGro FOOD.

What about me?
You cannot really relate to any of the tickets types above? No problem. We believe that startup weekend is for everyone, so we are 100% sure there is a place for you. Just e-mail us and we figure out what type suits you the best! There will no excuses for not joining us.

Convinced? Get your tickets right now!

8 food startups in Groningen

Groningen is a fertile ground for startups in Food. That is one of the reasons that we are organising a Startupweekend Food from June 5 through 7. These food startups are our favourites.

Cook-ing / cook-ing.nl
cook by ing
Cooking your own dinner is quite the hassle. If you don’t feel like shopping for groceries and waiting until your dinner is cooked, call Inge. She cooks your dinner and delivers it until your doorstep!

Fileerlokaal ’t Ailand / ailand.nl
The fish we eat comes from far, far away. Pangasius, Tilapia: unedible stuff, according to the Goede Vissers. That is why they are crowdfunding for a filleting room, where they will teach people more about regional and sustainable fishies. Support them here: crowdaboutnow.com/tailand

Groentebuur / groentebuur.nl
We waste a lot of food. At farms, a lot of food stays behind. Groentebuur brings that food into the city and distributes it to consumers. Great idea, we say!

De Zwammerij / dezwammerij.nl
Mushrooms grow on used ground coffee. That is why de Zwammerij grows mushrooms on coffee. Based on the “Blue Economy” principle, they sell these mushrooms to restaurants.

Toentje / toentje.nl
Thanks to Toentje, people who get their food at Foodbank Groningen get fresher vegetables than people who shop at the supermarket. And many stuff besides that, go check it out!

Mout / proeflokaalmout.nl
There is no place in the Netherlands where you can only drink our regional beer produce. That is why Susan is crowdfunding for Mout now: a place that will solely serve Dutch beers. Delish! crowdaboutnow.nl/proeflokaalmout

Free Cafe / thefreecafe
A Free Café, entirely built out of recycled material, serving up food that has been rescued from being thrown away. Every wednesday and sunday, you can eat, cook and have fun at this place.

Opgeweckt Noord / opgewecktnoord.nl
Almost all of our food is packaged food. Utrecht won the first packagefree store, but with a very fast crowdfunding – raising 200 % in a very short time -, Opgeweckt overtook them and will open soon!

Let this be an inspiration for the event. We are very curious what kind of ideas you will be bringing to the Friday night pitches!

because nobody really likes breadsticks

Less than two weeks to go till Startup Weekend Groningen will kick off! Tickets are going fast and we are almost sold out. Things are coming together and the organizing team is very happy!

T-shirts are ready to be printed, volunteers are ready to get in action and the catering has been arranged, and we can tell you that it will be very tasty. The venue owners and the Startup Weekend organizing team have checked to make sure that everything will be ready during the weekend. There will be enough space with chairs, tables, light, electric points and of course working WiFi. Next to this, small things like pens, paper and drinking cups may also not be forgotten.

All these things are needed to let the teams work their butts of during the weekend. But to make sure teams get to relax and have fun too, we’ve arranged a ‘chill-corner’ again. Rumor has it there will be Fatboys, mini ping pong tables and some creative people from SAUS who will make the attendees weekend an even greater experience!

Lovely sponsors make all this possible! Without them we would be t-shirtless, unhappy and we’d be eating breadsticks (and let’s face it, nobody really likes breadsticks).

If you were planning on coming and you don’t have a ticket yet: get them while you still can!

Interview with Startup Weekend Alumnus: Wout Laban

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Wout Laban
Age: 24
Work: https://gibbon.co
Startup weekends attended: 5 (2 as an organiser)

When and where was your first Startup weekend?
In the beautiful city of Groningen, back then my home town. During my first startup weekend I was still a student and barely knew what a startup was, let alone how to start one. The weekend was full of surprises for me, a true roller coaster where I learned loads of stuff about words like; customer development, lean methodology and pitching. But also what networking actually meant.
The event was a true eye opener for me, I’d say it was my introduction to the wonderful world of startups!

What is the most important thing you learned during startup weekend?
Two things really stand out from my first Startup Weekend:
1. I already knew that you could do a lot in a short time, but to actually experience it was a amazing. To have an idea with a group of strangers and within two days turn that idea into something real (in our case really something, not just an app but a fully operating balcony farm.) 
2. My skill-set: I learned that I had certain talents that were a true value for the team, but I also learned that there we so many things I had never even knew existed. Something you can only learn by experiencing (and failing at) it.

What is your favourite SW-project?
I think it has to be one of my own projects. It was at Startup Weekend Cologne. I pitched an idea that I wanted a service that would send me: A Daily Reminder to Not Shave Your Beard. It was an instant hit! We had so much fun the whole weekend. Almost everybody at the event got involved with our project and through all the fun I connected with so many people, one of the true powers of Startup Weekend.

