First networking with a SAE

We needed a professional or at least a semi professional film maker to create a movie for our crowdfunding campaign. Already very early on I tried to contact people that were willing to help with this venture. A couple of filmschools were contacted over mail and over the phone, but it wasn’t until I reached out to SAE that I finally found someone that might help us with finding what we needed.

sae_institute_logo-svg

A meeting at SAE

I had contact with Eduardo and José, both teachers at the school. It wasn’t short after that I went there for a visit. SAE was actually very close to Amsterdam Central station so it was easy to reach. I met with Eduardo and he showed me around. A very nice location. He told me that they pushed their students even to look for projects outside of the school building to practice on. We talked a bit about the equipment they used and I was pretty jealous, they got all the new gadgets and tools to shoot in the highest resolution and record the best quality of audio.

After a while I showed him a couple of movies as an example of what we wanted out of the crowdfunding video. He seemed not impressed and he said his students could deliver.

We agreed that I would write a mail to him and his colleague, José. Within this mail I should provide the days that we wanted to shoot, the timeline and deadlines of our movie, what we were going to shoot and a synopsis of 4 to 5 sentences. This to provide the students with enough data to estimate if they had time and find it interesting enough to work with us.

Happily I could return to DELITELABS and tell the good news.

Conclusion

Push hard enough on one side and you bet that there will be something that will pop out of the other side. In other words persistence will prevail. I had to really push and reach out to as much schools as I could to provide us with people that wanted to help out. After providing José and Eduardo with the mail within a couple of days I had two students that were willing to help out. Not long after that we set up a meeting with one of the students. Read about these negotiations here and here.

Communications Plan DELITELABS

1. GOALS

  •       Showing the positive effects of economic integration
  •       Creating a community
  •       Having a successful crowdfunding campaign
  •       Associate the brand with creativity, entrepreneurship, success values
  •       Disseminate no borders philosophy and equality values
  •       (HOW) Placing Delitelabs in the startup ecosystem 

2. TARGET AUDIENCE

  •       Smart educated refugees between 20 and 30
  •       Unemployed local people between 20 and 30
  •       Companies with a social department to fund initiatives
  •       People that are related with other initiatives involving tech, business and innovation

3. MESSAGE

  •       Is easier to startup a business after the program
  •       Our program helps to develop economic integration
  •       Delitelabs is a professional education
  •       Delitelabs is a big step to develop yourself: professional and personal
  •       We want to empower people who don’t get much chances
  •       We tell personal stories

4. STRATEGY

  •       Geographical Scope: Amsterdam, Nederland, Europe
  •       Tone: Smartass tone.
  •       Super smart responses in a super nice way.
  •       Open mentality to criticism. Questioning
  •       Suspense. People are exciting to know what’s next
  •       Resourceful. We get the things done
  •       Hands on and learning by doing

5. ACTIONS

Offline:

  • An event on the 29th of September where we will have a public lecture given by Founders 
  • The prototyping week at the University of Twente the 10th till the 14th of October
  • The final pitch event which will be on the 19th of October

Online:

  1.  CORPORATE PLATFORMS:
  •       Web
  •       Blog
  •       Facebook
  •       Twitter
  •       Linkedin
  •       Instagram
  •       Youtube / Vimeo
  1. PLATFORM CONTENT

It is important to standardise the visualisation of the different communication means. Although these may differ for each communication tool we use, in our case a set of social media platforms. Which are the following media outputs:

http://delitelabs.com/

Web with basic information about the project. We need to show more the power of the organisation by the faces of the team and the board behind it.

http://delitelabs.com/blog

The strategy of content marketing needs a good content generator. Blog categories:

  1. Successful stories
  2. Events review
  3. Diary
  4. Program (During the program 1 chronic everyday)

https://www.facebook.com/delitelabs

  •       Publish our own blog content
  •       Team strengths
  •       Good indicators
  •       Program explanations
  •       Another news and inspiring stories from other pages and blogs
  •       3 times/week: 1 picture and 2 blog posts (it could be one external content too)
  •       Alumni group. This is our community! We should share valuable content: job offers, events… We should have a extra person taking care of it and posting 3 times per week. (Adel?)

https://twitter.com/delitelabs

  • Gifs that show the problems that we are solving
  • We share the content of blog. Daily interactions with related profiles and persons in the themes innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and social initiatives.
  • 200 tweets explaining the program and the feelings that your have during the program #adayindelitelabs
  • 200 tweets #delitelabsisforyou explaning why you should apply.
  • At least one post a day

 

Am I qualified to assess these people?

