Catalina Iorga


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Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

Investment Ready Program 2018 - APPLICATIONS CLOSED

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Looking for the right investor? Learn to think like one! Apply before 3 Dec 2017 at You could become of one the circular startups joining our 12 December selection event. Please note that this is a closed event for the selected startups.


The Investment Ready Program, whose main partner is ING Netherlands, is a five-month peer learning-based accelerator for circular economy solutions. It consists of 12 training days during which we guide you through a systematic review of your business model, strategy and team in order to help them craft a validated growth and investment plan.

This accelerator culminates in a Demo Day, during which the participants pitch to our network of purpose-driven impact investors and funds. Our alumni have collectively raised nearly 8.5 million euro.

What makes the program unique is that, instead of a jury, entrepreneurs themselves crown the program’s winner by ranking each other on fixed criteria. This proven, fully transparent peer-reviewing model generates an intensive learning process: participants engage in a productive feedback cycle and get in-depth knowledge of the other entrepreneurs’ ventures.

Our peer learning model has even helped several of the participants decide to start business collaborations with their peers upon the program’s completion.


Gert van Vugt, Co-founder and CEO, Sustainer Homes: "We were a building company when we started the Investment Ready Program but our coach helped us reorient towards being a ‘software’ business, which sells the design to contractors. This major pivot in our model made us focus on what we’re good at. And thanks to Investment Ready, we received financing from Triodos Bank. We also got the chance to connect to like-minded entrepreneurs, such as fellow participants MgAubel. We’re now exploring the opportunity to kickstart a modular office in their eco materials factory and simultaneously run an experiment for a bigger project."

Anja Cheriakova, Co-founder and CEO, BinBang: "We’re very happy to have been part of the Investment Ready Program, which is the best push when you’re in the scale-up phase. Thanks to our pitch at the Demo Day, we secured meetings with 3 investors and are well on our way to raise our target of €500,000. We also connected to entrepreneurs we are collaborating with, as each other’s customers. For instance, we’re helping fellow Investment Ready participants Kitchen Republic separate organic waste at their food startup incubator, and eco-materials enterprise MgAubel better deal with their office waste collection".

Catalina Iorga's picture Event from Dec 11th to Dec 12th
Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

Meaningful Performance without HR

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The hierarchical way in which organisations foster talent has been losing credibility for decades. Many people don’t feel valued and aren’t giving their best, which means that performance and job satisfaction suffer.

The Playmakers co-founders Jos van Snippenberg and Maaike Huisman will introduce you to an integrated approach to align people, business and purpose without HR.

Jos and Maaike will help you experience what it takes - as a startup entrepreneur - to facilitate a new way of driving performance. You will also get a template for a business one-pager that serves as the anchor for everyone in the company to understand the collective dream you’re trying to achieve.

Who is this for: Ambitious entrepreneurs with a growing company who experience difficulties in connecting the right people to the right roles with the right focus.

Who are The Playmakers: Jos and Maaike are passionate about making people matter in work. They are using their international corporate and SME experience in business consulting, sales, marketing and HR for a new approach to boost work performance in a meaningful way.

Catalina Iorga's picture Event on Nov 2nd
Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

Workbench: Contract Law for Dummies

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As your impact startup begins to grow, you should have a clear grasp of your enterprise’s legal matters, especially when it comes to signing contracts with new partners.

Cyril Christiaans, Legal Director at law firm DLA Piper Nederland, will cover key issues in contract law that are particularly relevant to entrepreneurs who want to make a positive impact. These issues include contractual liability in services and sales contracts, limiting liability in such contracts, and best practice for business partnership and co-founder agreements.

With more than 20 years of experience in international commercial contract law, Cyril has collaborated with countless financial institutions and multinationals, often on complex projects involving multi-jurisdictional work.


Our Workbench series of workshops, which takes place every first Thursday of the month, is for impact entrepreneurs who want to take their start-up to the next level.

Each Workbench tackles one of six regularly rotating topics: legal advice, marketing & sales, finance & funding, organisational culture & structure, sustainable operations, and impact measurement.

If you’re getting your start-up ready for takeoff, sign up for our basic-level workbenches. And if you’re already working hard on scaling your venture, join our advanced-level sessions.

Each basic- or advanced-level Workbench consists of a mini masterclass, while the advanced editions also include individual sparring sessions with experts.

For an overview of all upcoming Impact Hub Amsterdam events, including Workbenches, go to

Catalina Iorga's picture Event on Oct 19th
Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

GoodCode - Coding for change

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Ideas and entrepreneurship for positive impact are gaining momentum. There are a lot of ideas with great potential, but often they lack tech knowledge needed to get them off the ground.

GoodCode aims to bridge this divide by organising events that bring together people with programming skills and people keen to solve society's biggest challenges.

After the success of the first GoodCode event, we're excited to host another at Impact Hub Amsterdam. This is also part of Impact Hub's Workbench series of monthly workshops for entrepreneurs who want to take their start-up to the next level!

During the evening you can also crowdsource solutions to your most pressing question by engaging the other participants!

The program schedule is:

18:30 Walk in
19:00 Opening
19:10 First speaker: Samuel Goodwin, Developer
19:30 Second speaker: Maurits Bos, Lawyer at Benvalor
19:45 Third speaker: Laurens Slats, Global Community Manager at The Things Network
20:00 Workbench
21:00 Drinks and chatting and small informal pitches

Hope to see you there!

