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Elke Uijtewaal

Age: 28
About: Combination of a social entrepreneur and freelance designer. Co-founder of Omapost and Noord Design Award, which is an award for design students in the northern part of The Netherlands.

How many Startup Weekends have you attended?
One, but I have always wanted to attend more. If I would participate again I would love to continue with the project after the weekend. However, being busy as it is with Omapost I simply do not have the time to do so. Too often I do too many things at the same time.

How was your first Startup Weekend?
I didn’t know what to expect: a friend invited me to join him. I always liked the idea of starting a company so I decided to go. Once there I loved the energy, the vibe, the people. I teamed up with 8 other people. We worked hard and everyone was helping each other. In the end we came in 2nd!  

What is the most important thing you learned during Startup Weekend?
The fact that everyone can start a business as long as you have a good story and find the right people. A good idea is one that motivates you and inspires others.

And how did Omapost develop after Startup Weekend?
We got a huge boost from the weekend. The group was too large to continue with everyone and we had a bit of a struggle in finding a balance. Some people left, some new people joined. Wilbert and I are the ones that remain from the original group.

In the beginning we did everything by hand just to see if the idea would work. People could place an order through Google forms and we printed out the cards and wrote the addresses by hand. We got more and more orders and to make all of that work we started a crowdfunding campaign. We now have a fully automated system and I am very happy to say we have built an app that works!  

A good idea is one that motivates you and inspires others.

If you would have to convince someone to join #swgro, how would you do that?
Just do it! I have met many people with good ideas who don’t know how to proceed from there. I always advise them to go to a Startup Weekend J It’s an amazing roller-coaster and you can really make the world a bit nicer. Make other people happy with your idea or product.

Anything else you want to say about Startup weekend?
It’s a bit cheesy, but thank you very much for making Startup Weekend happen!

Let’s celebrate the startup community during the 10th edition of startup weekend Groningen.

In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you’ll meet the very best mentors, investors, co-founders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started. Your community is here to help you.

Go to swgro.nl for more info and tickets!

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