Another thing that was necessary for our course were the job interviews for the new participants. I could actually do a couple of the interviews for the second course. At the time we were more or less with the three of us, Michaela, Christof and me. Although I think I can fairly say that the work involved was much more than two fulltimers and an intern, but on the other hand I really liked this because this meant that I could do a whole variety of different things at the office.

This also meant that due to the abundance of tasks I could do I had so much to choose that I oftentimes choose too much and ended up rushing to finish it. The biggest learning from this internship for me was that I need to get focus to be really productive. Or better said, really have an overview for myself to stick to. But that’s that’s for another time, probably the reflection and recommendations.

jobinterview

English and Entrepreneurial Spirit

Now, I got the opportunity to do a couple of ‘job interviews’ for the participants of the new course, the second course in Amsterdam. Basically there were two factors I had to take into account: the quality of their English and how big their entrepreneurial desire was. I tried to do that by having a checklist on what I wanted to ask. I was asked to question the potential participants about their background, who they were, what they wanted out of the course and assess during the interview what the quality of their English speech was.

Transportation Costs

But also the cost of the transportation was a big point. We had gotten money from the municipality of Amsterdam to support our students with transportation money. Many participants had to drive the train for 1 hour or more in just a single ride. One student had to come all the way from Hoogeveen and had to drive 5 hours a day, just to attend our course.

Conclusion

It was as well a privilege as a burden to do this task. I had to choose which people were “good enough” to be on the course and which weren’t. This was not only hard because I had never done this before, but also because you had to choose people. In other words tell that some of them are just not qualified in our opinion to be an entrepreneur. To let people down like that is really hard.

I noticed the same thing during the talks I had. It was the strange feeling I got when I know a person was not qualified for the job, but it was just the beginning of the conversation. What I could’ve done is pointing it out and quit the conversation, but something hold me back and let them finish the conversation in total. Trying to fish for something that pointed me in the other direction in stead of putting a line through their name, but then again an interesting experience to sit once on the other side of the table.

 

We fu*%@*ng did it!

Great news! We reached our goal! We started out on the 6th of October with our launch. Especially in the beginning there were still some things we didn’t account for such as the time the CF platform needed to revise and check the campaign we wanted to launch. Check my post on the launch of the crowdfunding campaign.

DELITELABS Crowdfunding campaign target acquired

We set our goal at €3000 and already in the first day of the launch we got our 25% of the target amount. This was a great milestone and we were very happy with that amount. The days after that were pretty hard to watch because the money was coming in at a very slow pace after the first day. Although we already knew that because of the research we had done. The first days and the last days are the days that you get the most amount of money in your account. See the post about Steve Vick about this.

Already in the beginning we made it very clear that we had different sorts of donators that wanted to spend money on DELITELABS students. Small donators who would give not more  than a few euros and not more than 10. The middle class which would give us from 10 euros to 100 euros and then you had the bigger fish that would give anything above hundred euros.

utsign

Luckily we had an arrangement with the UT to collaborate. See here the first meeting we had with a couple of members of the UT. Not so long ago, just before the beginning of the last course we negotiated with them to run a prototyping week for our students in the 4th week of the course at the UT. I had responsibility within this project to arrange the connections between DELITELABS, the UT and some of the Student Unions of the UT. See my preparations for this event in this post.

