MeetStories: Let Your Success Stories do the Converting
7 July 2020
Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship is a recognized RVO* startup facilitator for international innovative startup entrepreneurs. For one year, we provide these entrepreneurs with support and mentorship to develop their businesses within the Dutch ecosystem. Each month we ask one of our Startup Visa participants to share their story. This month we spoke to MeetStories.
How the idea for MeetStories came to life Hossein Golhosseini, the co-founder of MeetStories,founded in 2019, initially got inspired by the sudden risein videos showing up on various social networking sites. “I noticed that the number of videos on LinkedIn was increasing. While helpful applications for producing and editing videos emerged on social media channels, I took note of the fact that there did not existan app or widget for collecting and producing video testimonials yet,” said Hossein. This is how he came up with the idea for MeetStories, an easy-to-use widget that allows companies to collect, display and manage video case studies.
Why the Netherlands is the right location After validating the idea among friends, the next step was to bring the concept to life. “I choose the Netherlands as the location to further build MeetStories for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the ecosystem makes it the best location for launching an app or widget. The Netherlands has one of the best startup-hubs in Europe, therefore I immediately started researching all possibilities here. Secondly, the application process with regards to a facilitator is extremely user-friendly. The website of RVO immediately showed me all possible facilitators and from there I could easily contact them. From my point of view, the user-experience is much better compared to Portugal and France, countries for whom I also showed interest if my first choice here wouldn’t work out. Overall, I was also attracted to the Dutch culture in which people from different backgrounds are welcomed here. I did not experience any difficulties with regards to communication in my daily life because the overall consensus is to have patience with someone who doesn’t master the Dutch language quite yet,” said Hossein.
More than just a facilitator As a recognized RVO startup facilitator, Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship also acts as a mentor, providing the entrepreneur with overall support. After passing the first selection process, it is obliged to submit your business plan with RVO. “This is where I received excellent help from Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship. Programme Manager, Jip provided me with all the necessary support and guidance to optimize my business plan. We revised our business plan and thankfully RVO acknowledged it. Furthermore, I was assisted immensely in arranging that the other co-founder could join me in the Netherlands. It’s comforting knowing that you can always fall back on your facilitator,” said Hossein.
Coaching sessions that led to more possibilities The Startup Visa Facilitator Programme is based on years of academic and practical experience and consists of a collection of modules covering items such as business models, value propositions, startup financials, pitching, sales and marketing, that will give you insight in how to start a company. We provide, for example, active coaching from our network of investors, experienced entrepreneurs and experts. “Thanks to these coaching sessions I was able to make valuable connections with potential investors. For me personally this was the most beneficial part of the programme because I already possessed a great deal of knowledge with regards to, for example, business models and value propositions,” said Hossein.
Last piece of advice It goes without saying that Hossein and his team have high hopes for MeetStories since the use of videos on social media has increased. “In the long term, we would like to become the leader in B2B video platform arena. If I could give a piece of advice to fellow entrepreneurs, it would be to take reasonable risks and carefully evaluate your potential future steps. Especially if you have to leave your motherland in order to take your idea to the next step like I did. It’s not always easy to take such drastic measures, but the end goal will hopefully be worth it all,” said Hossein.
Applying for Startup Visa Facilitator programme International innovative entrepreneurs have the possibility to apply for the programme all through the year. With a startup visa, international startups have one year to start an innovative company in the Netherlands. On the Startup Visa Facilitator page, you can find all the information you need, including a brochure.