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If you’ve not heard about LOEY Awards, then its high time you should know about this stellar entrepreneurial award competition which is taking place for the past 10 years in the Netherlands. The forum is popular for awarding the ambitious and talented online entrepreneurs who have achieved growth and innovation and thereby inspire others in the Dutch online industry. The awards are a joint initiative of Endeit Capital and Peak Capital.
While, last year Adriaan Mol, founder of Mollie and Messagebird got the big title of ‘entrepreneur of the year,’ this year Joris Beckers, co-founder of Picnic stole the show and has been named the winner of the LOEY Award 2019.
Moreover, female tech entreprenuer, Thalita van Ogtrop, founder and CEO of The Next Closet also won the LOEY Talent Award. Van Ogtrop was chosen after a vote in the hall and after personal video pitches of the three finalists were shown. Due to the 10th anniversary of the LOEY Foundation and the stimulation of more diversity in the Dutch internet industry, only talented female online entrepreneurs were nominated for the award this year.
On Tuesday evening at Capital C in Amsterdam, in the presence of the 250 best internet entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, the two shining entrepreneurs rocked the stage and are definitely an inspiration for many in the online industry.
The inspiring story of Joris Beckers!
Joris Beckers accidentally entered the internet world in 1999. At the time, Beckers worked for Procter & Gamble and, together with Frederik Nieuwenhuys, helped build the first software for e-toys, an online toy store in America. E-toys became a resounding success, but after the dot-com bubble, the company eventually went bankrupt in 2001.
Fascinated by the possibilities of online shopping, Beckers and his business partner Nieuwenhuys started the Fredhopper company. There he starts selling software to e-commerce providers and becomes closely involved in the online retail world. In 2010, Beckers successfully sold the company to a company in the United Kingdom.
From 2012, Beckers starts preparations for a company in the ‘food market’. What strikes him is that consumers buy many non-food items online such as electronics and fashion, but order groceries online to a very limited extent. Partly because of the delivery costs, making online ordering more expensive than regular supermarkets. Beckers sees an opportunity to open up this market by making online shopping possible for everyone. Together with his business partner Nieuwenhuys and later Michiel Muller, Beckers spends three years elaborating a concept for online shopping. In this way, ordering and delivering groceries online is fundamentally designed differently and the masses can be served.
From 2015, Beckers launches the Picnic online supermarket in the first Dutch cities. With Picnic, Beckers solves the problem of the “last mile” by creating a modern milkman with a small electric vehicle. This makes the Picnic delivery model very efficient and sustainable, and the delivery that is precise to the minute ensures a superior customer experience. Ultimately, Picnic should not only be a shopping service, but a delivery person for more ordered products. The company is already running pilots in which customers from, for example, Wehkamp and Zalando give return packages to the delivery person. With Picnic, Beckers wants to be the best innovator in the market and therefore directs his entire company to do as many iterations as possible. Making mistakes is allowed as long as new things are tried out.
Picnic is currently active in 90 locations in the Netherlands and in nearly 30 cities in Germany. Thousands of people register in every city where the company starts. In order to be able to properly handle the rapidly growing demand, Picnic works with a waiting list, whereby customers are admitted as soon as the capacity for perfect services is guaranteed. More than 3,000 employees now work for the company. The Picnic headquarters is located in Amsterdam. The annual turnover in the Netherlands at the end of 2018 was 200 million euros.
The jury of LOEY Awards
The LOEY Awards are the independent prizes for the best entrepreneurs in the Dutch online industry that were awarded for the 10th time this year. Entrepreneurs from the industry could nominate colleagues for the award. A jury consisting of chairman Pieter Zwart (Coolblue), Bernhard van Oranje (Levi9), Corinne Vigreux (TomTom / Codam), Joost Romeijn (Sundio Group) and Adriaan Mol (Mollie / Messagebird, winner of the LOEY Award 2018) has the final winner selected on the basis of growth, innovation and inspiration.
“Since 2010, the LOEY Foundation has been awarding an annual award for the best internet entrepreneur in the Netherlands. Since then, time has flown. Every year we want to offer a prize to entrepreneurs with a unique vision, strong drive for innovation and exceptional growth as an inspiring example for other entrepreneurs in the online industry. The Netherlands produces many successful internet entrepreneurs, of which the winners from the past 10 years are a good example. In the very beginning, the search for suitable candidates was the biggest challenge. At present there are so many candidates that choosing the winner that meets the LOEY criteria has become the biggest challenge., says Hubert Deitmers, president of LOEY Foundation.
The jury about the winner of the LOEY Award
Jury chairman, Pieter Zwart said, “With Picnic, Joris has embarked on a bold adventure against established supermarkets. Through careful preparation, he and his business partners have been able to redesign online shopping and to attract thousands of consumers in a short time. Because of his perseverance and self-assurance, Joris dares to do things that he has never done before. Every three months, he manages to reinvent himself and adapt to the size of his company. He also communicates this to his employees, who he encourages to make mistakes and dare to fail. His entrepreneurial story shows that process innovation and tech DNA can be a decisive factor for successfully building a business in a competitive market.
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