We could stay there for a week and on the fourth day of our visit, Thursday, we could have our students do a pitch for a large crowd. The crowd didn’t only consist of members of the University of Twente, but all kinds of investors and other entrepreneurs that were linked to Designlab, a faculty of the University of Twente that stimulates entrepreneurship among students.

The big donation at the Pitchnight

So also a big opportunity for our students to actually give a pitch for a great crowd. Great practise for the last pitch event that would be the week after on Wednesday. I was pretty nervous for our students. Especially a couple of students were working hard, but the pitch didn’t quite come out yet. Too much unnecessary details put in, to plain in the way they spoke of their projects, too little showmanship. We helped them all day with the preparations for this and with success. I was so proud of those guys. They pulled it off, they did it. At the end of the pitches people were so enthused that the board of Designlab decided to support our students with €2000! The money we needed because at that point we had already €1200 in our crowdfunding campaign. A couple of days later the money was in our Crowdfunding campaign in One%club and we had made it!!

Conclusion

Sometimes it’s better to have multiple clients and not only focus on the people who you think will do most of the lifting. This time we have shown that one big fish, Designlab, can be just what you need to reach your goal.

Privileged I felt and still feel to be a part of this. Making the lives of our students a bit better!

– Bas

Feedback and reflection on the movie

Before and after I made the movie I have asked Bob van Schaik and Toon Koebrugge for a few tips and feedback on the movie I made.

The chat with Bob

Before I did the movie I had a chat with Bob about the movie. He gave me a couple of points on what I should do with it. He gave me elaborate response. He gave me a couple of books that I could borrow from him and which I am using, like “Video Marketing in 60 seconden” by Pelpina Trip, “Bedrijfsfilms zijn uit, videomarketing is in” by Wim Symoens and “Formats de next step in content marketing” by Aart Lensink. To read about the summaries of these books click here.

Viewing direction and the Rule of Thirds

As I was saying, Bob gave me a couple of interesting tips on how to go about the movie that I have shot the day after we discussed it. First of, when I am filming a participant and it is a shot like an interview. Be careful that he doesn’t look in the camera, but slightly next to it. If the viewing direction of the participant is to the right, make sure that the you have more space on the side where the participant is looking at. Here I should also implement the the Rule of thirds. When you look further at the subject of framing. The eyes of the person in front of the camera should always be on vertically one third of the screen like this:

Flexibilian framing

Also place the participant between objects if they are objects around him/her. With this He told me I had to be sure that the background is interesting to view, that not only the participant is the object of interest to the viewer but also the background. This makes the shots that you take more interesting to the viewers.

The interview: open questions and shut your face

Another two tips of Bob were the open questions. This seems very fulsome to add, but one of the most important elements of a good interview. Questions that start with: what, how and why. And with that. As human beings we have the natural tendency to acknowledge our fellow man, especially in conversation. He pressed that I should shut my mouth and just nod at best. This is one of the biggest reasons so much recorded audio by greenies is ready for the trashcan.

A few final notes

The last tips he went over pretty fast, but still very valuable if you ask me. I had experience with fucking up footage and this is one of the things he warned me about. For example the footage not being sharp. He said I could easily foresee this by zooming in completely and make sure that I make this zoomed in image sharp and go from there. Another is a headphone set, to really hear if the audio is free of noise, or at least as much as possible. With that the last tip he gave me. To record good audio, especially in an interview I should consider a Clip-on. A small microphone that you can attach to the speakers jacket/shirt. This is most of the time the best option because with this you have very noise free audio and it is not that expensive to rent. He even suggested a place to rent it in Amsterdam. It is called Budgetcam.com. It should be like 50 euro to rent it for a day.

The chat afterward with Toon

After I shot, edited and added text to the video I was pretty content on what I had achieved. I find it not bad, but it can always be better of course. But especially with the means that I had to create the video I was kind of happy with the result. Even more when Toon himself said it was nicely done. I asked him for some feedback and he said that some shots could be a little shorter to keep the flow in the whole of the movie going.
Another point he had were the words that I used. In some shots I had played around with the speed of the sentences that came into view. He suggested that I would choose one overall speed that the letters/words came into view and only change that if it was a real important message, like the call to action.

