Category Archives: Events

Institutional Effectuation

Last week, I attended a conference in Dar es Salaam on institutional design for economic development. The conference was organized by REPOA, one of the leading think tanks of Sub Sahara Africa. Since John Magufuli rules Tanzania with a bombardement of institutional reforms, the effects of institutional reform has become very actual in the streets of Dar and beyond. Most ‘development’ partners  are very worried that the process of change will end in a nightmare. The big stars at conference were Lant Pritchett of Harvard, John Sutton of LSE and Francois Bourguignon of PSE, all associated economists with the World Bank. My own paper, by the way, was on connecting institutional reform to the emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
During the conference, across sessions an angry discussion gained traction, to culminate in the last plenary session. African policy makers and academics ‘accused’ the knowledgeable white men of that ‘we know all this’. We know what good institutions are, in what way ‘our’ institutions are bad, and what the effects are of these malfunctioning institutions. We have the right policies for years, however, these have not generated the right institutions let alone the positive effects on economic development. It is implementation and execution stupid!
One young Nigerian economist working at the International Growth Center took up the challenge in his session. His argument was that policy advice should not focus on what institutions should be, but instead focus what they are and start improving what is there. This sounds simple, but actually is a revolutionary idea. in my comments, I called it Institutional Effectuation, after the effectuation method in entrepreneurship. Start with the bird in the hand, leverage what you have, be the pilot in the cockpit and fly your current resources. Clearly it can be useful to know where you are heading, but sometimes you spend a bit too much time and especially donor money to figure that out. And, it is a big difference whether you build capacity for future jobs, or focus to do your current job better.
It reminded me of a discussion some weeks ago at Makarere University in Kampala. I noticed that my modern problem centered entrepreneurship train-the-trainer approach using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Launchpad methods was not catching on as I was expecting. In the discussion, it was quietly mentioned ‘we know all that’…..What we do, we focus on success stories and the ask why they are successful. In Africa there are so many problems to which there are so many obvious but wickedly difficult theoretical solutions, starting from there is useless. What can we learn and scale from the few best practices is a more efficient strategy. Reading Lant’s book Building State Capacity in the plane back home, I was struck by an Albert Einstein quote. ‘Theory is we know everything and nothing works. Practice is everything works but we do not know why. In theory and practice means nothing works and we do not know why.’ Maybe we indeed should build theory a bit more on practice.
REPOA Conference IMG_0266

Academics for Development

Academics for Development (AFD) is a student organisation that facilitates projects focused on social entrepreneurship and consultancy in the Global South. We are looking for new Project Students!

Are you interested in doing projects or conducting research in Africa, Asia or South America? Do you want to have social impact in a sustainable way while working in a small, interdisciplinary team of students with professional coaching? Come to our Project Information Evening!

Academics for Development Utrecht (AFD Utrecht) is looking for students who want to participate in one of our projects during the summer of 2017 for 6-8 weeks. As a preparation, teams of 3-6 students will work on a project during the academic year to be able to implement the projects successfully. The project teams will be guided by a coach with experience in the concerning country or with the topic of the project.

Learn more about AFD, the project insights, project practicalities and your possibilities to be part of AFD.

13th of October, 19.30-21.00

Drift 25, room 103

Enthusiastic and internationally oriented students from different backgrounds with an interest in social entrepreneurship and sustainable development.



Gemeente Utrecht, Startup Utrecht, SnappCar and EBU bring together the most important companies, institutions and facilitators in Utrecht. “Celebrating Grownups” is about fostering the Utrecht scaleup and startup ecoystem, sharing our experiences and getting to know each other.
17:00 Opening – SnappCar
17:15 Speed Dating
18:30 Key Notes
18:30 Hein Roelfsema
18:50 Leen Zevenbergen
19:10 Alexander Klöpping
19:30 Announcements & Signings
Announcement challenges city of Utrecht, Mobility from the user’s point of view: market search.
More information will be available at the end of September.

19:45 Drinks
Sign up:

CrossoverChallenge finale June 2nd

Crossover Challenge

De Crossover Challenge is een “Business Design” competitie voor teams. De Challenge biedt deelnemers de mogelijkheid om een idee, creatie of uitvinding om te zetten in een zakelijke kans en daadwerkelijk die kans uit te voeren.

Aankomende donderdag 2 juni zal de CrossOver Challenge plaatsvinden. Van de 23 aangemelde teams staan er nu 5 in de finale. De 5 finalisten die kans maken op €20.000 zijn: Carto, KarTent, Poplar, MoveMat en BEP .


