Sustainability as an innovation magnet

Business Model Challenge #7

Some time ago I was invited by ImpactHub Amsterdam to facilitate one of their programs, the Business Model Challenge: A 90-day program to stimulate social entrepreneurs with exiting ideas to create (a) viable business model(s). We use the business model canvas and related tools in other client engagements and this was a great opportunity to support social ventures with our knowledge and experience to accelerate towards making meaningful impact.

Business Model Canvas

Innovation is not a lineair process as several of the participants noticed along the way when making substantial pivots. The high-pressure cooker approach creates a safe sandbox to create, play and learn (together) and it allows a very cheap and safe way to fail as fast as possible, to allow creation of an even better idea. Or to decide to close or pass less viable pathways.

It was great to hear the positive feedback and to see the developments these wonderful people have made with their ventures. With some we have already started embarking on new adventures around the country. I look forward to reading more of their successes they will surely be making. In Amsterdam, The Netherlands and beyond.

Below a collection of some of the stories after the final pitches of the 7th edition of the BMC to a crowd of (potential) suppliers, partners, investors, clients and other stakeholders. (Credit: ImpactHub and independent writers)

Soepmaatjes wins the Business Model Challenge #7
June 19th, ImpactHub Amsterdam (Source: ImpactHub) – 15 Social entrepreneurs presented their ideas during the final day of the 90-day Business Model Challenge at the Impact Hub Amsterdam. All 15 ideas offer a solution for the societal challenges we currently are faced with. Kim Hendriks won the Business Model Challenge with her idea ‘Soepmaatjes’ (ed. Soup buddies) and took home the top prize of 5000,-.

Kim Hendriks | Impact Hub Amsterdam | Business Model Challenge | #Impactmaker | Social Enterprise

Soepmaatjes was chosen as the winner of the Business Model Challenge. Soepmaatjes connects elderly to volunteers and makes them ‘soup-buddies’. Twice a week  volunteers create a delicious nutricious soup which is largely made from vegetables from local farms that would normally go to waste. The volunteer brings the soup to the elderly where they enjoy the soup together. “Soepmaatjes adds to the health of the elderly, supports reduction of loneliness and adds to the social cohesion.”, according to Kim Hendriks’

All 17 entrepreneurs participated in the 3-month accelerator program of the ImpactHub Amsterdam. They received all the tools and support to further flash out their idea into a viable business model. “Without a good business idea, your idea is not viable, hence not sustainable. We want these enterprises to sustain in order to continue to make an impact.”, according to Linda Stolp program manager at ImpactHub Amsterdam. The audience prize was won by both Tirza Brems and her idea ‘Brems Breisels’ – a platform for 3D upholstery knitting – and to David Theuevenet and his idea ‘Beer for Mankind’ – a new economic model (‘Romantic capitalism’) where all beer profits go to solving societal problems.

Jury and assessment

The jury consisted of: Dominique van Ratingen (Amsterdam Economic Board), Mark Hillen (Social Entreprise NL), Ismael (JAN accountants) en Wieke van der Zouwen (Impact Hub Amsterdam). They judged the contestants on impact, the business model, the idea, the societal aspect and scalability. Mark: “Kim’s idea is not the most complex, but it does address one of the most important challenges of our time. The idea is scalable and can be transferred into other cities, this often turns out difficult with ideas.”

A selection of Dutch media as a follow up of the BMC:


Good news: Kuunda 3D will receive funding from the Impactmakers Fund for a pilot project testing 3D printer hubs in Tanzania! Kuunda 3D was selected out of seven outstanding submissions for the summer 2015 funding round of the recently started fund. 

Beth Rogers, founder of Kuunda 3D, says “I would first like to thank the Fund members for their support and for selecting Kuunda 3D to receive funding. I am also grateful to the facilitators and administrators of the Business Model Challenge program at Impact Hub – without participation in this program Kuunda 3D would not be where it now is. The 10k will be used to fund a pilot project in Tanzania in late 2015 in which Kuunda 3D will take a 3D printer to a rural village, train locals and develop the first education programs for Tanzanian professionals and students”. The funding consists of a 2 year loan of ten thousand euros.

Kuunda 3D

Beth Rogers is the founder of Kuunda 3D, a Dutch-based start-up that provides access to 3D printing technology to innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries so they can do their jobs better. Kuunda 3D empowers professionals, students and entrepreneurs through hands-on training & education programs as well as sales of high quality 3D printers and plastic filament. Impact is made as infrastructure gaps in manufacturing and distribution are circumvented to create products and solutions locally – we simply provide the access and know-how so innovators can solve very local problems, improving their communities and countries. 

