Robin van der Molen
Sportkunde | Inholland Haarlem
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With the app On The Move people can promote their sports. Users can put in a friend request to participate in their activity. Sports Science student Robin van der Molen invented On The Move. Robin: “It’s a social platform with sports as the hero. Through sports you meet each other and you can build communities.”
The goal is to connect people because of an equal interest. Robin: “If I know that my neighbor likes to play billiards, I would like to play with him sometime. But how would I know? This applies to all other sports.”
How did you come up with the idea?
“My friends are not interested in sports. They want to go out, drink beer and like gaming. When I go to the gym or go for a bike ride or run, I’m often by myself. I do multiple sports, so I don’t really bond or connect with anyone. That’s when I came up with the idea: how can sporty people come into contact with each other? Sometimes you see someone running and you think; I would like to join in. Simply go to my platform and you can see when Hendrik is going for a run. Do you join him? Then Hendrik can give you some tips. It’s not about getting the most likes on your photo. People connect with each other because they have an equal interest. You can also participate in ‘weekly challenges’.”
You won the Start Up Campus Haarlem (SUCH) with this idea. How did this help you?
“After SUCH I came in contact with Aberfeld Asset Management. They helped me to develop my business plan further. They showed how to think outside the box and develop my idea further. For example by involving other parties, such as schools and sports clubs. “
What did you learn during this?
“Seeing possibilities. I didn’t know who to get in touch with to get something going. That’s difficult. Winning SUCH opened doors for me to people who could help me further. I learned where to find the right information and to get the right people together. SUCH made this easier. The jury also liked my way of presenting.”
What’s the most important next step?
“I have to inform as many sports clubs as possible about the platform. I also want to hand out premium accounts before we launch. And when we launch, I must have enough awareness and users in our region. Potential new members can join a training session once. After this first meeting you can organize events, like a barbecue. The club can make money during these events, but it’s also a way to reach out to potential new members. I would like to involve the clubs, so they get a constant flow of new members. Then we can get the ball rolling.”
What typifies you? Who is Robin?
“I’m very busy. I teach kite surfing lessons, am a house painter, a kickboxing instructor and personal trainer. This summer I will also be managing the production at festivals for a catering company. Before completing my Sports studies I did Mechanical Engineering. I’m self-employed and therefore talk to many different people. That’s me. “
And your pitfalls?
“I’m very chaotic. Terrible. The way I can release my energy is by doing a lot of sports, such as kickboxing and kite surfing. I have lots of ideas. I have to meditate in the evening to unwind and to be able to sleep. I’ve decided to graduate next year. And I’ll give less kickboxing lessons to free up my agenda a bit. “
What’s your biggest focus?
“My biggest focus is my lifestyle. I have to adjust my lifestyle to be able to get through the busy times ahead. Eating healthy, finding the right sports with the right people to stay motivated. Get enough rest. My goal is to have freedom; I never want a permanent job. In summer I want to be in the Netherlands for sports. In winter I want to pack up and leave. I’ll rent out my house and I want to go kitesurfing in the craziest places, climb the highest mountains and enjoy snowboarding. I’ll also want to be teaching. Because I like it, not because I need the money. My focus is similar to the app really. Being free and being able to do the thing you love.”
You did an internship in Cape Town for a while. What’s the most valuable lesson you learned there?
“The owner of the hostel I stayed at used to be very self-centered and he used to take advantage of people. Today he has a different vision and he shared the following wisdom with me: ‘basically all you are is all you’ve received from the world around you. You’ve developed all your habits, thoughts and fears over the years. Maybe you grew up with a very nervous mother, making you a more nervous person. You can get rid of most of those habits or fears. If I have certain fears, I can figure out where these fears come from and put things into perspective. This reduces anxiety and doubts.’ If you live that way, you feel freer and you have less fear of the unknown. I don’t need to be employed. I don’t need any security. I don’t want to be paying off my mortgage for the next 30 years and asking my boss permission to go on vacation. I have a different outlook on life.”
Nice lesson! Back to On The Move. What does the future hold?
“The plan is finished. I now need to focus on financing it. And I’ve got to find as much clubs as possible to cooperate with. App users can see all activities and clubs. By participating in these activities you earn points. With these points you get a discount on other activities.”
Good luck! Do you have one last tip for Inholland students?
“Make a good business plan. Search on Google, copy the lay out of a good example and complete it with your own input. Do you have a clear idea? Then focus on financing. There are several options for this, for example the bank or sponsoring. After this you cannot go back. That first step is the most important!”