Catalina Iorga's picture Event on Oct 5th
Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

Fail Forward

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At Impact Hub we believe that failure and experimentation are essential to developing innovative businesses that make real impact. So for our popular Fail Forward event we invited three successful entrepreneurs to share stories about their challenges, experiments, blunders and, of course, what they learned along the way. So get inspired by our speakers and learn how to follow your dreams and overcome your least successful experiences!

The Fail Forward line up:

Judith Joan Walker, Director of Operations at African Clean Energy

“Data should be big, lean, quantitative, qualitative, accurate, anonymous, impactful. The list goes on and on. As a social startup, you want to make sure you’re keeping up with tech trends, but data collection can be a challenge, especially from a distance, in a different culture, and without a budget. What could possibly go wrong?”

Gert van Vugt, Co-founder of Sustainer Homes

“How do you keep a critical view of your business proposition when you’ve received a huge amount of attention for your idea? You’re young, innovative and your startup is off to a great start. Your idea went viral and thousands seem interested. How stay grounded in the face of such overwhelming excitement?”

Wendelien Hebly, Co-founder of Yoni

“What would you do if you invested a lot of time and effort into your branding, only to be forced to change everything? We did that and, luckily, our story has a happy ending: you can find us on more than 1,400 shelves of Marqt, Etos and Albert Heijn stores the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the Cactus supermarket chain in Luxembourg. Find out how we let go of our carefully built brand, started over and made it!”

The evening will be moderated by Ilse Kwaaitaal, our Scouting Lead and Business Model Challenge Manager.

Catalina Iorga's picture Event on Oct 20th
Catalina Iorga, Content Lead at Amsterdam Impact (City of Amsterdam) , posted

The top 3 secrets of a successful business model

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As we get closer to the 13th edition of our Business Model Challenge (BMC) accelerator, which already helped more than 270 startups develop a better business model, here’s what you can learn from the top 3 finalists of the previous BMC edition. So read on, get inspired and apply before 15 September at 15 Sep to take your startup and impact to the next level!

1. Set your story straight

Throughout the past 12 editions of the Business Model Challenge and other Impact Hub acceleration programmes, we learned that an honest, powerful story can convinces customers to choose the products or services of a startup driven to make positive impact over those of a ‘regular’ business.

Sharing the impact story of product or service story can also help you reach a larger audience and ensure you stand out amongst your competitors. And it also gives you the chance to raise awareness of the societal problem your enterprise wants to fix.

Take the winner of our 12th Business Model Challenge, The Girl and the Machine. Founder Rosanne van der Meer makes 3D printed clothes using a custom-built machine. Her company’s story revolves around the urgent need to end the massive amount of waste and pollution caused by the global fashion industry. By ‘printing’ personalised, durable apparel, The Girl and the Machine gives its clients a the opportunity to be less wasteful by only buying fashion they both need and want.

2. Lock down your ideal pricing

Office and home aquaponics systems maker Riverfood – and Business Model Challenge top 3 finalist – experienced first hand the need to define your ideal customer and find out how much they are willing to pay for your product. And there are 3 steps to figuring out how much your product should cost:

- Identify the price at which you buy the goods needed to make your product

- Examine what other companies – including your competitors – charge for products with the same target group

- Define what extra (social) value your product adds.

An easy way to identify the the price range for your product is by looking using the “Rocket, Cornetto, Magnum” analogy to decide if your product should be priced as luxury (Magnum), middle range (Cornetto) or highly affordable (Rocket). But, as Riverfood helps people grow vegetables and fish simultaneously at home as well as public spaces, deciding on either of these three proved to be quite the challenge. The company’s aquaponics systems are expensive and a thus hard sell.

Yet founder Linda Grotenbreg found a way forward: leasing, which means that the company still owns and provides maintenance for each system. Although the costs are initially high, this circular economy-inspired pricing model helps Linda build strong relationships with her customers, which leads to a secure and stable revenue stream.

Linda encourages you to talk to a financial expert and see how you are able to earn back your investments. Go to to read how support from her Accenture mentor made all the difference.

3. Join forces with perfect partners

Most Impact Hub members readily admit that the right mix of corporate, governmental and nonprofit partners is key to the success of their social startups, so make sure to look for strong partnerships that are relevant to your social mission as soon as possible.

These partners can help support the development of a viable, future-proof business. And often they have the right resources to help your social startup amplify its positive impact.

Take Business Model Challenge top 3 finalist House of Impact, whose Heroes of Football inclusion project is run in collaboration with partners such as the KNVB and UEFA. Founder Marieke Slinkert shares how you could also land such big name partners:

“Dive into the world of your potential partners and figure out what kind of challenges they are facing. Present your product or service as the perfect solution to their problems. And make sure to prepare your meeting really well; you need to clearly define how your potential partner could contribute to your startup”, Marieke concludes.

If you are also an ambitious entrepreneur who’s ready to save time and money while developing a better business model and growing your positive impact, apply before 15 September at for the autumn edition of Impact Hub's Business Model Challenge!

Catalina Iorga's picture #CircularCity