Funding to help you start, grow, and scale

The Impactmakers Fund was founded to encourage more #Impactmakers to start, grow, and scale. Here, social entrepreneurs who are members of Impact Hub’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can submit a proposal for an impact investment. The idea must be enterprising and have a positive impact on society. People with a great business case and little means can submit a proposal for a favourabe loan. By investing through loans, the Impactmakers Fund will be a revolving and therefore sustainable fund.

Fund it forward

Nice to know: the money of the Impactmakers Fund is raised by Impact Hub members through the crowdfunding campaign in 2013 and by partners of Impact Hub Amsterdam. By members, for members, that’s why the slogan Fund it forward is right on spot!

Apply for the next round

The next financing round will be in early 2016; the deadline for application is the first of February. The fund looks for entrepreneurs who have a great idea but no means to take the next necessary step. If you have an initiative that fits the following criteria for funding, please apply!

· Short term investment (3 years)
· In form of a loan of max. €1,000 – €10,000
· For business/entrepreneurial development
· For a Dutch-based entrepreneur
· With a clear start and endpoint
· A positive impact as result (on the world, on your community and on your income)
· A profitable business model (to be possible to pay back the loan with gift to the Fund)
· Innovative concept
· Powerful collaboration


By: Nadine Maarhuis, may 26, 2015

Today, I am meeting with Dana and Adrian, a vibrant young entrepreneurial duo with one goal: changing the online shopping experience dramatically. The best of Adrian’s extensive marketing experience and Dana’s passion for fashion are being combined in their soon-to-be social venture: ASADRA. ASADRA is the missing link between customers who desire to buy unique products and fashion designers who are struggling to reach their target audience.


Every year, over 100.000 fashion designers graduate worldwide: only 1% of them becomes successful.

The rest of them aren’t able to make it because they are having a hard time reaching their customers. This is where ASADRA comes in: ASADRA is an online market-place for fashion designers that will enable them to become independent and successful.

‘’The fashion designers are the stars, we want to enable them to shine.’’

ASADRA offers all fashion designers a full-service online marketplace where they can sell their products to a global audience: ‘’Whether just out of school or packed with decades of experience, all unique designers are welcome.’’. ASADRA provides the designers with a personalized store-profile, ware-housing, customer support and extensive marketing. In addition, the online rating-system based on product-reviews will provide them with product-credibility. In return, ASADRA charges the designers with a 20% fee on every sale they make. ASADRA is all about no cure, no pay: ‘’We only charge the designers with a fee when they actually sell products.’’

ASADRA | Adrian Silineks | Business Model Challenge | Startup Accelerator | Socent | Circulaire Economie | Betere Wereld | Ondernemersplan schrijven | bedrijf starten | MVO | Beste ondernemersidee

To enter, the designers don’t have to invest anything in ASADRA, and thus can start right away. Adrian stresses that this is because ASADRA really wants to facilitate the designers growth: ‘’The fashion designers are the stars, we want to enable them to shine’’.


Because the online shopping business is super extensive, customers and fashionistas like Dana herself are overwhelmed by all the e-commerce websites they come across. Because of this, many people who were looking for unique fashion end up buying products at the most popular online shops. ASADRA wants to overcome this problem, by offering customers a unique personalized online shopping platform that makes all other e-commerce websites unnecessary.

‘’Do you know the great Custom Radio Station feature at Spotify? We are going to bring the same thing to online fashion shopping.’’

‘’When entering ASADRA for the first time, you get an overview of multiple unique designer products from all price ranges. With every click, ASADRA gets a better idea of your personal taste.’’, Adrian explains. ‘’The truly unique thing about ASADRA are the personalized products feeds. Do you know the great Custom Radio Station feature at Spotify? We are going to bring the same thing to online fashion shopping.’’. Just like Spotify plays you songs that fit your musical preferences, ASADRA will show you designer products that fit your taste in fashion. Customers can create their own feeds, but can also look at the feeds others have created: ‘’Because of this, your favorite fashionista can become your own personal stylist!’’, Dana tells enthusiastically.


‘’We are very excited about the mind-change we are observing in the fashion world: more and more people are looking to buy sustainable products.’’

In addition to all this, ASADRA also wants to make a sustainable impact on the fashion industry: they want to make sustainable fashion the new norm. Dana and Adrian feel like now is the time to do so: ‘’We are very excited about the mind-change we are observing in the fashion world: more and more people are looking to buy sustainable products.’’. By highlighting sustainable fashion items with a special icon, ASADRA will draw the attention of this growing group of customers towards these products. ‘’From my marketing-background I know that this will lead to more sells, which will stimulate more designers to start creating sustainable fashion.’’, Adrian tells. ‘’At the same time, this feature will provide ASADRA’s customers with transparency about how the products are made: something that is extremely important to us.’’


