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Home > Shell Eco-marathon fuels Dutch LiveWIREs with high performance innovation

Welcome to Shell LiveWIRE International / Shell Eco-marathon fuels Dutch LiveWIREs with high performance innovation

At Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2014 in Rotterdam

Young Dutch LiveWIRE entrepreneurs were given an invaluable insight into ‘high performance innovation’ during a special business briefing at the recent Shell Eco-marathon Europe event in Rotterdam.

Organised by Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands and the country’s Chamber of Commerce, the entrepreneurs were given food for thought by Bas van Oosterhout, Innovation Advisor at Shell Global Solutions, who delivered a keynote speech on ‘high-performance innovation’. His presentation looked at experiences of applying new business models and accelerating innovations in order to increase value. Mr van Oosterhout used a time machine analogy to explore examples of both successful and unsuccessful tactics used by various companies over the years. He cited one of the most impressive money-making models from the printing industry as an example – that of charging per print out rather than selling printers. This business model, now well known, sells ‘usage’ rather than ‘ownership’.

Stating that Shell attaches great importance to cooperation and knowledge sharing, Mr van Oosterhout advised the entrepreneurs to learn from innovation in other sectors, and to gain inspiration from them. By keeping a close eye on innovation processes, he believes that entrepreneurs can spot opportunities in a changing environment which can be adapted to their business model.

Celina Wang, Programme Manager of Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands said, “Innovation is the main driver of the Dutch economy. Shell encourages entrepreneurs to seize opportunities.”

Speaking to hundreds of business people at the preceding breakfast briefing, Dick Benschop, President Director of Shell Netherlands stressed the importance of innovation and the power of entrepreneurs. He highlighted Shell LiveWIRE as the model on which Shell and the Chamber of Commerce are stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation. He then introduced Arthur Limpens of Allocacoc, a finalist in the 2012 Shell LiveWIRE Netherlands award, who shared his experiences of starting his businesses and spoke of his ambitions for the growth and future development of his business.

Entrepreneur and author Arthur Tolsma provided the audience with an insight into his experiences of start up assistance, near-bankruptcy and business success with an appropriately titled talk based on his book, “Startups & Downs”. Describing entrepreneurial journey as being like a roller coaster ride, Mr Tolsma provided a frank account of his business successes and mistakes and the lessons he has learned. This captivated the audience, leading to a lengthy question and answer session, resulting in some very useful tips on solutions to various business issues. His main message for the delegates to takeaway with them was the encouragement to ‘be confident, know yourself and your strengths’.

The event concluded with a guided tour of the Shell Eco-marathon paddock to see first-hand how the teams of students from all over Europe had applied innovative engineering to optimise their vehicles. The on-site ‘Energy Lab’ also provided an opportunity to rekindle their passion for innovation.

The Shell Eco-marathon is an inspiring and interactive festival bringing together around 200 teams and 3,000 students from across Europe to battle for ultra energy efficiency on the road.


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