At first, let me introduce myself: my name is Kristen Bos, I am 25 years old and I work as an online marketeer at conversies.nl. Besides that, I’m one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Groningen. This is my second year of organizing and my main focus lies on the marketing and social media.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Marketing from Hanzehogeschool Groningen last year. Shortly before graduating, I came back from Aruba where I lived for six months and organized a kite- and windsurf event. I had to choose a minor and my teacher said: ‘Kristen, you have to choose a minor where you have the freedom to explore and learn as much as you can besides the regular school system’. She recommended the minor: Da Vinci. All right, I thought, sounds like a plan.
The minor Da Vinci is focused on design thinking and effectuation. These theories are being used by entrepreneurs in starting businesses and they stimulate entrepreneurial behaviour and concept development. Furthermore, the minor was located at The Big Building back then. When I came there for the first time, I didn’t know where to look. What a great environment and so many cool start-ups were located here! I followed this minor in the last year of my studies and I was not sure what I wanted to do when I would graduate. That’s why I decided to meet as much people possible during my time in The Big Building, so I could build up my network.
At a rainy day, we had a vrimibo on a boat with some guys from The Big Building. That is when I met Luuk Hartsema. We were talking about organizing events and Luuk told me about this event he was organizing, called Startup Weekend Groningen. And this is how I ended up in the Startup Weekend organisation. Normally you have to participate in a Startup Weekend event before you can organize one. However, with my experience as an event planner it was not a problem that I had not participated before.
In the meantime, I finished my studies and I quit working at the Perry Sport (it was my side job). Startup Weekend took a lot of my time and I had no idea where I had to search for a job. I got to know a lot of people during the period of organizing Startup Weekend. One day we I a ticket sale meeting with Bram and Ryco (from Op Scherp) at ‘Het Kwadraat’ and Bouke Majoor was passing by. Bouke is the founder of Conversies.nl. Bram told me: ‘You have to go to Bouke! He has a company based on online marketing and you are good with the social media and marketing from Startup Weekend. He is looking for new team members’. But at that time, I just had my focus on organising Startup Weekend and didn’t know what to do with this.
During Startup Weekend there were a couple of girls who were just as enthusiastic as I am and we had a good connection. Then all of a sudden, Bouke showed up again and it turned out that the girls I was talking with were working with Bouke at Conversies.nl. We chatted about them searching for a new team member and because of that I decided to apply for a job at Conversies.nl. Currently I’m already working for Bouke since March.
My point is that you don’t have to go to Startup Weekend with the intention to start a business. You can also join Startup Weekend for you network, because you’ll meet a bunch of new people and might find a job during the weekend. The people that participate at Startup Weekend are awesome and the community is great.