Dana and Adrian are one of the 17 participants of this year’s Business Model Challenge, run by Impact Hub Amsterdam. With two months down and only one month to go, Dana and Adrian emphasize how valuable the challenge has been for them so far: ‘’The program made a huge contribution to our current business plan. By having all our peers from the challenge take a look at it, we gained a lot of new perspectives and insights.’’. The challenge also inspired them to take their business plan to the next level: ‘’We now know that we should never stop developing: once you stop, you lose. This is why we started conducting in-depth interviews with people from the fashion industry.’’. This has made their business model bulletproof: ‘’We now feel like we have a business plan that is strong enough to present to investors, which was exactly what we hoped to gain from participating in the challenge.’’

‘’Participating in the Business Model Challenge is something we definitely don’t regret.’’

Not only being in the challenge, but also being at Impact Hub Amsterdam was really helpful for Dana and Adrian: ‘’It was really inspiring to be around the other entrepreneurs. They have been of great help to our network: several entrepreneurs have introduced us to people in the field and possible investors. Because of all this, participating in the Business Model Challenge is something we definitely don’t regret.’’


One year from now, Dana and Adrian hope to have launched ASADRA and to be celebrating the positive impact that they are making on the fashion industry. To make this happen, they still need two things: seed-investments and more unique designers to work with. ‘’The seed-investments would make it possible for us to create the online platform, hire a team of experts, approach more designers and thereby start making the positive impact we are longing to make.’’, they say. ‘’We are also still looking for more designers to work with. To attract them, we came up with a great deal: the first 200 designers that approach us will get a 50% discount on all the products at ASADRA for life. So designers, if you read this, don’t hesitate!’’

Once ASADRA is launched, its self-driven market strategy will make it bound to go sky high. Every day, hundreds of thousands of fashionistas are online looking for unique items to share. At ASADRA, they can actually start making a living by doing this: every time someone buys a product at ASADRA by following the link that the fashionista has shared online, she will receive 3% of the price of the product. This will generate an endless stream of publicity.

So, investors and designers from all over the world, this is your chance to be part of the first steps of an amazing innovative social venture that is bound to go sky high. What are you still waiting for?!

De Deelkelder: een plek waar spullen én ervaringen gedeeld kunnen worden

Door: Nadine Maarhuis, 26-05-2015 | 3-5 min.

‘’De Deelkelder is een sociaal maatschappelijke fysieke plek in de buurt waar mensen niet alleen spullen, maar ook ervaringen kunnen delen.’’, vertellen Michiel en Claire. Beide zijn door een verhuizing op het idee van De Deelkelder gekomen: ‘’Toen we zelf gingen verhuizen, hadden we geen plek meer voor de hobbyspullen waar we gelukkig van worden. In plaats van iets positiefs, was het eigendom van bijvoorbeeld ons surfboard ineens een last geworden. Toen bedachten we dat we deze spullen best met anderen zouden willen delen als we ze in ruil daarvoor in een gedeelde opslag konden stallen! Michiel en Claire ontwikkelden als deelnemers van de Business Model Challenge 2015 recentelijk hun idee tot social startup’’.

De Deelkelder zorgt voor sociale cohesie in de buurt

En zo was het idee van De Deelkelder geboren. De Deelkelder is een combinatie van een online platform met een fysieke opslagplaats in de buurt. Via het online platform komen vraag en aanbod samen. geeft bewoners een visueel overzicht van de spullen die in hun buurt worden aangeboden. Daarnaast geeft het hen de mogelijkheid om bepaalde items te vragen. Op het platform kun je per product, maar ook per straat zoeken: je ziet dan niet alleen waar de spullen worden aangeboden, maar ook door wie. Dit maakt De Deelkelder volgens Michiel en Claire uniek: ‘’De Deelkelder zorgt er niet alleen voor dat je anderen blij kunt maken met spullen die meer dan de helft van de tijd ongebruikt in je schuur staan, maar het zorgt ook voor meer sociale cohesie in de buurt. Via het online platform kun je er bijvoorbeeld achter komen dat die ogenschijnlijk keurige buurvrouw eigenlijk heel erg van golfsurfen houdt. Of dat je je yoga-passie met je achterbuurman deelt. Doordat De Deelkelder een fysieke plek biedt waar je elkaar kunt ontmoeten, stelt dit mensen in staat om hierover een praatje met elkaar te maken. De interesse in de hobby van een buur zorgt zo voor verbinding.’’

