For our Investment Ready Program, which helps circular and sustainable startups find the right investors, we collaborate with multiple partners, including The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Read this interview with BCG Principal Stef van Hout to find out how BCG supports our Investment Ready Program participants – from business strategy and advice on entering new markets to bringing structure and focus to entrepreneurial thinking.

The beginning of a successful partnership

“Five years ago, some of my colleagues learned about Impact Hub’s Investment Ready Program (IRP) and became very enthusiastic about setting up a cooperation with Impact Hub. For the BCG leadership, it was important that the consultants offering pro bono support were genuinely motivated to support impact startups and viewed this work as a learning experience complementary to their typical work. And we now have a group of 30 BCG consultants working with IRP participants each year.”

How BCG supports impact entrepreneurs

“Our main focus is on bringing structure and focus to a startup founder’s thinking. We help the IRP startups develop a clear objective and understand what conditions are needed to achieve it. If you think of the entrepreneur as a gardener who could grow 1,000 flowers, BCG’s role is to support them in making one flower blossom. Or, in other words, to make one product a success and grow from there.

Take CoVadem, winners of IRP 2018. They wanted to discuss how the pricing model of their cooperative water depth measurement platform may evolve over the next few years. So we worked together with them on developing their current pricing scheme and helped give them the extra push they needed to channel their efforts on growing their network and talking to investors.”

How Impact Hub adds value to BCG

“In the Investment Ready Program, entrepreneurs focus on what’s important, which is not necessarily the same as what’s urgent. They step out of their operational routine and take time to reflect on their business model and next steps together with their peers. Thanks to this unique approach, the IRP has been extremely valuable for generating enthusiasm and learning opportunities for our team. As our consultants usually work with large corporates, with IRP they get to experiment a bit.

And unlike our regular work, where some of our more junior team members don’t always have direct contact with key decision makers, the IRP provides an opportunity to them to get full exposure to key decision makers. This is incredibly valuable, as it helps them to gain insight into how a CEO makes decisions on a daily basis. They also get to coach the entrepreneurs on approaching data collection and analysis, which prepares our consultants for senior managerial roles. That’s what makes our partnership with the Investment Ready Program an ideal collaboration.”

More about Investment Ready

During our 5-month Investment Ready Program, which is sponsored by the ING Nederland Foundation, we’ll help you review your business model, strategy and team and craft a funding plan to grow your sustainable business.

At the program’s Demo Day, you’ll pitch your plan to our network of impact investors for a chance to join the ranks of alumni who have raised more than 10 million euro. Apply by 28 November