This week I had a chat with Jesse van der Meulen, one of the founders of Aimforthemoon. Say what? Aimforthemoon is a community of 50 millennial entrepreneurs, challenging the way tomorrow’s ventures are built. In 2013, Jesse and his business partner Niek were nominated by Sprout as one of the 25 most promising entrepreneurs under 25 of The Netherlands. Ever since, Jesse has continued to expand his quest for new experiences, knowledge, people, and most of all launching new ventures. In 2016, Jesse and Niek were nominated by The Dutch Financial Times as one of the 50 most talented entrepreneurs of the The Netherlands. Where will this fairytale end? Anyway, his most recent (ad)venture is called Moonshots. I asked him 10 questions about it.
1. Who is Jesse?
Good question! I am a creative person who loves starting new ventures and collaborating with people that I meet on the journey that is often called life. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family and started with my first internet business when I was 17 years old. Over the last decade, I have started several initiatives out of passion. No guts, no glory. The main lesson that I have learned is that you need to have a proper business model right from the beginning.
2. What is Aimforthemoon all about?
We are a community of ambitious entrepreneurs, challenging the way tomorrow’s ventures are built. We see two worlds, entrepreneurs and mature companies, both often struggling to realize new, scalable businesses. We believe this can be done smarter and faster. That is why we all join forces and, together, build tomorrow’s ventures from scratch.
3. What is a Moonshot?
A moonshot — for this purpose — is a business concept that makes the world a radically better place. People can set their minds to magical, seemingly impossible ideas and then through creativity and perseverance bring them to reality.
‘Moonshot’ originally refers to the challenge set out by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 that transformed the tentative early steps of human spaceflight into a giant leap for mankind (actually reaching the moon).
4. What is Moonshots?
Moonshots is an inspirational event with the aim to stimulate entrepreneurs to dream big and start small. Two successful social entrepreneurs join conversation in an intimate living room setting. They share their personal moonshot-story with an audience of ambitious entrepreneurs. Think of a format where Zomergasten meets College Tour.
5. When is Moonshots?
6. Who will spark conversation at this first event?
7. What is the vision of Moonshots?
We believe that there might be a social entrepreneur in everyone. Only a few dare to let them free. We want inspire people with the stories of those who have been there. We hope these stories inspire other entrepreneurs to develop and realise their own moonshot. Together we contribute to solving the world’s most profound challenges. Our own Moonshot is to develop a community of social frontrunners that make positive impact on a global scale. Recurring events continue to form a basis for genuine interaction.
8. How does Moonshots contribute to Amsterdam’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Moonshots is about the founder’s creativity, motivation and experiences. We will get to the core of what drives the founders to combine an entrepreneurial mind with a social heart. We organise Moonshots because we want to (1) stimulate entrepreneurs to dream big and start small and (2) highlight the potential of social entrepreneurship to build tomorrows ventures and solve the world’s most important challenges.
9. Who are the minds behind Moonshots?
Moonshots originates from a collaboration between Aimforthemoon and Chivas Regal. Over the past few months more and more entrepreneurial partners have joined us to make Moonshots a success. The leading forces behind this initiative are Joost van Schie, Leanne Jacometti, Mirthe Dankelman en Jimmy Jansen. Aimforthemoon challenges the way tomorrow’s ventures are built, combining teams of entrepreneurs, developers and creators with large organizations. Chivas Regal is a tasteful Whiskey brand, rooted in entrepreneurship. Altough its a large organization, we share the same core values.
10. How can BrownCow members join Moonshots
P.S. Twice a month I will write blogs as a BrownCow reporter, a company that helps gifted entrepreneurs “play Champions League” by connecting them to former captains of industry, seasoned entrepreneurs and hungry investors. I will interview people within the BrownCow network: former CEO’s (e.g. Anthony Ruys of Heineken) and high-flying entrepreneurs (e.g.Daan Donders of So Wifi Group). I will share insights on business building, leadership, B2B sales and funding.
BrownCow has a network of 150+ start-up Members and 100+ experienced high rollers. BrownCow offers (1) Coaching, (2) Masterclasses, (3) Young President Inch by Inch Program and (4) Investors circle The Herd.BrownCow has the ambition to invest a staggering €25M in start-ups over the next 5 years (Dutch Financial Times: Old Boys storten zich op start ups).
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