Startup accelerator voor een betere wereld

Michiel en Claire vertellen dat de Business Model Challenge (BMC) hen enorm veel heeft gebracht: ‘’Toen we aan de BMC begonnen, hadden we een heel complex business-idee. Doordat we al interviews hadden gehouden met potentiële gebruikers, investeerders en bekenden, hadden we teveel suggesties in ons oorspronkelijke idee verwerkt. Hierdoor was ons idee te groot. Tijdens de BMC hebben we onszelf keer op keer afgevraagd: wat is voor ons nou de kern van De Deelkelder?’’. Dit heeft geresulteerd in Michiel en Claires huidige business-model: De Deelkelder als ruimte waarin spullen gedeeld kunnen worden. Daarnaast vertellen Michiel en Claire dat ze enorm genoten hebben van de positieve sfeer tijdens de BMC: ‘’Ondanks dat het een challenge is, is iedereen heel behulpzaam. Deelnemers zijn onderling vooral bezig met elkaar helpen en spreken buiten de Hub af om elkaar feedback te geven. Dat zijn hele mooie momenten.’’. Ook Impact Hub Amsterdam heeft volgens Michiel en Claire een ontzettend positieve bijdrage aan De Deelkelder geleverd: ‘’De Hub is een plek vol inspirerende mensen die allemaal graag met je willen meedenken. Zo heeft De Hub ons geholpen met het verzekeringsvraagstuk door ons met de juiste mensen in contact te brengen. En nu hebben we hierdoor onlangs de kans gekregen om ons idee over de deeleconomie bij een grote internationale verzekeringsmaatschappij te pitchen!’’

De Deelkelder nu

‘’Op dit moment zijn we nog op zoek naar locaties voor onze eerste Deelkelders.’’, vertelt Michiel. Omdat Michiel en Claire echter niet langer wilden wachten, hebben ze de mobiele Deelkelder ontwikkeld: ‘’Dit is een bakwagen die van buurt tot buurt gaat: we kondigen aan wanneer we in een bepaalde buurt staan. In die tijd kunnen mensen spullen naar De Deelwagen brengen en kunnen ze spullen uit de wagen meenemen. En wanneer mensen hun spullen weer nodig hebben, komen we ze gewoon weer terugbrengen!’’

Over één jaar..

‘’Ons uiteindelijke doel is om in elke buurt in Nederland een Deelkelder te creëren.’’, vertellen Michiel en Claire. ‘’Maar over één jaar willen we in ieder geval drie locaties in Amsterdam en Utrecht hebben. Op deze locaties willen we met verschillende modellen van De Deelkelder experimenteren.’’. Zo willen ze naast het standaardmodel, waarbij mensen betalen om hun spullen in de Deelkelder te mogen stallen en hun stallingsgeld door verhuur kunnen terugverdienen, ook experimenteren met een alternatief betaalmiddel. Naar eigen zeggen gaan Michiel en Claire een spannende tijd tegemoet: ‘’Het lastige en tegelijkertijd het leuke van ondernemen is dat je eigenlijk nooit precies weet hoe het gaat lopen. Wie weet hebben we over één jaar 1 locatie, wie weet meer dan 10. Je moet maar net de goede mensen tegenkomen, die zeggen: wij hebben er vertrouwen in en willen jullie graag een kans geven, kom maar.’’. Dus, ben jij of ken jij zo’n iemand: wacht niet langer en jump in!

Some of the things you get from the program:

  • You get in the right mindset to lift your business model (e.g.  product/service) to a higher level.
  • You discover what the greatest value is of what you offer
  • You find out what differentiates your offer from others
  • You acquire a lot of knowledge about your (new) target audience(s) and their real (unsatisfied) needs
  • You discover whether your target audience really wants to pay for what you have to offer
  • You learn how you can increase your (triple) bottom line impact and decrease your negative footprint
  • You get lots of feedback on your ideas and options so you can perfect it more and more
  • You will have more clarity of the viability of your offer and how to put your product in the market (the right problem-solution fit)
  • You will have received lots of tips and advice from experienced intra- and entrepreneurs
  • You will have practiced to tell your story convincingly through a strong presentation
  • You will have learned and practiced with a set of new techniques and tools – used by the most successful startups and companies – to accelerate your startup and to grow your business
  • You get access to our (international) network of (social) entrepreneurs, investors and experts, which could become your future partners

Please contact us for more information on this or other programs we offer.


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ImpactHub Amsterdam
KIT Mauritskade 63
1092 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

+31(0)6 26 07 89 87
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