impactmania Rotterdam is out!

Rotterdam’s architecture is unlike any Dutch town.

After the heart of the city was bombed in WWII, it has since been rebuilt as a face of the future. It features a striking Central Station built from slanted wood and steel; a swan-like bridge connecting the city center with its south side — once a questionable area, now the hippest place to be — along with a rising Innovation District.

Rotterdam, with its roll-up-the-sleeves, can-do attitude, is where impactmania finds many young entrepreneurs establishing both local and global businesses. In this issue, we share the thoughts and views of:

A global impact maker, designer, and innovator, Daan Roosegaarde, who has made his name and fame with a number of projects, including the Smog Free Tower that is currently touring China.

Located in the same Innovation District, we visit Gilbert Curtessi, SUGU’s founder. Ironically housed in the former gas and coal headquarters, SUGU is now the home for start-ups that offer sustainable energies and bio-materials.

Paula Verhoeven, Director of City Development of the municipality of Rotterdam. Verhoeven shares her insights on fostering successful private-pubic-nonprofit partnerships and how the City is advancing as a Smart City.

Across town in Schiedam, the gin-capital of the world, we meet with David Blom who, together with his brother, Sebastian, started Bobby’s Dry Gin, which was based on their grandfather’s jenever. The young entrepreneurs partnered with one of Holland’s oldest distillery, Herman Jansen, and is now exporting Bobby’s Dry Gin to 25 countries and counting.

GRNDPA, also founded only two and half years ago in Rotterdam, has worked with the international hip hotel chain, Citizen M, and the above mentioned, Bobby’s Gin. GRNDPA’s commercial for HelloFresh is currently running on Dutch television. The agency was founded by three friends who share a passion to make soulful art, spirits, and food.

Millennials, Michelle Pang and Irene Haast, started their company, Blake Seven, with six t-shirts. Their apparel is now in 150 stores across 5 countries, including Topshop.

Also spearheading exciting projects is tchai, a retail solutions family business, now owned by its third-generation, speaks with us about shedding job descriptions, office departments, and how they encourage their employees in realizing their personal passions within the company.

In the hip city of the future, don’t forget to take a moment to sit quietly in Het Kralingse Bos, Rotterdam’s Central Park. Gustav Kiburg, impactmania’s Featured Photographer, reintroduces us to nature and wildlife in Holland. Your backyard, or park, is teeming with inspiration. Get out there!


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