Startup opportunities

Support programmes

Portfolio startups





02 May 2022

It Starts with the Problem




Gerrit Jan van 't Veen

Managing Director of the Collective

Sometimes things seem so obvious you completely forget about them. Like the most important aspects, founders should nurture within their teams at the very start of their journey.

Last Friday, I was part of a conversation with a group of students running or thinking about starting their businesses. The simple questions were: What does it take to be an entrepreneur? And what do we mean by impact?

The frank conversation quickly led to a convincing list of things founders should care deeply about, including resilience, persistence, creativity, a solution-oriented mindset, and having fun.

And don’t start by yourself. Building your business with a diverse team is more enjoyable and increases your chances of success.

But what I liked best was the part where we talked about the somewhat concept of the "idea" as the starting point of your business. Personally, I don’t think that's how it usually starts - with some genius Archimedes moment.

A business starts with a deep understanding and passion for working on a problem, the missing skills and solutions to solve that problem, and then, finally, the assessment of whether you are in the position to perform better than the people have already tried before you.

It takes about 3 to 5 years to fail and about 5 to 10 years to become successful. So you better love the problem you are working on. Call it purpose, mission, or simply frustration. It starts with the problem.

Written By

World Startup

More stories

Hopping back to university to engage the freshmen




Last month we participated in Leiden University's HOP week in The Hague, which aimed to welcome the freshmen in their first academic year.

Svitlana Khrystenko

Programme Designer & Facilitator

Co-creation is key to innovation




We brought the community together at The Hague Tech on September 13 for an interactive session where all participants had a chance to share their ideas and collaborate with others who are enthusiastic about tech in government.

Svitlana Khrystenko

Programme Designer & Facilitator

Taking on the fight of waste plastic and affordable housing on a global level with ‘Conscious Designs’



Fingers Crossed





Gerrit Jan van 't Veen

Managing Director of the Collective


Apply now

Let’s start a long-lasting relationship! Share your story and apply for our current and future opportunities with this single form.


Stay updated

Subscribe for fresh updates on a large variety of our activities: new opportunities, recent success stories, exciting events, and more.