'I'm graduating to my own festival'

Start Up Campus Haarlem in conversation with David Clemens

Foto David

David Clemens (25), 4th year Sports Science student, graduates to own company.

I'm constantly doing things I think are cool.
"I am guided by what draws me and what I am good at. You can find my qualities in the things I do. If something doesn't energize me, I make sure another thing fills that spot. That way I'm constantly doing things that I think are cool!

As a free runner, Urban Sports has been my passion for years. The umbrella term for sports that take place on the street or in the city. Think freerunning, basketball, and skateboarding. I volunteered for several years at Hooked Gathering, a festival for the Urban Sports Community. There, I found out that event organizing is really my thing. I was thinking about new concepts because I felt the current setup could be improved."

Organizing a festival myself
"My dream is to put the Urban Sports scene on the map and play a role in it myself. In this world, the community creates the atmosphere. At various events, I experienced how close such a group can be. Festivals are often organized by people who are not from the scene, and I believe that if you want to reach the supporters and the community, you need knowledge from within.

Today's festivals are mostly about music, booze, and drugs. While a new generation is arriving where sports, lifestyle, and community are more important than ever. When I thought about that further, I wanted to organize a festival myself. I have been working on the concept for a few years now. My graduation was the opportunity to research this further."

Social Trends Catalyst for Urban Sport
"I think Urban Sport is going to become much bigger. Due to current social trends such as individualization, urbanization, and digitalization, I foresee a rising trend.'' You can find individualization reflected in the fact that club life is on the decline. People are too busy and want to play sports when and where it suits them. Urbanization means that cities are getting bigger and bigger. It is really a catalyst for the growth of Urban Sport. Furthermore, you see communities mostly uniting in digital forms. We see influencers on social media, being part of WhatsApp or Facebook groups or active on forums. Urban Sport is doing well online. It is spectacular, and you identify it with your own environment. That's exactly what makes it so attractive."

Foto David profiel

''I want to keep surprising as an entrepreneur''
To achieve my dream, I started my own (online) marketing agency, in addition to my studies in Sports Science, and I use my specialties as an Urban Sports Trainer. When it comes to clients, I hope they experience my qualities. I always want to underpromise and overdeliver. Surprise in the positive sense. When people come up with an idea, I will always focus on a possible even better idea. As a starting entrepreneur, it's hard to assess your worth. You are constantly learning. Sometimes you're working in a field where you don't have as much experience, then it's hard to get paid for a higher rate. How I solve that? I charge fair hours. I took the hours I needed to gain knowledge for my own account.

I get my knowledge mostly online, through YouTube, for example. But also by talking to other entrepreneurs. When I walk down the street, I scan everything related to marketing. If something appeals to me, I look up the company and study its mission and vision. You learn a lot from that. Then you understand much better how advertisements are created."

Graduating within my own company
"When I came to my professors with the idea of graduating within my own company, they were not immediately enthusiastic. The stumbling block was in the guidance. Fortunately, teachers Willemijn and Ceciel tipped me off to Start Up Campus Haarlem. SUCH supported me to make a path where there was no path yet. At SUCH, I was immediately understood, and got the chance to do what I love most! I am graduating within my own company.

SUCH lives up to what it stands for. Helping entrepreneurs move forward with great enthusiasm!

If you are considering entrepreneurship and you have a passion, it's cliché, but you just have to start. There is never a moment when you know enough, have a big enough network, or have enough time. That only comes when you're busy. Start doing it, and start making mistakes. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you can constantly make adjustments.

I recommend SUCH 100%. They can help you with the bit of uncertainty that comes with entrepreneurship. You can professionalize and expand your network. Entrepreneurship, as cool as it is, can be lonely. You have to be able to deal with disappointment, and you have to enjoy the moments when things work out. It's a game!"

About SUCH:

Start Up Campus Haarlem is the place for entrepreneurial students of Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Through an inspiring five-month program of events and workshops, you work on your business, and entrepreneurial skills and grow your network at lightning speed. Entrepreneurship begins at Start Up Campus Haarlem! Want to know when the next Start or Growth program starts? Check out our Instagram or website.

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