Conclusion: to sum it all up

I find it a great privilege to have a couple of friends who can give me professional advise on how to make a movie. I’ve learned a lot and implemented a couple of things from the suggestions they made. I’ve zoomed in on a couple of shots where I wasn’t sure it was sharp enough. I’ve tried to implement the rule of Thirds as much as I could and changed the speed of the words that came into the movie. The final result you can see here:

Thank you so much Bob and Toon! Check their professional profiles and websites in the links!

– Bas

An introduction meeting with UT

Just before summer break we had a meeting with a three of associates of the University of Twente, Jaap van Tilburg, Juan Manuel Jauregui Becker and Rob Geerts. When I asked I was allowed at this meeting. One of my first official meetings I had every had the honor of being part of, which was very interesting and to be honest a little overwhelming for me, but nevertheless I was very happy that I could be a part of it.

During this meeting we have discussed what the opportunities are of collaboration between the UT and Delitelabs. The University is profiling herself as the “entrepreneurial University”. Two large projects they have helped build up are for example Venturelab and PC3 (Product Co-Creation Centre), but more on that later.

The Three Gentlemen

jaaptilburg
Jaap Tilburg was one of the professors. He is now a entrepreneur in consulting and innovation for the last 15 years. He is the CEO of a company that is called Van Tilburg innovation BV and Program manager at Venturelab.

A little about Venturelab:

“VentureLab East offers business development support for technology-based start-up businesses and is a business growth accelerator for well-established companies. Our one-year business development programme jump-starts and provides sustainable growth for young businesses, as well as long-standing companies, which aim to grow further and more rapidly. We are located in Enschede, in the Netherlands.” – http://venturelabinternational.com/

juanjaregui

Juan Jaregui Becker studied in Venezuela and does research in Product Development and Design. He has done a TEDx talk with the title “the power of product development for social change”. He is one of the professors that we still have contact with and are actually planning an event from 10 till 15 October. To see the preparations of this event or the review of the event that will be coming up just click on the provided links.

robgeerts

The third professor that joined us was Rob Geerts. He has studied at the University of Windesheim in Zwolle. Has been teacher in Logistics & Economics and Retail has been a product manager at Superior Electronics.

The meeting

With these gentlemen we have discussed a couple of possibilities of a collaboration between the University of Twente and Delitelabs. Both parties first laid down detailed information about their own projects and their outcomes of this meeting. Delitelabs started for example in Valencia and had their first two courses their. Especially because the unemployment rate in Spain is very low. At the time of the courses in Valencia the rate of unemployment in the target group youth (15 to 25 years old) was more than 50%. Christof did also a course at the organisation THNK, with whom we are still collaboratively working. They are one of the network advisory boards of DL. Just as Wework, which is a co-working space. During the first two courses they provided a free space for the winners of the pitch events that were organised at the end of the course. Another organisation that really helped us out was the organisation ID&T which provided us with a free office and working place for about a half a year at the industrial area at Sloterdijk station.

We already talked a bit about the initiatives that the University of Twente is cooperating with. Venturelab and PC3 are two of them, KEB (Kansrijk Eigen Baas) is another. The common factor in all these initiatives are that they have been set up to stimulate and offer guidance to young starting entrepreneurs.

So if you read carefully the collaboration between DL and the UT, especially in regard of these initiatives, is ideal. We have the same vision, or at least outcome. We want to help people to develop and stimulate their entrepreneurial skills. We both think that these skills are very valuable and are actually the skills that we now see that can help people to help themselves. You see this everywhere in the world and this is what we want to stimulate.

At the end of the meeting we agreed to have a followup meeting where we will discuss possibilities regarding tangible activities, probably in the form of an event. Luckily this really happened. You can read about the arrangement.Really looking forward to it. It will be a prototyping event where our students will be guided in the process by students of the UT. One week of creating new ideas, forms and business models that will be revised and sharpened. Read about it here!

