To discuss your current roadmap, bi-monthly progress meetings are hosted (with the ESA BIC Noordwijk CEO) as well as marketing meetings (the content manager). Every semester, each team within ESA BIC gets assigned a new expert who will give them the advice they need to move forward. All the coaches are experts in niches within the space industry. Or they are experienced entrepreneurs themselves. This brings us to the next pillar of learning in the program: sharing among peers.
Peer sharing has proven the best way of learning at ESA BIC Noordwijk. There is, as mentioned earlier, not one way of doing business. You can however learn from other people’s mistakes or victories. That’s why sharing business experiences is encouraged. This is organised by:
- Entrepreneur’s Coffee meeting
- A monthly meeting (online, before COVID offline) with all the founders and/or team members in the program. This meeting has a solid format per company:
- Talk about the progress you made
- Talk about the hurdles you encountered
- Share what you’ve learned this month
- Ask for help from the community
The last one is the most important: it’s where founders get direct feedback or support from their peers. In the history of the Entrepreneur’s Coffee, there hasn’t been a question unanswered by the rest of the batch of businesses.
The entire SBIC community present on the online environment on Slack. It’s one big central hub – which means everyone in the ESA BIC program can communicate directly with each other, the program organisers, partners and alumni. It’s also the place where everyone shares business & finance opportunities, interesting events & workshops, and jobs and internship opportunities. In general it’s the go-to place where you can just ask away and share/get information.
Community & serendipity
In the program, space is created for several occurrences of serendipity: community events. Before the age of COVID-19 game-nights were hosted, international lunch sharing, monthly network drinks, ping pong tournaments and the legendary Tosti Tuesday. These things seem trivial. But in fact, they are important for creating a community feeling – it strengthens the will to share stories. These events are icebreakers. The best plans are made when a too hot grilled cheese sandwich touches your tongue and advice is best given with a nice cold beer in hand. You never know when you get that spark of creativity – and the ESA BIC community cultivates that. Although it’s tough due to corona, the organisation is trying to deliver this feeling online as well.