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Business Programme Alumni ‘Productpine’ moving away from traditional retail.

1 April 2020

The founders of platform for innovation Productpine have experienced a successful first year and since they are one of our Business Programme alumni, it is time to dig a bit deeper into their concept and find out how they are responding to the latest trends.

With their experience store in Amsterdam, which offers the newest and coolest innovative products in the field of technology, design and lifestyle, Productpine is responding to the transition that retail is currently undergoing: the shift from traditional distribution channels to an experience platform. “We think of ourselves more as a communication tool than just a physical store because brands can communicate directly with customers through various tools in our experience store, such as a tablet that runs on our own software, “said co-founder Vincent Hulshoff. “Nowadays, brands do not always have the capability to set up their own store, which limits their possibilities to let customers fully experience their product. Our store fills up this gap in the market.”

Philips Innovation Award
“We organised the Philips Innovation Award once and came into contact with a lot of brands that expressed having the same problems with regards to physical retail. We noticed the rise of the direct-to-consumer movement and wanted to support and respond to it. This is where we first got inspired.” Productpine therefore can be seen as an extension of the brand where they focus on demand generation instead of demand fulfilment. “It’s a completely different principle from the current traditional vision,” said co-founder Vincent Hulshoff.

Troubleshooting
Co-founders Vincent Hulshoff and Camiel van Dooren were students at Erasmus University Rotterdam and were therefore already acquainted with us. They took part in our Erasmus Business Programme in March 2019 and especially valued the full access to all our facilities. “Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship basically functioned as our first office. We finally had the opportunity to plan all our appointments, meet up with important people and work hard from the moment Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship opened till closing time. We made the most of the time there and it certainly paid off in our case.” In addition, they appreciated the access to our community because it has helped their personal network grow. “The Erasmus Business Programme helps solve a lot of problems that young entrepreneurs face. For me personally, I gained more practical knowledge relating to entrepreneurship from a business perspective. The weekly workshops contributed to the expansion of my knowledge on this matter.”

Your team is the most important factor for success
When asked what would be their best advice for future entrepreneurs, co-founder Vincent Hulshoff honestly admits that their success can mostly be attributed to their dedication to work hard every day and by surrounding themselves with the best team. “The Business Programme was worth every penny because we would keep grinding daily, while simultaneously obtain new and helpful tools, techniques and information. Thereby, we were building a very good team that helped us perform even better. A good-performing team is definitely the most important tool for every startup”.

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