Starting this season, basketball club Donar will launch a new initiative to stimulate jobs and entrepreneurship in the region: Startup Assist Donar. Last Monday, September 26 was the kickoff (or rather tipoff, as it’s known in basketball), with a press conference at the Launch Café.
Donar may not sound like the most obvious choice to help guide startups, but Donar board member of commercial affairs Marieke Abbink explained the role of the club during the press conference: “Especially in the early stages, startups don’t really have the network, the knowledge and the means to grow and work with established companies. Our club can help out by connecting startups with our own business club of established companies.”
According to Abbink, membership of the business club will be paid by the established companies. But membership is more than just access to a network: “If a startup has legal questions for example, well, I think we have about three law firms in our club. That’s the connection we want to create. Our basketball games are the foundation, but you can organize a lot of different meetups or networking activities around it.”
Donar wants to add at least 25 startups to the business club this year. The basketball club will get help from the municipal government, the Hanze and Groningen universities, but will also work together with companies like GasTerra, Hanzevast, Univé, Bossers & Cnossen, NNZ, Launch Café and BENK Advocaten. After the first year of membership, paid for by the established companies, startups will have a choice: join the club as a paying member, or leave the business club.
During the press conference in the Launch Café, the first participating startup member of the business club was also introduced: Profileermij, a career platform that also gives career advice and counseling. Donar Startup Assist will soon launch a website where you can sign up as a startup, so stay tuned.