Over de finalisten:

  • Carto is een app voor communicatie tussen inwoners en tussen inwoners en de gemeente.
  • KarTent is een wergwerp-festivaltent gemaakt van karton.
  • Poplar is een stageplatform voor het matchen van studenten en bedrijven.
  • MoveMat heeft een innovatieve manier van het combineren van videogames met fysieke beweging, specifiek voor patiënten die moeite hebben met bewegen.
  • BEP is een app die de zorg aan allochtone patiënten verbetert door middel van communicatie tussen arts en patiënt.


Wil jij zien wat de vijf finalisten precies voor businessideeën hebben? Koop dan je tickets voor de finale van CrossoverChallenge op 2 juni. Koop je tickets hier.

Summer school courses on entrepreneurship


Are you a student and do want to spend your summer useful, gaining more knowledge in an expertise field, complement your resume with an extracurricular activity and meet people from all around the world? Then come to Utrecht and be part of the Utrecht Summer School!

Utrecht Summer School offers tons of different summer courses, including ones on entrepreneurship.

Check out these courses if you are interested in this field:


In addition to studying a specific topic like entrepreneurship, Utrecht Summer School offers social activities to get you acquinted with the Netherlands and its culture. There is room for trips to other cities and drinks in Utrecht. Check out USS’s website for all information.



Startup Fest Europe


Startup Fest Europe is a European festival of a week full of events for startups, founders, investors, business leaders and developers. Gain knowledge on expertise topics from big entrepreneurs from all over the world and establish partnerships to help grow your startup!

Topics covered in The Netherlands include Agri & Food, Fin Tech, High Tech, Water Tech, Energy, Health Tech, Hard Science, Web / Mobile and Smart Cities.

Big names as Tim Cook (Apple), Travis Kalanick (Uber), Eric Schmidt (Alphabet/Google) and Mark Rutte (Prime Minister The Netherlands) will open the event in de Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam.

Other entrepreneurs and inspirators that will speak during the week are Harold Goddijn (TomTom), Jan Kees de Jager (KPN) and the initator herself, Neelie Kroes (StartupDelta).

Also part of the week are Campus Party Europe , E-commerce Live, Student Entrepreneurship Forum,  Digital Marketing Live, and the Closing Party. Enough interesting events to join, both as a student and entrepreneur!


Interested in joining events during Startup Fest Europe? Check out their website.

Dates: May 24-28




Campus Party Utrecht

campus party utrecht 2

Feeling entrepreneurial? Want to know how to grow, we mean really GROW, your business? Growth master and 500Startups mentor Samir Patel will be on hand to share his knowledge.

Campus Party is for those with a deep drive to connect, create and grow teams, ideas and products into valuable propositions. The drivers can be very different among entrepreneurs ranging from helping people to making money, to having fun or simply connecting the dots to solve a puzzle.

Participants – called Campuseros – work together for five days, 24 hours a day, actively contributing to solutions for future challenges in workshops and hackathons. They are joined by organizations and individuals at the cutting edge of technology.12227911946_1ed9da8af6_k

There will be thousands at Campus Party like you. Imagine the possibilities. Campus Party will help you meet the people you will work with and have fun with the rest of your lives.

To get a taste of the programme > check out the talks the challenges >

There is a 360 start up programme  >


We don’t talk about the future. We build the future

Above all, Campus Party challenges talent to contribute to innovative solutions addressing the most important issues facing society now and in the future. The event’s motto is We don’t talk about the future. We build the future. Campus Party participants do a lot more than listen. They actively participate and work together with like-minded people. Campuseros will work on creative solutions for challenges presented by leading companies and organizations. They work on innovations in big data, sustainability, virtual reality, and the future of education and health care, but also on disruptive business models.

Get you ticket

Do you want to be part of the largest technological/social crossover event in the world with 5.000 other talents? Do you want to contribute to an innovative society? Do you want to participate in workshops, challenges and hackatons to come up with real solutions for a bright future? Do you want to broaden your network and to get in touch with start-ups, key-note speakers and leading companies?

Be part of Campus Party and get your ticket now! Buy your ticket using the code UU473CP and pay €50 instead of € 165 (that’s a 70% discount!).


Future-proof Skills: vergroot je netwerk & versterk je professionele vaardigheden

Supertrots op nieuw programma voor afstudeerdeers: Future proof skills!

Ben je een Masterstudent aan de Universiteit Utrecht en wil je vaardigheden opdoen die je nodig zult hebben na het afstuderen? Meld je dan aan voor Future-proof Skills!

