Two weeks ago Enviu co-hosted the (first ever) Dutch Mission on social entrepreneurship to San Francisco, together with Social Enterprise NL, Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Social Impact Ventures, and the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco. Highlight was the Social Capital 2017 (SOCAP17) event, the worlds largest annual gathering when it comes to social impact investing and entrepreneurship. Four of Enviu’s ventures were invited to SOCAP17 to share their master plan to change the world with their company.
We thought the mission was a great success. And we were not the only ones! Media like Het Financieele Dagblad and OneWorld reported on it as well. But what did the ventures think? Of course we were very curious how they experienced it. We wanted to let them speak for themselves and asked them.
Michel Smit, CEO of Energy Floors
“The mission was very interesting to see what scaling internationally entails. Where better to see this than in the United States, especially Silicon Valley? For a clean tech company like Energy Floors it is now much clearer which steps we need to take.”
“It was good to see that the Netherlands plays a prominent role, and is quite ahead of the game when it comes to impact entrepreneurship. The delegation showed this excellently, and especially the mutual contacts are very useful for Energy Floors.”
“In the coming 1-2 years we are focusing on the European market, close to home. Afterwards follows a potential step to the United States. The Sustainable Dance Floor is still a crowd pleaser and creates a lot of enthusiasm, nationally and internationally. Together with Enviu we are going to explore marketing the Sustainable Dance Floor more targeted towards the West Coast. Potentially in the form of a startup or a franchise.”
Bart Meijs, Investment Manager at Enviu, and representative of People’s Pension Holding on the mission
“First of all it was extraordinary as a social enterprise to be selected to represent the Netherlands.”
“The program was very inspiring and instructive, focused on managing a social enterprise, as well as on generating sales and finding investors. SOCAP is the largest gathering when it comes to social capital. Very impressive and useful.”
“People’s Pension Holding has been able to take follow-up steps with two investors at SOCAP.”
Cedrick Tandong, CEO of Three Wheels United
“I met so many relevant people in the same place. Investors, potential grant funders, accelerator programs, ecosystem partners, etc. The presence of Three Wheels United at SOCAP in numerous ways validated our business and unleashed the potential of what it can become in the future.”
“The mission gave Three Wheels United a stage to pitch its business model in front of numerous potential investors and attracted the interest of potential funding partners. We also pitched at the Dutch Mixer event, and this led to a win of an investor, as well as being invited personally to participate in an accelerator program!”
Ronan Hayes, CMO & Co-founder of Reflow
“I tried to absorb as much insight and knowledge from the other social entrepreneurs on the trip, from the founders of some of the fascinating Silicon Valley companies we were meeting, and from the other thought leaders attending SOCAP.”
“As Reflow moves beyond an early stage company there are a whole host of things that we as a founding team need to think about. From scalability of our model, to the fulfillment of our team members. This was a great opportunity to step out and really dive into this and learn from experienced and talented people who have been there.”
“SOCAP also provided a real opportunity to spot bridge financing opportunities and build relationships in the impact investing space. We’re following up on these now, and hope to glean 2-3 real concrete outcomes from the week. Time will tell but already the experience has altered our approach slightly.”
Enviu builds ventures that provide solutions to social and environmental issues. Our commitment is long-term, we continue to support them in realizing this ambition. We were very proud that four of our ventures were invited to join to gain new insights and search for partners to scale their business and impact!