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Interview with a lecturer: Arjan Goudsblom

22. March 2022. | News, Announcements
Interview with a lecturer: Arjan Goudsblom

Passion and entrepreneurship go hand in hand and at the FEBT Summer School 2022 in Split we are happy to host Arjan Goudsblom, an expert in start-up ecosystem. Co-Founder and Director at Preneurz.Amsterdam, Senior Connector Technology at Techleapnl, Amsterdam, the Neatherlands, Arjan is passionate about guiding entrepreneurs through the process of determining the desirability, feasibility and viability of their business plans and strategies, towards a successful launch or scaling of their start-up. Arjan is also pursuing his ambitious agenda to connect scientific knowledge to business and social challenges on behalf of the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Science Park. In addition, he assists start-up agencies, governments and universities in building thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide, most recently in Bahrain and Belarus on behalf of ACE Incubator. In Albania Arjan assists local universities in developing their entrepreneurial education capability in order to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. His specialties include: Digital, Digital Strategy, Customer Experience, Proposition Development, Big Data, Blockchain, Business Design, Innovation Capability, Digital Transformation, Global E-Commerce Platform, Design Thinking, Agile aproach, Social Media, Channel Strategy. He is the former Head of Mentoring and Global Growth at Cicada Innovations in Sydney (Australia), an award-winning deep-tech incubator. At this years FEBT Summer School he will be a part of the course themed “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity”. Following is an interview with Arjan about the expectations from the FEBT Summer School 2022 in Split.

WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE FEBT SUMMER SCHOOL COURSE INVOLVEMENT?
I love working with student teams as they are full of ideas and ambition to make impact, yet they often have doubts on how to start and make things happen. I find this to be true in all places I worked: in Belarus, Australia, Bahrain, Albania, Greece, the Netherlands, Croatia etc. I visited Split last year to be part of the Entrepreneurship Week and was impressed with the energy and beauty of the city and the professionalism by which the events were organized. I’m really looking forward to coming back again and work more closely together with the students.

WE BELIEVE YOU FIND COLLABORATION ACROSS INTERNATIONAL, DISCIPLINARY, GENERATIONAL, AND OTHER BOUNDARIES IMPORTANT. WHY?
Attending a classroom where you learn from teachers or experts about entrepreneurship is important, but as important is learning from other students who might have a different background, for example in terms of expertise, culture or economic development. In our programmes we spend a lot of time on peer-to-peer learning where different people bring in their different views on how to solve a problem. Together you’re able to get a much richer understanding of what might work and what might not.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE STUDENTS WHO ARE STILL INDECISIVE ABOUT COMING TO SPLIT THIS SUMMER AND ATTENDING THE COURSE YOU ARE TEACHING? WHAT OUTCOMES DO YOU SEE FOR THEM?
Coming to Split will give you an amazing learning experience, not only by spending time in a fantastic city, but also to collaborate with other students on how to start a business. I’m sure you’ll leave with more ideas and more confidence to make things happen than before you came. You might even find some great co-founders to collaborate with.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FOR YOU FROM THIS INVOLVEMENT?
In my workshop we will explore how to validate your start-up ideas. How do you know you have a good business idea? What steps do you need to take to make sure it can grow from just being an idea to an actual business? How do you find potential clients? How do you check it’s viable? At the end of my workshop you will know what steps to take next in order to take your start-up to the next level.

CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF, SOMETHING OUTSIDE THE OFFICIAL CURRICULUM, WHAT MAKES YOU TO BE PROUD OF YOUR WORK? ANY SPECIAL PROJECTS?
I’m a very curious person, so I love to travel and explore. I was born in the Netherlands, but lived in Australia for 15 years and travelled all over the world for work and pleasure. Travel makes you appreciate how lucky you are to live in a safe and wealthy country. I am an AirBnB host for single travellers who rent a room with us in Haarlem where I live and we love to meet and welcome people from different parts of the world. Recently I also started a charity called Haarlem4Ukraine to help Ukrainian refugees settle down in our community, providing them with housing, food, clothing and access to healthcare.