Het Future-proof skills programma is ontwikkeld door de Career Services in samenwerking met de arbeidsmarkt (12 prestigieuze bedrijven waaronder Shell, NCOI, YSE, Michael Page). Tijdens de workshops leer je professionele vaardigheden op te doen welke je zullen bijblijven tijdens je carrière. Tevens heb je de kans je netwerk te vergroten met deze bedrijven.

Alle info op een rijtje:

  • Het programma duurt van mei – juni 2016
  • Alle workshops zijn gratis en duren ieder rond de 3 uur (inclusief hapjes & drankjes).
  • Na minimaal drie workshops bij te hebben gewoond, ontvang je een certificaat. Deze kan je helpen bij het overtuigen van toekomstige werkgevers :-)!

Klaar om 21st-century skills op te doen die je nodig zult hebben na het afstuderen?

Schrijf je hier in voor het Future-proof Skills programma 

NB: This program is only offered in Dutch.

Entrepreneurship Week: Spring school 2016

Season school spring edition 2016


Are you interested in learning more about entrepreneurship?


April 18th-22nd, we are organizing the 5th edition of ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK.

You have the chance to learn about different aspects of entrepreneurship, like sustainable entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial marketing. You’ll also get the chance to get to know a startup incubator from Utrecht, HollandStartup. They will have workshops on Wednesday & Friday.

Target audience for the Entrepreneurship Week is advanced Bachelor, Master, and PhD students – also non-UU students. Prior knowledge of entrepreneurship or economics is no prerequisite.

You are not required to be present at all workshops, however we do have a 80% attendance requirement.

You’ll get a free lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 🙂

Completion of the programme offers the UtrechtCE Entrepreneurship Week Certificate.

Are you interested in this programme? Sign up here to join us during April 18-22!


  • Erik Stam (Prof. UU, Chair Entrepreneurship)
  • Maurice Bakker (Founder Holland Startup)
  • Robbert Jan Hanse (Founder Holland Startup)
  • Leendert de Bell (UU and HU)
  • Niels Bosma (UU)
  • Peter van der Meer (UU)
  • Robert de Bruijn (HU)

Week schedule (UPDATED ON APRIL 4TH)

NB: This schedule is still subject to change. Please refer to this page for updated information. 

10:00-11:30 Introduction to Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship(Leendert de Bell / Erik Stam)
11:30-12:00 Break
12:00-13:15 Frisse Blikken workshop
13:15-13:45 Lunch @ UtrechtInc
13:45-15:30 Lean canvas workshop (HollandStartup)
15:30-15:45 Break
15:45-17:30 Lean startup & customer validation workshop (Robert de Bruijn)

10:00-12:00 Enactus workshop + social entrepreneurship
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-15:30 Get Out of The Building In Your Teams
15:30-17:00 StudentsInc drink

10:00- 12:00 Minimal Viable Product Workshop (HollandStartup)
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-14:45 Customer Reach (Channels) Workshop (HollandStartup)
14:45-15:00 Break
15:00-17:00 Work on MVPs + Coaching Session (HollandStartup)
17:00-19:00 Holland Startup Drink

10:30-12:30 Entrepreneurial Finance workshop (Hein Roelfsema, UU)
12:30-13:00 Lunch
13:00-15:00 Entrepreneurial Marketing (Peter van der Meer)
15:00-17:00 Working on your idea to pitch tomorrow!

10:00-12:00 Pitch Presentation Workshop (HollandStartup)
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-15:30 Pitch Coaching (HollandStartup)
15:30-16:00 Break
16:00-17:30 Dragon’s Den Competition
17:30-19:00 Closing Drinks (at UU)

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Week, please contact us:

Hope to see you all there 🙂

Start-up Tour Integrand 24 maart


Op 24 maart organiseert Integrand de Start-up Tour in Utrecht.

Als student krijg je de kans om een kijkje te nemen bij drie verschillende start-ups om hun inspirerende verhalen te horen.

Ben je een bedrijfseconomische/marketing of sociaal wetenschappelijke WO-student en ben je geïnteresseerd in ondernemerschap en start-ups? Dan is dit event zeker iets voor jou!

PROGRAMMA Start-up Tour Utrecht

10:30 – 13:30 opening met presentatie en business case bij PickThisUp
14:00 – 17:30 Presentatie en businesscase bij Traintool
18:00 – 19:00 Presentatie van UtrechtInc. met afsluitende borrel
Schrijf je hier in voor deze inspirerende dag!
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