Looking back over the year, I can only smile. We started with an idea, which has grown into a vibrant home for green businesses, an Incubation Programme for entrepreneurs, and a beautiful online magazine.
The definition of success can be quite a personal thing. I had set goals for Let it Grow at the beginning of the year and I would say that we have surpassed them. When we started in January, I felt that the time was right: that entrepreneurs and the floriculture sector were ready for Let it Grow. And I was right! People in the sector are extremely enthusiastic about what we’re doing, and many platforms around the world want to write what we’re doing for plant and flower innovation and the Dutch startup scene.
The highlights of 2016 were definitely the four Let it Grow milestones: From the opening of the Innovation Call on May 10th, to Roef festival where all of the entrepreneurs who applied met for a sunny afternoon on an Amsterdam rooftop. And then there was the Selection Day on September 23rd – I was so impressed that all these amazing teams pitched their ideas to a panel of professionals. And finally, Startup Envoy Constantijn of Orange and the CEO of Royal FloraHolland Lucas Vos opened the Let it Grow Lab on October 24th.
Looking to 2017, our ‘New Year’s Resolution’ will be to build more partnerships, may it be within the floriculture sector, the government, or technology companies. I also hope to collaborate with knowledge institutes and universities so that we can help translate the incredible scientific research they’re carrying out to make plants and flowers accessible to everyone in cities.
A big Let it Grow dream of mine has also been international growth. I recently visited Berlin, and I think that’s the place I would like to expand to when we start to scale-up Let it Grow. There’s a great vibe there and a lot of people doing things with green.
The main event for Let it Grow in 2017 will be the Greenhouse Festival on April 2nd and 3rd. We have plans for it to be a big festival celebrating all things green, but it will also one of the most important days for Let it Grow Lab’s Class 1 as they present their businesses and products, and showcase the work they have done in the Incubation Programme over the past five months.
For now, I’m going to keep focusing on my own development and bring new energy into 2017. I’m incredibly proud of the team and all we have achieved together this year. To all our readers, take care of yourselves and keep on welcoming plants and flowers into your lives. I can’t wait to take you all on new green adventures in the new year!