Monday April 25, 2022
As an entrepreneur or young professional just starting out in the dynamic city of Rotterdam, there is one important thing you will need to start making moves: connections. Not only can having connections help you find new opportunities for your career, but they will also prove useful if you ever experience issues with your business or startup.
Yet as someone new to the area, you may not be sure where to start. Fear not because this overview will offer you an introduction to the Superconnectors in Rotterdam – covering what they are, why they are needed, the ideal approach, and most importantly, you will get a chance to find out if perhaps you yourself are a Superconnector! Keep reading to discover how you can seize the opportunities and leverage the resources around you to find professional success.
DISCOVER MORE OF WHAT MATTERS TO YOU
Primarily, “Superconnector” is a concept or label describing someone highly experienced in the innovation and technology ecosystem. It is a person with a multitude of connections. They are evolved in the knowledge and networks of their field. Furthermore, a Superconnector is characterized by their own success in past experiences. And most importantly, Superconnectors exhibit an openness to mentor others and give back.
Besides labeling a specific type of business professional, a Superconnector in Rotterdam can also refer to a networking event. Created within the collaboration of 42Workspace, Varias, Innovation Quarter, and Tech Advocates, it is the first of its kind in the Netherlands. Superconnectors event offers opportunities for young businesses with potential to be connected with the usually hard-to-reach experts, otherwise known as the Superconnectors. The purpose of the event is to rally and solve the daunting problems startups may stumble upon to find the right solutions to their concerns with the Superconnectors.
Despite being in an experimental phase, the event has proved to be a large success with demand for and attraction from many professionals. According to the results of the past events, the startup representatives arrive in astonishment from the amount and quality of help they receive thanks to Superconnectors.
Among the many successful connections created after the event, an example includes startup SKOON meeting two of their Superconnector’s recommended people, with one of them becoming a new marketplace partner and the other a new ‘knowledge’ partner.
Having connections and attending networking events truly matters if you plan on being a business-owner with a good reputation. Not to mention, they are great opportunities to promote your business. With the ability to open doors to new possibilities, help companies push past their plateaus and work out the kinks in their strategy, Superconnectors play an important role by outsourcing knowledge and skills from the community.
For instance, let’s say a business has a goal to target its ideal customer. However, it has not been able to for several years and has no understanding of how to succeed or why their efforts have been unsuccessful. Superconnectors should be able to help with such topics.
Meanwhile, it is very important for the companies themselves to open up and ask questions. To get to the root of the problem, Superconnectors must strategically review the full scope of the obstacle in question to provide expert insight.
Both the event and those serving as mentors provide opportunities for startups to meet, promote their companies, resolve their challenges, and ultimately progress to the next level in their professional endeavors.
The best place to stay aware of all events being organized in the city is by following the 42Workspace platform.
UpRotterdam is a great platform to keep track of as well as it consists of a welcoming community of people eager to offer their experience, help and services.
Generally, it is also a good idea to reach out on your own. Be honest and vulnerable about the problems your company is facing. If the companies reach out to 42Workspace, we see how we can help to connect businesses to the right people, platforms, or fellow companies.
When Superconnectors are asked for help by companies, it is almost always a win-win situation because with even more introductions, further connections can be made.
Rotterdam offers a great networking base and boasts a collaborative culture full of those willing to help their fellow entrepreneurs. This urban center proves to be a truly powerful combination of experts with various networks.
Currently, Superconnectors is a physical event which takes place in Rotterdam, but in the future, the plan is to make it accessible via digital, hybrid formats as well.
Before directly approaching a Superconnector and dumping all of your problems onto them, you have to first formulate your so-called “Critical Ask.” This is the specific question through which you express the current challenge you are facing within your startup.
Prior to presenting the Critical Ask, take an objective perspective and double check if this is a serious issue. Ask yourself what you already know about potential solutions to your issue and bring them to the conversation. A significant factor in getting the direction you seek will be having thought thoroughly about your question. Your “Ask” should be sharp, well-formulated and prepared for a discussion with a Superconnector.
This is the reason we also offer to teach startups on how to get to the core of that Critical Ask. For example, when it comes to using probing questions, you should target the root of the challenge:
The most important aspect when approaching Superconnectors is to be prepared by really studying your problem beforehand.
The experts are given the title of Superconnector after they are voted so by several people.
At 42Workspace, we try to look for people who really stand out through their activeness in the innovation ecosystem. They are those individuals who are passionate about helping others, who in the past have shown their ability to help companies and people tackle their challenges. That is why Superconnectors are well-known and have been active in similar endeavors for several years. Having experience is a necessity.
The future looks bright and will create more and more Superconnectors as with each generation, younger people become innovative, talented, and connected.
The most successful Superconnector recognized at the Superconnector event in 2021 was Marjolein Boer. She is the manager of innovation at the Port of Rotterdam. Boer has also been a board member at PortXL and iTanks. Nowadays, she actively contributes to the most necessary aspects of the future of business – innovation, sustainability, collaboration. Along with her sister Sylvie, Marjolein Boer is creating waves in the maritime sector through their co-founded company of Maritime Sisters by leading appealing projects, impactful collaborations, and building innovation strategies.
During this event, we made sure to make it more interactive and added a gamification aspect to it. There was certainly more action, more engagement, and a sense of competition among the candidates. All the Superconnectors pitched their solutions to the companies’ problems, while the startups served as judges, selecting 1-3 people with the most effective solutions. Consequently, the Superconnector who is selected the most racks up the most points and is victorious while the startup adapts the winning solution.
The Superconnector 2021 winner Boer and her unique approach became a public display of her capabilities, unlocking a worldwide network of potential launching customers, ambassadors, and supporters.
As previously mentioned, Superconnectors is still in the experimental phase, but it is already producing powerful results.
The current focus is to learn how such networking events and its physical aspects of introductions, talking to people, making connections, and so on, can work effectively online. Even after so many digital online events and attempts to make them just as effective during the pandemic never provides the same results. Now it is about cracking the code in hopes of merging these two formats into a hybrid event that is even stronger and more engaging.
There is already an oversaturation of various platforms and networks that try to work out events whether online or offline. Therefore, we aim to build a stronger online innovation ecosystem to connect the right people with each other and solve the right challenges like we do offline, but without the need to create even more platforms and communities.
Besides creating a powerful digital presence, Superconnectors is an event that is meant to be expanded to other cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen, Enschede and Eindhoven. In 2022, the plan is to really tap into the unused potential of the Dutch tech ecosystem.
Do YOU want to take your business to the next level and connect with experts? Do YOU have the potential to be a Superconnector?