Startup Afternoon

Where startups and established companies within the Food & Flower Industry connect

De Startup Afternoon by Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials and HortiHeroes is a great opportunity to connect the execution power and network of established companies to the agility and new technologies of startups and scale-ups within the Food & Flower industry. We challenge captains of industry, innovation managers and intrapreneurs of established companies to share their knowledge, facilities and network with start-ups and scale-ups to join forces and innovate faster together. 

During this afternoon start-ups and scale-ups will present their newest innovations. Successful entrepreneur, investor, startup coach and co-author Esther Gons shares her experiences from both start-up as corporate perspective with many lessons and models from her book The Corporate Startup

During this event we will also announce the winner of the Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials Innovation Prize 2019. Topsector H&S challenges startups and scale-ups to develop a technical innovation for greenhouses which increases the food production with the least possible input. The winner will receive a research budget of 25.000 euro and a wildcard ticket to the ‘StartLife Accelerate’ program.

AVAG, the Dutch greenhouse construction and installation sector, is partner of the Startup Afternoon


13:30 - 14:00   Walk-in & Registration - Opening Innovation Playground
14:00 - 18:00   Meet the Startups Plenary Show
14:00   Opening by host Gerrit Heijkoop 

- Welcome by Michiel Roelse | Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials
- Short Q&A with program directors 
- HortiHeroes | Raffi Balder
- YES!Delft | EJ Lugt
- StartLife | Jan Meiling
- Rockstart | Mark Durno

14:30   Keynote Esther Gons – The Coorporate Startup 
15:10   Innovation Prize  - Pitches 
15:45   Break | Innovation Playground | Speeddate floor 
16:30   Welcome back by Gerrit Heijkoop

HortiHeroes Innovation Hub 
- Intrapeneurship Class of 2019 

17:05   Announcement Winners by Jury president | Innovation Prize 
17:15 - 19:00   Connecting at Drinks with World Horti Center Participants 


The official language for this event is English. Startup Afternoon is part of the program Impact2025 of Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials.

It is strange that only extraordinary men make the discoveries, which later appear so easy and simple.

- Georg C. Lichtenberg


Location & date

December 12th 2019 - World Horti Center, Europa 1, 2672 ZX Naaldwijk (The Netherlands)

Keynote Esther Gons

Esther Gons is the founder and managing partner of NEXT Amsterdam.  She is the author of The Corporate Startup; How established companies can develop successful innovation ecosystems. Winner of the 2019 Golden Axiom Business Book Award and the 2018 Management Book Of The Year Award. Published world-wide and translated in Dutch, Indonesian and Japanese.
Esther is an international speaker on topics of corporate innovation, innovation accounting, entrepreneurship, startups, lean methodology, business models and customer development. She has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years and mentored over several hundred startups so far, e.g. as lead mentor in the Rockstart Accelerator programmes, Lean Startup Machine and Evolv weekends.
Together with Timan Rebel, she is also an investor in several startups such as Cocoon, Studycredits and Butleroy where she invests with cash and access to her custom made 2-year accelerator program for startups.

More information

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