Conclusion

So excited that we are going to probably have an collaboration with the University of Twente! Hopefully we will soon hear what we can maybe co-create.

 

Sources:

Coaches

Meeting with the new Communications team

Since a few weeks we have a new team at DELITELABS. We have a couple of new members that can help us with setting up the course and everything else to help the organisation. Therefor there have been some interesting changes in the way we work.

The biggest influence on the team is now a woman from Valencia, Violeta Garin. She has done a many projects involving social entrepreneurship and is an expert in communication. We are very lucky to have her. Since she has so much experience in the area of communication we have set up a couple of new systems to work way more efficient.

Trello and Hootsuite

hootsuite

We have talked about things like Trello a activity managing tool, using Hootsuite only for Twitter, setting up a blog on our website and explaining how we can use the other social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). Because she does set up systems to work from everything works so much smoother and more efficient since she’s in our team. We even made a Communication plan to see what we want to convey, how we are going to do that, which media we should use and who our target audiences are.

My Role

We had two meetings about this, yesterday and today. We divided roles and responsibilities within our three-man-strong communications team. I’ll be responsible for the output in Twitter. This doesn’t mean I have to do the 200 posts all by myself or that I don’t have to take any other activities for my part. It means that it is my responsibility that it has to be done before the deadline. So if I need help or are having trouble with it I can rely also on the others.

Twitter

We set a goal for ourselves for the different social media. For Twitter it is to post 200 posts in the coming 5 weeks. This means about 4 Twitter posts a day. 80% of the posts will be with one of the hastags that are created: #adayatdelitelabs, #delitelabsisforyou and #refugeestakeaction. The last one will only been used if it is a post about the collaboration between Delitelabs and the organisations that teamed up with us, like Refugee Startforce, Hack Your Future and Refugee Company for example.

Facebook & Blog

Facebook will be linked to the blog and will mostly contain the links to blogposts. We will do three Facebook posts per week that will be mostly out of our blog. The blogposts will contain success stories of our former students, posts on why we should be more entrepreneurial, a review like a diary every day, interviews with acquaintances of Delitelabs and the speakers of the week. The blog was an idea that Violeta came up with. She used it already in one of the projects that she did in Valencia and that was pretty successful. Especially the interviews that she did for the blog where by far the most effective in terms of reach and involvement. Here is her blog.

Instagram

On Instagram we are going to do two things. Post beautiful pictures that we made in, around or with the people of Delitelabs and we want to do a quote with that. At least one post per day. The advice Violeta gave us was that Instagram was about making the most beautiful pictures possible. This means we have to be very selective of the pictures we will post on this medium.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is probably the most serious of the Social Networks that we will use. The output on this medium is at its minimum. We will only post something here if we really have a great article on our blog or found one on the web that is really helpful or interesting to the crowd that we have on LinkedIn. At the most we shall post 2 articles a week.

Conclusion

There is a new wind in the company. An actual communications team is put together. Jana, me and Violeta are part of it. We all have our own roles within this team. I’ll be responsible for the output provided on Twitter. Second, we are going to use Trello. This is a management tool that will help us with internal communications. In the following post, this one, I’ll show you how a communications plan looks like.

Our moviemaker has been chosen

Neddy is a student on the SAE, also mentioned in this post. The School of Audio Engineering, is where she has her classes. A couple of schools near Amsterdam have been contacted by me to check if there was any case of a cooperation between us and them. Schools like the Netherlands Film Academy and Amsterdam Film School had been contacted, but without many success, although I have done a 3 hour course with the latter one on storytelling. SAE had another policy where students had a very strict schedule but were left very free and even encouraged when they could work for a company.

Our SAE student

This was the same with Neddy. With a couple of meetings we brainstormed on what should be done with the movie and if it could be combined with one of her school projects. And indeed in the coming weeks she will do a documentary course where DELITELABS will be the subject of the documentary.

