“Sex is amazing” is the first sentence of a brilliant pitch  by Stefan Broda, CEO and Co-founder of Beforewedo.What a great start. Attention is up. Everybody listens. Because we all agree.

My start here is differently. “Everyone can be a founder. An entrepreneur.” You all agree? Well, technically I am right. All it needs is a small pile of cash and a notary to make it happen. How come not everyone takes this opportunity? Multiple reasons pop into my head and we could discuss those in detail some other time. The point I want to make is that not everyone DARES to.

Too many obstacles, too many doubts, and the hardest form of feedback possible. Failure. Bankruptcy.

Founders Club was started by Raphael and Alex in April ’14 on the very principle of open access, open doors and collaboration. Access to free knowledge and a community to help founders in action and heart. You just need to walk in. And it worked. Interestingly, not everyone dares to walk in.

But I believed in the idea and so did Sebastien and Kajo. And Jenny and Niko who joined later this year.

Back then when we started, it all seemed like a little experiment. Fortunately, we had Ana Mihail on our side. Who gave us a large chunk of support.

Over the year we organized about 22 sessions with workshops, pitches, lectures and Q&A’s. It was a blast. We tried to foster both an atmosphere of learning and community. And lastly our trips to Amsterdam and London proved the success of this formula.


Now, one year is over. Silicon Valley is one Maastrichter richer (Ana, have a great time overseas). We co-drivers are handing over the wheel to the next team. And I could not be happier to have Alex and Raphael back. Alexej. Welcome aboard.

And how is the Startup Scene doing in Maastricht?

When visiting other places like London or Amsterdam, I must say: Yes the scene is bigger there. But we can compete. And we shouldn’t be shy. The two assets we need to play are diversity and community. This might sound fuzzy but with the connections and friends we make here we have immediate access to so many markets by people with one of the highest levels of education possible in Europe. Next door, RWTH Aachen is educating some of the finest engineers.

Nonetheless, there is still a lot to learn. A lot to catch up. We need more scalable businesses here in Maastricht. Startups by international students that take leadership in the local startup community. The internationals need to see that it can be done in Maastricht. Because they give Maastricht its spice and make it sexy.

be a founder

Author – Justus

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