We consider PLNT to be a pretty unique place, but one cliché is also true for us: at PLNT, no team member and no workday are the same. Everyone of us is passionate about their line of work. Today, colleague Betty introduces herself and shares not one but two of her workdays. Are you ready to meet her world?
Hi, my name is Betty Huerta and I am the Venture Manager at PLNT Leiden. I know what you’re thinking: “What is a Venture Manager?” Well, good question! It’s just a fancy way of saying that I develop personalized programs and support entrepreneurs into launching their company. One of them is the Venture Academy, a specialized program for Life Sciences and Health, Earth Observation and Social Entrepreneurship startups. At PLNT, we know that every entrepreneur has their own unique journey. That is why I also make sure our participants receive all the help and personal guidance they need 😊.
But before I tell you all about my exciting work, here is a little bit more about me: I am from Mexico (this is not a requirement for my job but it does add spice!) and I moved to the Netherlands in 2017 to take a break from working. I went back to school to study Innovation Sciences, which is an amazing program that studies the relationship between society and technology.
I live in Rotterdam and I love dancing in elevators, spamming my colleagues with WhatsApp stickers, eating ice cream and dreaming about life. I also love sharing my own learnings, so let’s get started 😎.
Last month, I invited Fabien Fraure to share his expertise during the Venture Academy (also called VA by all the cool peeps). Fabien is an expert in Business-to-Business Sales and Marketing and he knows all about Pricing Strategies. As the VA is a program that hosts a diverse group of entrepreneurs, talking about pricing is a challenge. Some startups are focusing on developing new personalized health treatments, while others are developing a platform for the book industry. As you can understand, there is no one-size-fits-all-solution to this question. Luckily, there are small steps you can take in order to solve this.
In order to set their price, the VA startups had two variables to consider: The first one is Market & Value and the second one Costs & Operations. Answering these questions got them a long way:
Market & Value
Costs and operations
After helping the participants to each answer these questions, something became clear to me: sometimes the pricing is about a productivity benefit and sometimes it is about a psychological benefit. Before startups can set the ideal price for their product or service, they have to understand their market and customer very well. Old school market research is the best way to start with this!
That was the first part of my shared experience! This blog is a long read, so if you are interested in more entrepreneurial tips, have I got some news for you! First, let’s grab a coffee before we continue. I like mine black and strong, it helps me focus and put my thoughts onto paper.
Besides inviting people, I myself also get invitations to share my knowledge. In January, De Kleine Consultant Leiden invited me to give a presentation about entrepreneurship. DKC (again, abbreviations) is the first Dutch non-profit strategy consultant completely run by students. They help their clients (mostly startups, other non-profit organizations and social and medium enterprises) with strategic advice to add more value to their company. DKC is one of the student organizations located in PLNT.
I like being asked to give presentations like these. It allows me to understand how students perceive entrepreneurship. I was among what I believe to be a very entrepreneurial group, and I listened to their fears and barriers.
I believe that social media is an exaggeration of real life and that it only shows the good and successful parts of people. During the session with DKC, I realized this success filter also applies to the entrepreneurial world. The media and the high tech world set unrealistic expectations as well. They make us believe that entrepreneurs only have Big Ideas and are very confident about how to make them come to live. But, the reality couldn’t be more different: because we only see and read the success stories, we forget that big companies also start small – and that big movements start with very small steps.
This made me realize that downsizing expectations is what I find to be the most challenging. This goes for many people, including myself. That is why I want to emphasize to all students and startups: “Be patient and curious. You will never ‘get’ a Big Idea, you have to look for that Big Idea. Challenge yourself to meet success and to meet failure. Innovation is about ideas growing into new realities.”
Too “wo wo” for you? All right, let’s end on a practical note: Get to work! Do internships, organize events, read, read and read, train yourself to spot opportunities. Entrepreneurship is the muscle of making things happen. You can train it in different ways, for example by joining one of our programs 😉. Then, while working and by meeting the right people, that Big Idea will come to you.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know me and my thoughts, I for sure enjoyed sharing them with you! If you want to know more about entrepreneurship and our programs, feel free to call me (+316 43 70 28 29) or go to our program page. See you next time!