The 2018-2019 edition of Impact Hub Amsterdam’s Investment Ready Program (IRP) was won by Jack Bean! Entrepreneurs Mathijs Huis in ’t Veld and Pepijn Schmeink aim to ease the transition towards a more plant-based diet with their plant-based fast cuisine concept. Their business is one of the 12 circular startups participating in our five-month Investment Ready accelerator program. We asked Jack Bean and fellow participants Noor Buur (Soop) and Tynke van den Heuvel (Studio Wae) to share their experience.

What has IRP brought you?
Noor: “It really helped us improve our business model in a more sustainable and circular way, and really grasp how to improve, organisation-wise.” Mathijs was able to look ahead: “The leadership module, in particular, was very valuable to us. The program also helped us scrutinise our numbers and make long-term financing goals, and we learned how to safeguard our position in investor conversations.” For Tynke, the program made her take an unexpected leap: “It’s a pretty bold thing to say, but I think I can say for 90 or 100%, I started scaling because of Impact Hub. They gave me insights into my company and helped me with a financial prognosis. I would have waited to save up more, but that made me decide: now is the time. The numbers are in the black; let’s do this!”

Peer-to-peer learning
In the IRP, participants work as a group. In fact, the winner of the program is peer-selected. There is a lot of peer-to-peer contact, and participants learn from one another. Mathijs: “We particularly met our match in HRBS: we had both already experienced a round of investment, which made us excellent sparring partners.” Noor, in turn, could take from that: “Some of the companies are a step ahead of us, which makes for a steep learning curve.” Tynke learned something from each of the startups: “From how they got their financials together, the way they built up their team, their struggles, and the times they took risks.”

The future for Jack Bean, Soop, and Studio Wae
As the program’s winner, Jack Bean will be able to present before ING’s informal investor network. Mathijs: “This is a massively interesting opportunity for us: through it we can find parties interested in joining in our crowdfunding campaign, and financial or business partners that can help us grow.” Tynke will also be pulling out all the stops: “As the team is growing and I can pass on some of the responsibility, I will have more time to think about collaborations and new products.” Noor: “I will miss the program support. It is comforting and useful to have likeminded people help you take your business a step further. I hope that we, as a group, can continue to be each other’s…” — “Growth-support buddies?” “Yeah, growth-support buddies! Our very own board of advisors.”

Apply by 23 September for the next edition of our Investment Ready Program to review your business model, strategy and team and craft a validated plan to make your enterprise ready for investment! You could join the ranks of alumni who have raised more than €10,5 million in funding.