28 Feb Founders interview: How it all started
1. Tell me a bit about your background and how that that led you to start BASE conference.
Lana: When Veronica approached me with her idea for the conference, I was enthusiastic! There are a number of events for start-ups but not so much for scale-ups. I told her that I would love to collaborate with her with the intention of building a community for scale-ups. As a Community Alchemist and Learning Experience Designer, I help my clients craft programs, services and communities; I knew that I could bring in my expertise to put a framework together and start growing a scale-up community.
Veronica: I am in the process of scaling up my company: SPIN Ideas. I do marketing strategy for startups and SMEs. In the past year, the needs of my clients grew, so I started taking on bigger and more complex projects. However, I found it difficult to find educational material, companies whose experience I can learn, and the guidance to grow. Looking around me, I noticed I was not the only one. As Lana said, there is a lot of information for startups, but not so much for scale-ups.
I started talking with several people about my idea to organize a conference focused on scale ups, trying to find the right partner and a team that shared the same mindset, values, and goals.
With Lana everything clicked: we have the same work ethics, values and goals.
2. What exactly does “BASE” mean besides the acronym? (What do building, sustaining, etc mean to the conference, startups, etc.)
BASE stands for the core pillars for scale-up success. It means Build Relationships and Manage Resource, Advance Strategies on Marketing & Sales, Sustain Profitability & Growth and Elevate Businesses through Innovation. We believe that addressing these core pillars can help scale-ups successfully expand their businesses.
Relationship & Resource Management – the foundation for building a prosperous business
We believe in building systems and managing resources in a way that brings the best out of people and supports businesses to scale up. Resource management should be aimed at creating a diverse team, integrated at all levels of talents and backgrounds. Next to a great team, you need the right systems and infrastructures that save time and energy while contributing to a smoother consistent growth.
Marketing & Sales – the core activities to Advance your business
Without sales & marketing, there can be no business or high-volume of sales. We believe that Marketing & Sales are the core activities to position a business in the global market to create brand-awareness, loyal customers, an increase of the turnover, enter new markets, and increase your overall profitability.
Profitability – the only way to Sustain growth within a business
Sustainable growth comes from a combination of factors that include: smart accounting, accurate administration, cooperate with local and international authorities, investments and growth of capital and much more. Only by knowing your numbers and how to interpret them, can you actually have a realistic and clear target that enables you to steer your team and lead your business to a sustainable growth.
Innovation – the key to Elevate any business to the next level
A successful business, even more so one scaling up, is the one that never stops innovating and taking advantage of the latest technologies. The surge of blockchain, AI, VR have become the standard tools for both big corporations and SMEs. We believe constant innovation is the key to elevate a business to the next level, while leaving a legacy.
3. What is BASE meant to accomplish?
Our Moonshot Goal: We aspire to be the hub for scale-ups worldwide. We are not just a conference; we are a community aimed at professionals who want to scale up their businesses. Within this community, we facilitate business interactions, share of knowledge and resources, and support the building of a better business environment.
We believe in creating relationships and growing together. We are building a community of professionals that are committed to advance their business to the next level. We want to bring together business owners, founders, professionals and policymakers to build relationships, advance by working together in a sustainable way and elevating businesses as a community.
Our goal is to bring BASE Conference in 2 or 3 other countries next year: Finland, UK and maybe Spain. Within 5 years, we envision BASE Conference & Community in most parts of Europe with a membership of around 500,000 entrepreneurs.
4. What can people expect from the BASE conference? What are the biggest takeaways people will get from it?
The scale-up scene in the Netherlands is growing fast. Did you know that the number of scale-ups has increased from 2,285 in 2016 to 2,695 in 2017? This is an increase of almost 18%. This is the 3rd consecutive year in which the growth in the number of scale-ups exceeds 15 percent. However, there is not so much support to meet the needs of scale-ups. The purpose of this conference (and community) is to provide the needed support, so that we can all expand and grow our businesses.
We want to emphasize that is not just a one-time conference; we are focused on creating an international community. In fact, if you want to grow, you need to expand beyond your city or country borders and our goal is to bring closer scale-ups in different parts of the globe.
Aside from being part of the community, participants will also learn from experts and peers. We believe in learning as a tool for growth which is why we offer free online strategy sessions before the conference and will continue to do so after the conference.
Join the BASE Conference and be part of our community!