This story is the first in a series introducing the four impact entrepreneurs taking part in the health-focused Amsterdam City Fellowship accelerator, which is part of the City of Amsterdam’s Social Entrepreneurship Program.
Meet Start met Happen and its founder, Pien ter Hoeven, who shares the mission of her young enterprise, her achievements thus far, and how the City of Amsterdam and Impact Hub helped her develop her business model.


Making good nutritional behaviour more accessible to residents in care facilities

“We believe that the power of good nutritional behaviour can be used to improve the quality of life of residents in shared care facilities and reduce costs for healthcare organisations. Thus, we facilitate transitions to healthier food policies for care providers, and provide coaching and advice throughout this process. To make good nutritional behaviour more accessible, we also develop tools such as fresh DIY do-it yourself meal boxes. These help people with special care needs feel more self-reliant, as well as turn cooking together into something easy and fun for both shared living residents and their carers”.

Start met Happen wins grant and lands Cordaan as their launching customer 

“After our business began in May 2016, with an idea that received a € 27,000 grant at 2016’s Sociale Helden West competition, our current focus is on growing our enterprise. We’re proud to have participated in De Uitdaging accelerator co-created by Impact Hub, Nyenrode Business School and the City of Amsterdam. Since then, we hired a person with distance to the labour market, while care provider Cordaan funded our pilot and became our launching customer. We’re proud to be one of the finalists of the health-focused Amsterdam City Fellowship accelerator chosen to continue collaborating with the municipality on innovative solutions to health-related urban challenges”.

Impact Hub and the City of Amsterdam helped Start met Happen develop its strategy

“De Uitdaging program inspired us to hire our first employee with a distance to the labour market and to officially become a Leerwerkbedrijf (learn/work company), meaning that our business now helps train and guide people with disabilities. During the Amsterdam City Fellowship accelerator, we felt that the specialised expertise of our Impact Hub and municipality mentors fit perfectly with our growth phase and related finance and strategy issues”.

You can follow Start met Happen’s adventures on Facebook, as well as Impact Hub’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn feeds. To stay updated on the City of Amsterdam’s work in connecting all players in Amsterdam impact ecosystem, follow Amsterdam Impact on Twitter.

More about the Amsterdam City Fellowship:

The Amsterdam City Fellowship, which is part of the City of Amsterdam’s Social Entrepreneurship Action Program 2015-2018, facilitates collaboration between impact entrepreneurs and the City of Amsterdam. The aim of this close collaboration is to co-create and implement innovative solutions to health-related urban challenges. In this 8-month accelerator, which runs until December 2017, impact entrepreneurs develop their innovative products / services and receive expert guidance and mentoring from the municipality and Impact Hub’s extensive networks.

And after a Business Model Challenge phase – during which we helped participants refine adapt their products to client needs and explore potential sales avenues – Rain(a)way, VraagApp, Start met Happen and Totem Open Health were selected to continue collaboration with the municipality and work on making Amsterdam more climate resilient, ensure that people with cognitive disabilities or living in care institutions feel more supported and empowered, and increase the potential of wearable tech to monitor serious health conditions.