Over the course of the last couple of meetings with Neddy we discussed what she needed from us. The telephone numbers of a couple of our participants that we think are potential people who would look great in front of the camera. She needed a location. And what I later realised, when my supervisor Christof had spoken to her, that one of the things we could give her most was her creative freedom. Further SAE could provide her with every piece of camera equipment she wanted. So luckily we didn’t have to hire this, which would cost a small fortune. In cases like this I see that it can be very beneficial to work at a NGO instead of a normal company.

Brainstorm!

We also had a brainstorm session on what to do with the movie. She was very impressed by Christof’s presence, which can be pretty inspiring and when he speaks its clear he knows what he’s talking about. This is why she probably will put Christof in the documentary she will create. We also spoke on the movie and although we granted her freedom, there were a couple of things we discussed prior to the course on documentary that starts very soon. We need a movie that gives a good image to our NGO and why we do what we do. Our why should be very clear in that sense. Also, since we are going to have a crowdfunding campaign, this movie should also provide the viewers with a very strong incentive to support us (in the best way financially). This is one of the main goals we have for the movie. That people want to join our cause. This is the other goal of our campaign. We want to create a lot more awareness than we have now. I believe we are too good of an initiative to be ignored. And investors and new potential students should know about our existence.

Conclusion

I’ve learned that working with a team can be very difficult to organise. Especially in periods of vacation and especially on collaborating between two parties. It takes a lot of back and forth and from time to time faults in communication will rise up. Therefor Neddy, I and Christof decided that Christof, who is the last decision maker in this cycle, be directly connected to Neddy, who will be the creative director and creator of the documentary. I will be assisting the making of the documentary and occasionally be a brainstorm partner of both parties.

It is great to work with creative people like Neddy and Christof. Thank you all!

Second talk with my substantive supervisor

Today I had a talk with my supervisor about my proceedings, followups and the concretisation of my Plan of Attack. The new PVA was posted on the 20th of June. Remarks from the last time were about the subquestions that were not well enough defined. Today when we were talking about it. It seems I need to change the main question due to changes made in the substructure of the subquestions. I need to think more about the concrete idea what I want with my main question, which can be for example: Creation of a crowdfunding campaign toolbox / Campaign movie about the course of your research and implementation.

The main question was to large

Moreover the research I’ve done so far which leads me to believe that the implementation of my findings will be way to much work for one person to do on his own. There are whole teams implemented to work on crowdfunding campaigns from what I’ve seen, heard and read so far.

When is my thesis a success?

Another thing is the success. When do I think that my thesis is a success? So in other words, how will I define that success? So that I know when I have reached it. Another question to ponder would be: What is our message? That’s indeed exactly what we have to figure out. One sentence or a few words that define our mission as a company. So that we can use that message as a tool to filter out actions that we need to take or not.

Conclusion and my follow ups

Two places where I can look for answers are Experts and having interviews with them. Which I’m currently pretty busy with, next week I’ll be speaking with a crowdfunding professional and a online marketing professional to see if I can learn something from them or to see if they have any suggestions on how to move forward with my endeavours. Also take a look at the competition how they do it. Take notes. This last one, I had not thought of yet, so this one I could pretty much benefit from. Food for thought!

– Bas

Day 1

Well the first day of my blog. I’l explain to you a bit about myself and this blog. This blog is a way to convey some of the keypoints of my graduation assignment. This assignment is simultaneously worked out together with my internship that I do at DELITELABS.  DELITELABS is a non-profit that helps people, now mostly refugees and the local unemployed youth.

The NGO has been set up by Christof Hawle. We help ours participants by providing them with a course on entrepreneurship. In this course they learn a large variety of skills and facts. They learn this in a intensive, cooperative and safe environment. Learning from our own professionals and a large network of entrepreneurial spirits and experts that exchange their experiences and learnings with the participants of the course.

My start

The start has been made. The first group of participants is in its fourth week and already got their first pitch evening. It had been an awesome experience, for the participants but also for the team of volunteers. With so much collaboration and organising the bonding within the group and the team members is getting very thick. It stimulates the workflow that the participants and the team members need.