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For this edition of Centraal Station I spoke this time with an old member of the High Potential Academy; Derk van der Have. During his masters, he has founded together with Wisse Koedam Brenger. Of course I wanted to know everything about his company and how he experienced the High Potential Academy.

Brenger as an example of ‘contemporary entrepreneurship’

For this edition of Centraal Station I spoke this time with an old member of the High Potential Academy; Derk van der Have. During his masters, he has founded together with Wisse Koedam Brenger. Of course I wanted to know everything about his company and how he experienced the High Potential Academy.

BRENGER AS PLATFORM

First of all Derk, what exactly is Brenger? ‘Brenger is a platform for sending furniture and other large items. We link your ‘brengverzoek’ to a driver who drives all that route anyway. So if you bought a cupboard on Marktplaats or an auction site, you make a request. Couriers who drive all that route anyway and have space left can accept this request and then deliver the cabinet to your home. This way the knife actually cuts three ways because the transport is cheaper because more goes with it, the courier earns extra money and you are happy because your furniture is delivered!

This is actually what our platform does. We arrange for the client to pay and pay out the couriers. At the moment we focus mainly on large furniture, the idea comes strangely from something very small! Wisse’s mother-in-law had once left her phone somewhere and wanted it back. Wisse thought there had to be an app for that. When this was not the case, he immediately called me to work out this idea for a company.

GROWTH

At first we thought that our biggest problem would be to find couriers who wanted to take things with them. However, we soon found out that this was no problem at all. When you can make money with something, people join in quickly! The real big growth came about last year after a number of investments and when we could bind partners to us. We have now managed to bind several auction sites and Marktplaats to us. There is now a button with ‘Have delivered via Brenger’. Especially Marktplaats with 8.2 million users makes a huge difference.

When we got the idea of Brenger I was working on an internship at Heineken as part of my master International Relations. I therefore terminated my internship earlier to be able to focus fully on Brenger. They were looking at Heineken strangely because they had never had anyone who had stopped his internship before. At first they didn’t react very positively, but I’m glad I did persevere’.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Derk told us that he did not always want to become an entrepreneur, but that he had always been an entrepreneur. He noticed that from running at school parties to running the Bavaria Bierkoerier in Groningen together with 4 others. Especially during his work for the Beer Courier he noticed that you can achieve so much with a few people and that appealed to him enormously. In contrast to his co-corate experience where everything has to be discussed and everyone has to think about everything.

October 11, the Frisse Blik Talk #5 of Studentflex / High Potential Academy is dedicated to ‘contemporary entrepreneurship’. I would like to know from Derk what, according to him, ‘contemporary entrepreneurship’ means. I think that for me the book ‘the Lean Startup’ was an eye opener. It describes that you should introduce a product as simply as possible and then you test and perfect it. I think this is how you should start your business and that’s how we did it at Brenger. The most important thing I learned from running our company is that not the best idea makes your company a success. But the drive to go on and be open to feedback from others makes your company a success’.

Awareness

Also in my time at the High Potential Academy I have had a lot. They helped me with a piece of awareness of my own desire. I did not know what I wanted and went there with the thought that they would tell me what I wanted. However, the conversations and questions that are asked force you to think critically about it. This strengthened my idea that I wanted to become an entrepreneur. Finally, if I could give students a tip myself, it would be that if they want to start a business they should do so now. You have nothing to lose, you don’t have your own house with a mortgage, no family, really nothing at all. And next to that; ask others for help. Everyone likes to tell you about what he or she is good at! The High Potential Academy can perfectly play a role in this.

 

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