Bloemen: “When working, you can laugh here, laugh there, but overall, make sure to get there!”
ECFG is a Venture Capital (VC) firm providing Investment Services, Finance & Growth, which has been our partner for about six years. It is important to raise awareness about our partners, because without them, we wouldn’t get to the point where we are at now. Why and how has this partnership started? Hans Bloemen, the Managing Director/Partner at ECFG describes the beginning of the collaboration by saying that mutual advantages have been recognized in both parties. The “gaps between the two worlds” (VC and subsidy funding) were filled by this partnership. Just like us, ECFG invests only in Business to Business (B2B) companies. However, what do they do differently; which “gaps” have we filled in?
Bloemen claims that there are three aspects of ECFG that one needs to be aware of. First, the company provides VC funding to B2B firms. Second, they help business angels invest and third, they help start-ups and scale-ups get investment-ready. As you can see, there’s no wonder why ECFG has the name it has. It’s all about Finance and investments. However, to get to those investments, Bloemen explains that there’s a business development path that his company paves for the clients. And it’s not just any clients; ECFG invests into industry, agriculture technology and software. These companies should have a turnover of 1-5 million EUR. ECFG provides advisory services where the reasons to apply for a specific type of funding are determined. It is in this field that MK Subsidy is a valuable partner. With MK Subsidy, ECFG could help their clients take the right path to get funded.
How does ECFG work, really? What are the steps they take to get a given company funded? First, the business analysis is conducted. ECFG analyzes whether the given client is investment-ready. When that is done, ECFG looks for a suitable investor and the type of funding that is needed. Last, ECFG looks into ways how they could invest into the given company to accelerate its growth. The cherry at the top of the cake? ECFG knows how to make an investment rational rather than emotional. They know how to reach the right balance between making a rational and an emotional investment. That’s definitely their added value above all the other VCs!
Turning to the partnership itself, Bloemen says that he can always have a laugh with MK Subsidy. Even though the way of collaborating is rational and no-nonsense, they still know how to have fun at work. As he puts it; together, ECFG and MK Subsidy “walk straight forward; on the left they make a laugh, on the right they make a laugh, but overall, they walk straight forward.” He describes it as a way of working in the south of The Netherlands. If you “just do your thing and work,” Bloemen says, you’ll get far.
Bloemen’s expectations of the partnership are of course that the two companies – ECFG and MK Subsidy – will move steadily forward, while growing and accelerating their businesses together. And he’s a proud partner – he likes the fact that MK Subsidy is very ambitious about its plans to get a national subsidy coverage and that it accepts the risks along with applying for these types of funding.
Finally, what Bloemen suggests that all entrepreneurs do to become successful is to look at their own added value and to act upon it. He says that you should do so both as a business and as an individual. If you use your strengths and multiply them, you’ll be able to build and sustain a company. This applies for building a relationship with someone too. In other words, one should be original and use what makes them special to build something groundbreaking. Do so too, now!