A Journal exploring the value of plants and flowers
23-11-2017 Update

A roundup of our Let it Grow Bootcamp

Words by Kelsey Lee Jones

Photos by Abel Minnée

This year's Let it Grow Bootcamp invited a group of international floriculture experts, ambassadors and entrepreneurs together for an exciting 6-day programme of training and activity. An opportunity for all to network with peers and players within the sector, to receive or offer coaching, and exchange knowledge in an ‘unconference’. It happened on home soil - at our new office space FreedomLab Amsterdam - and ended amongst the flowers, with a trip to the largest flower and plant auction in the Netherlands for Royal FloraHolland’s annual Trade Fair.     ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  

We offered invaluable training for startups and entrepreneurs

 

Our bootcamp programme offered six days of training in a range of topics. We kicked off with fresh insights into today’s floriculture scene – shared by Let it Grow’s founder Silke Tijkotte and Rabobank researcher Lambert van Horen – and the introduction to Lean Startup methodologies, as told by Bob Janssen and Otto Freijen.

Over the following days, mentors Bart Doorneweert and Gerwin Hogendoorn shared their expertise in Business Modelling, while Robbert van Geldrop, Evelien Al and Lars Crama dived deep into Experiment Design and Agile Working. Arthur Tolsma, the lead mentor of this year’s Incubation Programme, inspired startups to practise and perfect their pitching skills and set goals for the future.

There were moments for 1-on-1 coaching, as experts helped startups apply learnings to their businesses. Ambassadors of Royal FloraHolland were also open in sharing their extensive network.

An open conference for the floriculture sector

 

One of the bootcamp highlights came in the second week, as we hosted our own Open Conference and invited the whole floriculture sector – we got together 60+ professionals from all kinds of backgrounds. The event was set up as an ‘unconference’ – which meant the entire agenda was set by the participants based on their knowledge and what they wanted to learn or share that day. 

“This is an open conversation and it’s just the beginning”

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Participants pitched their own sessions: those seeking feedback on a business challenge they’re dealing with, experts who wanted to share their knowledge and those interested in sparking a discussion of some kind. The floor voted for what they were most interested in. Then when the agenda was decided, the groups broke off with 25 minutes to dive into their topics – we saw knowledge sharing in the field of UX Design,  expert ‘How to’ sessions on Raising Funding, Selling and Pricing, discussions about ‘Green in the Education System’ and ‘Circular Economy in the Floriculture Sector’. Our own futurologist Jacintha Scheerder came by to talk about horizons scanning and shared how she raises her facts. Bob Janssen closed the day with a reminder to all: “Don’t forget to look around you, there are experts everywhere. Collaborate, and learn from each other”. Many participants expressed their joy in being part of what feels like “a new movement” and the start of something bigger for the sector.

“Look around you, there are experts everywhere. Collaborate and learn from each other”

And a trip to the largest flower and plant fair in the Netherlands

 

On the 7th day, we ran a trip to Royal FloraHolland annual Trade Fair that took place in Aalsmeer. As the epicentre of flower and plant trading and the largest auction site in the world (spanning a massive 5,580,000 sqft; 128 acres), it’s a spectacle for those who have never visited before.

The international horticultural sector gathers at the fair each year to network, share knowledge, get inspired and do business. This year, we set up our own Let it Grow booth in the gallery, with the mission to spread the word on our platform, initiatives and projects, as well as helping the sector – everyone from growers, innovators and businesses – connect to a new world. We also invited our Incubation Programme startups and entrepreneurs to pitch their innovations and businesses on stage to a large audience, which was greatly received.

The result: a happy bunch of entrepreneurs and ambassadors!

 

Many thanks to all those involved in our bootcamp. Keep checking back to follow the journey of Class 2 in our Incubation Programme.