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12 questions to Simone Schoutens of Professional Rebel and Capital Tour XXL

An organizer by day, a photographer by night. Simone Schoutens is a woman of many talents. Last week I got the rare chance to talk to Simone about her latest and greatest project: Capital Tour XXL. During September 2016 the 2nd edition of Amsterdam Capital Week will take place. Startups from around the world travel to Amsterdam to meet and pitch for over 500+ investors. On September 27th, innovation agency Professional Rebel will organize Capital Tour XXL, a bike tour that takes startups along Amsterdam’s finest investors & finance mechanisms. After reading this Q&A you will know all about it.

1. Who is Simone Schoutens?

At Professional Rebel I’m responsible for fixing projects and communications. With my work I’ve found the perfect combination of getting to observe people’s behavior while being part of a dynamic and creative organization. I always aim to raise the bar by trying to ensure that everything runs smoothly and finding creative ways to bring things together. My current focus is on making the second edition of Capital Tour XXL an even bigger success. Besides that I’m really working on developing my networking skills to help build bridges between different worlds. Starting with connecting startups and investors during Amsterdam Capital Week.

I’m also a photographer and make portraits of entre- & intrapreneurs for Professional Rebel’s 1-on-1 series and try to capture different cultures while traveling. In my free time you can often find me in the photo book section at a bookstore or visiting new exhibitions. Next to that I’m pretty happy spending most of my time enjoying life with my friends and family.

Fun fact: I’m crazy about Italian ice cream or any food that’s Italian (probably because half of my family lives in Italy for six months of the year) and laugh at my own jokes (even when nobody else seems to think it’s funny).

2. What is Professional Rebel?

Professional Rebel is “The agency that helps you embrace the culture of change.” And the initiator behind Capital Tour XXL. Professional Rebel empowers frontrunners in big organizations to ignite the startup spirit. Inspired by our roots in the startup world and international network of entrepreneurs, we create programs, bootcamps and masterclasses to enable creativity, innovation and independent thinking.

3. How can one become a Professional Rebel?

Well, Professional rebels are what we call the pioneers of the changing world. Big dreamers who aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. People who don’t just ‘think different’, they actually do different. In short, BAMFs, professionally speaking. But how can you work towards becoming one yourself? We furiously wrote down the hard-earned lessons of 10 intra- and entrepreneurs and figured out the steps you need to follow to be a professional rebel. Want to know more? Read our article:

4. What is Amsterdam Capital Week?

Amsterdam Capital Week is a week in which startups from around the world travel to Amsterdam to meet and pitch for over 500+ investors. The week features events during which angel investors, venture capitalists and (crowd-) funding events open their doors to startups. Amsterdam Capital Week is about two-way connections: all participants, both startups and investors, get to pitch meet and learn to inspire new investments and long-term partnerships.

As a startup this week is for you, whether your startup is looking for pre-seed, early stage or series a or b funding. For investors Amsterdam Capital Week offers matchmaking with awesome and fast-growing startups. The week gives you a perspective on the opportunities waiting to be seized, whether you’re a big investment fund or a first-time angel investor. In 2015, Amsterdam Capital Week was organised for the first time, born out of an ambition to truly connect startups and capital and to create a space where startups and investors jointly pitch, meet and learn.

Amsterdam Capital week is initiated and part of the StartupAmsterdam Programme. Capital Tour XXL is one of their flagship events and official kick-off event of the whole week.

5. What is Capital Tour XXL?

Let’s face it, all startups need money. How to get it, what are the options, and how to connect with the right investor. Capital Tour XXL is a bike tour that takes startups along Amsterdam’s finest investors & finance mechanisms. We focus on making the capital eco-system come alive for startups and connect them to relevant investors during our one-day funding festival.

Last year Professional Rebel took 150+ startups to over 35 HQs of investors all around the city of Amsterdam. This year will be even bigger & smarter. The 2nd edition includes more funding methods to show the full capital ecosystem, better screening to take startups along the most relevant investors, an online database with profiles of all participants, the opportunity for startups to properly prepare their pitch during a workshop with David Beckett, and a special angel speed dating session. Capital Tour XXL will open Amsterdam Capital Week on September 27 with a BANG!

6. How does the program look like?

Good question my friend! The program consists of 3 parts:

12.00–12.45: Kick-off Event

Capital Tour XXL will officially open the Amsterdam Capital Week on September 27 with a BANG! Including welcome speech & inspiring keynote.

13.30–17.00: Capital Tour XXL

Your tourguide will take you and your fellow startups to three of the most relevant investors in town. Get answers to all your funding questions and find out which is right for you. For the seed and early stage startups there will also be an angel speed dating session!

17.30–20.30: Drinks and Networking Dinner

We will end our day together during a networking dinner with all the participants of the Capital Tour XXL. Your change to connect with even more startups and capital!

7. Anything else?

Yes, at Professional Rebel we love surprises. This edition, we also offer a special session this year to get your pitch perfect: A workshop by David Beckett from 10:00–11:30. Get ready to pitch your business to investors, with help from Startupbootcamp Pitch Coach David Beckett. He’s helped over 300 Startups raise millions in investment, and will give you the practical tools to nail your pitch during the tour — and any time you pitch in the future.

8. What type of entrepreneurs participated in the past?

The event attracts a colourful mix of people from a wide variety of sectors. For instance, David Vermeulen of dating app The Inner Circle has participated.

And for instance Frans van Hoogstraten of Tabster.

9. What kind of investors will we meet?

No money, no honey ;-)

So we invited a lot of investors. One of them is Johan van Mil of Peak Capital.

10. Why do you mention van Mil?

Well, all investors are great. But I mention Johan van Mil in particular because he has made an overview of the Tech Venture Capital Ecosystem in The Netherlands. It is a very useful picture for all entrepreneurs that are aiming to raise funding and want to get to know the investor landscape better.

11. Only venture capitalists or also other types?

Not only venture capitalists will participate. For instance BrownCow will also be participating with their investment circle “The Herd”. BrownCow connects serious entrepreneurs to former captains of industry. Startup founders like Daan Donders (Sofiwi), Jord Cuyper (Fanly) and Bas Lemmens (Roomlr) with seasoned mentors like Mienke Schaberg (Founder Metaplan executive search), Anthony Ruys (ex-CEO Heineken) and Coen de Bruin (Founder DPDB). BrownCow provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to raise EUR 200K — 1M in growth funding. Want to know more about it? Read:

12. Do you have a last message for the crowd?

Yes!

I hope I’ll get you all enthusiastic to join us on Capital Tour XXL Amsterdam on 27 September 2016!

So are you ready to:

  • Discover Amsterdam’s Full Capital Eco-system?
  • Meet Amsterdam’s finest VCs, Business Angels, Corporate Ventures & other finance mechanisms at their HQs?
  • Get answers to all your questions about funding?

Then get your ticket now and hop on your bike with us!

Ticket includes: kick-off event, bike tour along selected investors, the chance to pitch, and networking drinks and a standing buffet.

Tuesday 27 September 2016 | 12.00–20.30 | Early bird ticket for tour €85,- (till 15 August) | Ticket for pitch workshop €20,- | More info at: www.capitaltourxxl.com

Hope to meet you soon!

Cheers,

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