Impression MatchMaking Event – 21 May in Amsterdam 

On Tuesday 21 May the MatchMaking Event took place as the kick-off of the Climate Adaptation Business Challenge, organized by Knowledge for Climate and Climate-KIC. More than eighty entrepreneurs, researchers, professionals and policy makers came to this unique networking event in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam to get to know each other and to explore new business opportunities.

Sparking business ideas
At the opening of the afternoon, Kees van Deelen, business director of Knowledge for Climate, talked about the urgency and potential of climate adaptation business. “A lot of knowledge has been developed in more than ten years of climate research in the Netherlands. Now it is time to apply this knowledge and make investments. The MatchMaking Event is an attempt to provide promising input for the Climate Adaptation Business Challenge. Sparking new business ideas and meeting the right people who can bring your idea a step further is the focus of today."

Time is up, get the entrepreneurs in!

Introduced as Queen of Sustainability, director of Urgenda, Marjan Minnesma, stressed the importance of the involvement of entrepreneurs in climate adaptation right now. "We can not wait for the government to act." Marjan  shared her experience and lessons on climate entrepreneurship with the audience. "For successful entrepreneurship on a wide scale you need guts, trust of your producers and customers, persistence and a good timing".
Climate start-ups Stijn de Jong, Disdrometrics, and Kirsten Steinbusch, Waste2Chemical, showed in their presentations what it takes for a researcher to create a successful start-up. Stijn: "Do you have a idea? Go for it! It's fun, you learn a lot from it and you will meet a lot of interesting people.” Kirsten illustrated how organizations like Climate-KIC provide great opportunities for financing and important connections for start-ups.

In a panel interview climate expert Pier Vellinga, business coach Ron Bloemers, Rutger de Graaf, Delta Sync, and Marjan Minnesma discussed  the opportunities for entrepreneurs, and the position of governments and large companies in climate change issues. "We need everyone, and preferably in a mix of large and small businesses and governments."

Speed dates, pitches & workshop
New connections, business advice and interesting ideas  were shared during the parallel sessions. Participants talked with business coaches and various experts during the speed dates. A wide range of new business ideas were pitched at the Open Stage in front of an expert panel. The research consortium CPC organized a workshop on 'Climate proof street of the future’ with researchers, entrepreneurs and representatives of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

What’s next: the Business Challenge
At the plenary closure, Sonja Döpp, Knowledge for Climate, announced the launch of the Climate Adaptation Business Challenge. She encouraged all participants to submit their business ideas now! The  best ideas will be rewarded with max 25,000 EUR in order to develop a strong business plan, either within the Climate-KIC Acceleration programme or with support from Knowledge for Climate.

Further reading
  • Programme download pdf  
  • Participants download pdf
  • Pitches download pdf
  • Photo's Slideshow (@MaartjeStrijbis)