Startup Voucher: BIKEBAZE Testimonial

Erasmus Enterprise proudly presents Dries Dederen, a visionary entrepreneur behind the innovative BIKEBAZE venture. Selected as a bright recipient of the Startup Voucher, Dederen exemplifies the spirit of innovation and determination driving the entrepreneurial landscape.

Vision and Overview

BIKEBAZE is dedicated to combating bike theft in the Netherlands with innovative, community-driven solutions. Our platform, launching soon in Rotterdam, allows bike owners to register their bikes in a central database, linking each bike (using the unique frame number) to its owner. Combined with our unique, tamper resistant SafeTags, we provide a comprehensive system for bike security. Our aim is twofold: to prevent bike theft by making theft less attractive due to the SafeTags, and to facilitate the recovery of bikes. For instance, if authorities find a container in the port full of stolen bikes, our system makes it easy to trace back the owners. This dual approach – increasing prevention and improving recovery – taps into the rich biking culture of the Netherlands and addresses the critical issue of bike theft, which impacts tens of thousands of Rotterdam’s bike owners annually.

I learned about the Startup Voucher through my interaction with Bas. The application process was straightforward, involving detailed planning from the idea stage to financials. I’m looking forward to using the voucher for testing various offline marketing strategies and for the initial production (and further R&D) of our SafeTags.

Journey and Tips

My journey has taught me the value of self-reliance in developing our MVP. Initially, I sought co-founders and investors, which, while important, can be time-consuming without a tangible product. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is this: if you believe you can develop your product yourself, do it. Build that MVP, even if it’s not perfect. It’s more effective to approach potential partners or investors with something concrete. Of course, if you find someone suited to join, that’s great – collaboration can be invaluable. But don’t spend all your time at networking events seeking co-founders or investors with just an idea. Building a functional MVP first can be a game-changer.

Looking Back

Reflecting on my early steps, I’ve learned the importance of diving deep into your product and exploring if you can develop it independently. If you find that you can, take that route first. While networking to find co-founders or investors is crucial, focusing first on developing a tangible product – even a simple MVP – can make a significant difference. It’s often more compelling to engage others with a working model than just an idea. The entrepreneurial path is as much about building and learning as it is about finding the right people to join your journey. So, what I would do different is start developing the MVP myself even if it is technically a bit challenging, but hey, there is YouTube!

One aspect I would approach the same way is engaging in conversations with a wide range of people, especially finding mentors. The guidance, feedback, and motivation provided by mentors have been invaluable. Entrepreneurship can sometimes be a lonely journey, filled with moments of frustration. Having mentors who understand these challenges and can offer motivation and support is crucial. They provide not just practical advice, but also the emotional boost needed to navigate the ups and downs of building a startup. This network of support is something I would recommend every entrepreneur to cultivate actively.

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