Past event…

Event Ended

Het Kasteel, Melkweg 1, Groningen

For more info on upcoming
events & programs
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For more info on upcoming
events & programs
visit your community's
new home on

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, creators, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups!

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

This was Startup Weekend Groningen 2012

Yes, the rumours are true – Startup Weekend is set to return to Groningen!

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a Minimal Viable Product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

Preliminary Schedule


Nov 2
  • Doors Open
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Voting and team formation
  • Doors close, teams can go home or start working


Nov 3
  • Doors open
  • Simple Breakfast
  • Mentors become available
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Doors close, but teams inside can continue working like heroes


Nov 4
  • Doors Open
  • Simple Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Tech check starts
  • Presentation practice/coaching
  • Stop Working
  • Dinner
  • Final Presentations begin
  • Winners Announced
  • After Party - Launch Cafe

Mark Vletter

Founder of Voys Telecom   |  LinkedIn

Mark Vletter tries to steer the 22 profesionals that make up Voys in the right direction. This coffee addict knows how to translate technology into business oportunities and connect the right people to the concept. If your not afraid of some blunt Dutch honesty he's the right guy to get you started.

Voys Telecom is one of the fastest growing Dutch telecom providers. Many SME's and corporates like Gazprom, Nuon and MSI use the services of the TNO spin-off and Deloitte Fast 50 nominee.

Tjeerd Veenhoven

Owner at Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven   |  LinkedIn

Tjeerd Veenhoven is a product designer with a love for inventing materials and production techniques. In his mind being a designer is much more than just esthetics or expressing trends. From his design studio in the North of Holland he experiments with materials and crafts from all over the world developing new products to strengthen local economies, ecological awareness and design thinking.

Tjeerd Veenhoven is 36 and is founder of Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven. Besides that he is part of several innovation platforms. Through workshops and teaching he spreads awareness on bio based materials and the power of design thinking. The Palmleather project is an award winning and exemplary of how design can promote eco friendly materials and social responsibility.

Ward van der Houwen

Independent Product Developer   |  LinkedIn

Ward is an independent engineer, scientist and artist, currently based in Groningen. He is an inspiring, original thinker and maker. With his technical skills and knowledge he not only creates, changes and improves existing (medical) products. The way he talks about and explains these often complex matters is so transparent, clear and inspiring that he frees and energizes the minds of the technical and untechnical alike.

Ward will also be a mentor during the event and you can read more about him here

Gold Sponsors

Erland Bakkers

Strategic Innovation Consultancy   |  LinkedIn

After studying mechanical engineering and Industrial design Erland Bakkers run Product-design and Engineering companies for over 15 years serving a wide variety of market parties, institutional and governmental organizations with the development of a broad field of products and innovative solutions. For 7 years Erland joined the jury of the Dutch television format “Het Beste idee van Nederland”. Nowadays he is busy with the development of the enterprise INUTEQ ‘Cooling by evaporation’ on a worldwide scale and lecturer Industrial Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Herman Kienhuis

Sanoma Ventures   |  LinkedIn

Herman is investment director of SanomaVentures, Sanoma’s new initiative to fund digital startups. For the last four years, he has led the digital business development initiatives of Sanoma Media Netherlands, focused on video, social and mobile. He combines a strong interest in digital media, innovation and sustainable development with a love for vintage design, indie music, family life and slowfood.

Ruud de Jonge

Director Platform Evangelism Western Europe   |  LinkedIn

Ruud joined Microsoft in 1992 as IT director and has moved across the Microsoft organization contributing in technical, sales and marketing roles. Since 2005, Ruud has been involved with evangelism to technical audiences, and starting 2010 Ruud has been responsible for evangelism in Western Europe. In 2011 Ruud added the responsibility for startups in Western Europe.

Trudie Timmerman

Owner LED Factory   |  LinkedIn

Currently the proud owner of a number of companies in the field of LED lighting, Trudie has been around entrepreneurship from an early age.

Envisioning the big picture of lighting systems enables her to serve industry and customer specific product development needs, for example within the agricultural and care industries.

All the products and services are developed with a mind geared towards sustainability, market position and added value, areas which Trudie believes to be important.

Besides business, Trudie also set up a foundation for companies with business models focussed on sustainability, co-organizes the event "Groen" and can be found giving lectures and talks around various topics.