The best thing, I actually did not shave for 6 months and had a bad-ass beard!

If you have to convince someone to join #SwGro14 in a few words, how would you do that?
Your life will not get easier after attending a Startup Weekend, but it will get more awesome!

Anything else you want to say about Startup weekend?
Thank you!

Launch Party Startup Weekend Groningen

A very big thank you to all the lovely people who came out to ‘De Bovenkamer van Groningen’ for the Startup Weekend Launch Party. We saw many familiar faces and a lot of new people who were eager to learn more about the concept of Startup Weekend. One of them is Michelle Roberts, spices lover and overall life enjoyer. She joined the Launch party to see and hear more about Startup Weekend. During the evening she talked to different entrepreneurs and became enthusiastic, which led her to buying a ticket for the main event on 7,8 and 9 November. Another new face who will be attending Startup Weekend Groningen is Joëlle Hooijer. She won a ticket for the main event on the Launch Party: congratulations!

In between the crowd there where also some people who where already acquainted with Startup Weekend. After asking them what made them come to the Launch Party, the answers where quite different from one another. Some said they wanted to see the venue, see the new team, win a ticket or went because a friend went too. But most of them went for the great vibe, or the ‘gezelligheid’ as they say in Dutch, and of course the beer. Which is okay, because it was indeed ‘gezellig’ with all of you!

So, People mingled, drank some beer and walked around to explore the beautiful venue. We were not kidding when we said we had an awesome space for the Launch Party. Many ‘oh’s’ and ‘ah’s’ were overheard on the top floor of the building mainly because of the amazing view over the city and the park.

The person who was especially grateful with these reactions is owner Ralph Steenbergen. He said he was happy about the overall great vibe and the amount of (new) people at the Launch Party.

We like to thank Ralph for letting us use ‘De Bovenkamer van Groningen’ and we can’t say enough how happy the team is with all the people who went to the Launch Party. No doubt about it that we would love to see you all on the main event! Buy your tickets here.



The magic of Startup Weekend

In the year 2014 there are approximately 1200 Startup Weekends planned. Take a moment to let that number sink in… Remember there are ‘only’ 52 weekends in a year. Roughly it would mean that there are 23 Startup Weekends every weekend. Wait, what? Yes! That’s immense! 

What some people may not realise is that all these Startup events are organised by volunteers. The organising teams make these weekends happen out of love for the community. Okay, that is not strictly true, because we can’t pay all the bills with love (unfortunately). That’s why all the Startup Weekend organisers seek for sponsors who share the same love and believe in the magic of Startup Weekend. It’s a win=win situation: Sponsors love Startup Weekend and the organisers love sponsors.

To give an idea how much time is spent on organising Startup Weekend Groningen: The team often starts meetings in the month May. The event itself is in November so that gives them six months. From July till November there are weekly meetings planned to get everybody up to date and which steps are next to take. The biggest part is getting the sponsors, because they make almost everything happen. The more sponsor money, the more awesome things a Startup Weekend team can arrange for the event! Think of good food, drinks and entertainment.

So the organising team spends countless hours to prepare and promote the event. To think that these people also have a full time day job and therefore deal with their Startup tasks mostly during free time. On the event itself there are even more volunteers in play. Think of the Coaches/Mentors, the facilitator, judges and the extra volunteers who make it easier for the organising team.

Volunteers and sponsors are needed in making a Startup Weekend happen. Are you a company and do you believe in the magic of Startup Weekend? Don’t hesitate to contact the team! The same goes for enthusiastic people who would like to help during the weekend as volunteer. We need you!



Up Global and Startup Weekend


Some of you may have noticed that the Startup Weekend Groningen page has changed. For the new visitors to this website it’s less, or actually, not at all obvious. Well, we can inform you that the website has had a complete make-over indeed. The Startup weekend team wants everybody of the Groningen community to be informed why the look has changed.

Have you heard of the organisation Up Global? If not, it is time you read up on them! They have a mission to make the world a more innovative and prosperous place, one community at a time. Up Global supports the community leaders who are at the core of every strong entrepreneurial community. What does Up Global have to do with Startup Weekend? Good question! Up Global can be seen as the mother ship of all Startup Weekends that are organised. They’ve always been there, but as they say: one community at a time. This year it’s Groningen time to shine and make the change to the new ‘look and feel’ of Up Global. We are going to empower the Groningen entrepreneurs and the community with it.

And now? Apart from the new look and making Groningen a community of entrepreneurs, not much has changed. Startup Weekend will still be an awesome weekend for people who want to build a business in a weekend.

Up Global doesn’t only support Startup Weekend. It also takes care of Startup Next, Startup Digest and Startup Education. Our community here in Groningen already has their own Startup Digest. Sign up via the Startup Weekend page to get all the latest events in your calendar! Visit the Up Global website for more information.


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