The Brightlands Business Club met for the third time this year, and this time the weather prompted us to become active and outdoorsy. We were welcomed at Topsport Limburg, located next to the running track and hockey files in Sittard. Those present from the start were very fortunate to meet and listen to Maartje Paumen, many times gold medal winner and arguably the most successful hockey player of the Netherlands. In an energetic duo-presentation with coach Marco Hoogerland, we were treated to an inspirational story of successes, set-backs, and glorious comebacks. The parallels with being an entrepreneur were many. Both highest level sports and entrepreneurship are not necessarily good for your health…
Sports are a subject that is particularly suited for Brightlands: Materials, Health, Food and Data are all highly relevant for achieving the top in sports. Two presentations dealt with innovations in sport in the filed of materials: first Greenholds (Tim Mullens together with Geert Voncken of Ivy Climbing) showcased their new, recyclable grip for indoor climbing. Due to the recyclability you can easier adjust the grips to new standards and of course there is an environmental benefit as well. Marcel Alberts of Eurofibers impressed us with the many high-tech applications of super-strong fibers in sports, from sailing to fencing to surfing and even fishing.
Finally we made our way across the road to the Fortuna stadium, where the people were still glowing after making it to the Eredivisie for the second year in a row. Rick Gruijters, Board Member of Fortuna, explained to a gripped audience how you run a football club like a business. Like a normal business, which needs to make money to survive. It involves developing a vison, branding, customers satisfaction, budgeting and management development. We all know and feel that sport is about emotion,. But to run a club you need to eliminate the emotion. Finally we got a sneak preview of how Fortuna will use digital instruments to bond its customers even closer to the club.
© Photographer: Annemiek Mommers