An honest talk with Wilbert van de Kamp about his experience with Startup Weekend
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
Wilbert van den Kamp is one of our beloved sponsors of our main event later this month, on the 24th of March. To give you a quick summary; he's passionate about food, people, loves Startup Weekend and is one of the most authentic people that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. What do I mean with authentic? Experience it for yourself by reading the interview below, enjoy.
Everytime I see you or your name, you seem to be connected to another exciting project. To name just a few of them, you’re the CEO of Omapost, Co founder of Appelkruimel&Fris, you host a talkshow and have even organized a Startup Weekend yourself. I’m curious, with all the companies aside, how would you describe yourself?
A connecting entrepreneur maybe? I do what I like: connecting people who normally do not connect. Young and old, food producers and consumers, and those who feel left out because of their looks. In society, people drift away from each other more and more. I find that a pity and look for opportunities to change that. The solutions I come up with have different forms, ranging from campaigns, companies and a talkshow, all the way to the very place I live.
What does the concept Startup Weekend mean to you?
It is the place where I started my own company. I met my co-founder there, as well as a lot of people who have helped me accelerating and strengthening Omapost. I love the atmosphere and the mix of people.
One of the companies that I just named, Omapost, is the result of Startup Weekend Groningen 2014. Can you tell me more about why you joined SW and how Omapost came to be?
True. Nick Stevens – CDO of Groningen – convinced me to take part. He said I would not regret it; I must say, he was right! I had no idea what to pitch about. I just went, and when I was standing in line, I realised I was missing my grandma. So I came up with the idea of Omapost: sending your offline grandma real postcards with stuff you would normally post online. We worked on the idea with 9 people and were runner-up. After one year of testing and screwing around, we started a crowdfunding. Since august, people are able to use our app. Currently, we have about 6,000 users.
What made Omapost a successful endeavour?
Being very stubborn on one side, but very open to cooperating with other people or companies on the other side. We have taken huge financial risks at times, but it has always come around exactly at the right time. We are still working together with a lot of people I met at Startup Weekend. If people have great ideas about what to do with Omapost, we can make it work within a few weeks, which makes us very flexible. Until now, I have not earned a dime with Omapost, but I have a way better relationship with my grandma. And that is worth a lot as well. I am sure that we will start earning money sometime soon though!
Got any tips & tricks for future participants?
If you want to pitch, do not practice too much. If you do not want to pitch, still do. Just pitch something weird, pitching makes Startup Weekend so much more fun.
You’re sponsoring our main event in March with an awesome prize that we’re allowed to give away, why have you chosen to sponsor us and what do you hope to accomplish?
Just because I like Startup Weekend so much. I do not have a lot of money, but I have something else to share. It is all about having a good time with the team: the most important thing there is.
Is there anything you’d like to tell the future participants, and/-or people that aren’t sure whether they should buy a ticket?
Like Nick Stevens always says: just buy one; if you regret it, I will give you back your money.