Afgelopen zaterdag presenteerde onze founder Danique haar verhaal over Nimbles tijdens de tweede editie van de Tedx Amsterdam Women startup awards op het kantoor van Google Amsterdam. Een duizelingwekkend verhaal van idee naar 'smooth running business'. Heb je haar verhaal gemist? Lees het hieronder rustig na.  

How it all started.
Why is it that your best ideas always seem to come whenever you’re on vacation or in the shower? Let me take you back. It was in the summer of 2014 that I was on a vacation after a year of hard working in my own private tutoring company Didactique. I had a few weeks in Brazil to think about the new strategy of my company and the solution for my growing waiting list of parents who were looking for the best private tutor for their child.   

It was at beach of Ipanema that I came up with the idea of building a high quality online platform with the best private tutors. A platform were parents can connect directly with them, without me as the expensive middle man. This idea of disrupting my own market could be the answer to my growing waiting list.

In Februari last year I finalised the concept when I red about the Tedx Startup Awards. Have you taken the first steps to make your idea into a reality and are you looking for a stage to present your idea? Sign up now for the TEDxAmsterdamWomen Startup Awards! Yes! Let’s use Tedx for what it’s meant to be used for: spread ideas worth spreading. I signed up and just like you, I was one of the 10 finalists who were lucky to present their idea in the preliminary rounds.

Nimbles danique wiltink

The rollercoaster took off
Just one minute after my presentation I had an email of an angel investor in the audience. She wanted to invest in my idea and she was not the only one. One day later the Financieel Dagblad wrote an artikel about the Startup Awards and my idea.  That was the moment that my rollercoaster took off. Many investors started calling me, newspapers and radio stations approached me for interviews, we had to set op a kickstarter crowdfunding campaign within two weeks and I didn’t even had a name for my new company. It was an insane time.

After an intensive month and a succesfull crowfunding campaign I presented the name of my company Nimbles and our concept at the big Tedx stage. It was an awesome day. I met so many inspiring people that day and off course I was super happy that I won. The name TEDx seems to add a validation to your brand and idea.  

The execution
But as you all know, it’s not the idea, it’s the execution. The process from “just an idea” to a smooth running operation has been an enormous change. A lot of things happened since winning the Awards last year.

it's not the idea it's the execution

Within two months I closed my first funding round, so I was able to collect a team of developers and designers who build and designed Nimbles from scratch, with a lot of attention for design and usability. 

Part of winning the awards was visiting Kickstarter HeadQuarters in Brooklyn NYC, were I had a great session about building communities. One month later I visited the Websummit in Dublin were I met many interesting people there. The coming months dutch newspapers and magazines start writing about Nimbles and even nicer, I finally found a co-founder, because running your startup alone with just a couple of developers and designers is a hell of a job. Together with my co-founder Adine Tjeenk Willink we beta launched Nimbles in March last year in Rotterdam and two months later in Amsterdam. And it works. 

My private tutor is a rockstar
We learned a lot from our customers and finetuned our intern processes. It was the combination of hard work and a lot of networking that brought Nimbles to what is is today: A high quality online platform for independent private tutors. And I'm happy to say that next week we’ll launch our new campaign: My private tutor is rockstar. We want to let all parents and students see the benefits of having a private tutor for their child. 
After this campaign we are going to scale our concept to other cities in the Netherlands.

Winning the 2015 Tedx Startup Award gave Nimbles an incredible start, press attention, a huge network, a validation of my idea and I think I can say that without winning this competition I wouldn't be were I am today.

I truly hope this year’s Startup Award winner will get as much joy and results out of the competition as I had.’ So one advice for you guys: Be prepared for the rollercoaster, but enjoy the ride! :)