Silver Sponsors

Ronnie Wind

Innovation expert   |  LinkedIn

Almost 25 years of experience in product development in automotive, medical device and consumer electronics industry. Hands-on and leading teams in discovering unmet needs translating them into product concepts and manufacturing it in an international environment.

Last years fulfilling international product introductions with Chinese suppliers. And supporting small companies and start-ups in their quest launching great product and new business concepts.

Wessel Kooyman

CEO at Cole Street   |  LinkedIn

With 16 years of Internet industry experience, a lot of those as a Web Developer in the early days of the web, and having worked with numerous startups in San Francisco as well as in Europe, he’s a veteran in all things web development, and the business part of how to run a startup. He mentors startups at events and for several accelerator programs, as well as for the Cole Street Smart program, part of Cole Street itself. Cole Street is a highly successful web and mobile development company, headquartered in Paris.

Serge van Schie

Microsoft   |  LinkedIn

Recently vacating the role of Technical Enthusiasm Manager, Serge is now the Platform Strategy Advisor for Azure Incubation, at Microsoft in The Netherlands. With a Bachelor's in Computer Science and over 16 years working at technology companies, Serge knows the industry like no other.

Matthijs Hoekstra

Microsoft   |  LinkedIn

Matthijs Hoekstra is working as a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft Netherlands. He’s responsible for everything related to apps. He has experience in mobile app development, building large scalable websites and creating architectures for large software projects.

Andrei Westerink

Founder at   |  LinkedIn

Has more than fifteen years experience in management and director functions across various sectors and countries. Over the past seven years, Andrei Westerink acquired considerable expertise in the online world and he focuses particularly on this sector. Nowadays, he runs his own companies Managementaal and advising entrepreneurs of fast growing companies.

Mathijs Niehaus

Owner, WEL Klantgericht Innoveren   |  LinkedIn

Mathijs Niehaus, innovation specialist

With 15 years experience in the field of innovation, Mathijs supports companies in developing new products or services.

Mathijs is distinguished by early involvement of the customer and/or user in the innovation process and lives by the slogan "Give the customer what he needs, not what he is asking for".

Mathijs is certified FORTH Innovation method facilitator(

The practical FORTH innovation method is a fast effective way to ideate new products, services and business models.

My fields of experience are product development, service development and social innovation. "

Thea Warringa

Founder Innovatie Lab Groningen   |  LinkedIn

Since 1994 Thea is an entrepreneur, focused on design. She started as a graphic designer and nowadays a specialist in entrepreneurial design and the process of creativity.

Thea helps startups, companies, schools, government, etc, by coaching, developing new processes of teaching entrepreneurial design, giving workshops and creating space for entrepreneurship and creativity.

Jan Veldman

Owner MaXX Support   |  LinkedIn

Almost 30 years of experience in Marketing and Sales in sustainable mobility, ICT, publishing and advertising agencies plus international experience in the toy industry.

Recently active as entrepreneur of the Drymer, a futuristic electric bike with carving front wheels, and as owner of MaXX Support. MaXX Support advises and supports companies and start ups in Marketing and Sales. Both from a consultant and an active hands on role. Preferably with the introduction of new and innovative products. Why? Because he likes it when products and ideas ultimately get introduced in the market.

In addition, he works as a coach and mentor of the Chamber of Commerce and he worked with a team of mentors on resolving different issues for startup entrepreneurs.

As the owner of MaXX Support he is both sponsor and supporter of the GasTerra Flames basketball team and supporter of soccerclub FC Groningen and GIJS Bears icehockey.

Edwin Kruis

Managing director of XXL Webhosting & Cloud Provider   |  LinkedIn

Edwin is the managing director of XXL Webhosting and Cloud Provider.
They are one of the largest hosting providers in the northern region, specialized in (cloud) hosting services for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Edwin is known as a hands-on entrepreneur with an interest for conceptual thinking and marketing. His daily mission is making both clients
and colleagues happy. He loves helping others to get the most out of their potential.

Nick Stevens
Roeland Vugts
Jeroen Panjer
Maaike Helder
Annemieke Verhoeff
Jan Coerts

Presentation 101

by swgroningen

Here’s the slide deck that Nick used in the earlier “how to pitch” workshop. swPrishtina-Presentation101

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