October 19, 2023
ScaleNL Team
Last week, in the bustling heart of London, our West Coast '23 cohort embarked on a whirlwind of learning, refining, and connecting during the London Business Trip. Picture a 4-day boot camp, not for push-ups but for perfecting your elevator pitch and conquering the boardroom, finished with deep founder-to-founder conversations in the British countryside.

Stop One: Fundraising And Going Global At The Dutch Embassy 🌟

Our adventure kicked-off at the Dutch Embassy in London, where Lieke Conijn, Startup Liaison at the Dutch Embassy, and Michael Dooijes, Co-founder of ScaleNL, extended a warm welcome to our founders. The day unfolded with enriching knowledge sessions led by ScaleNL Advisors, Andy Shannon and Rebecca Offensend.Β  Their expertise on go-to-market strategies and fundraising set the stage for a practice pitching session. ​​It was all about refining and growing, with valuable feedback ensuring our startups crafted razor-sharp pitches, in preparation for the Feedback Practice round with guest VCs the next day. The group was also joined by special guest, Max Kreijn, founder of His experiences as a Dutch entrepreneur thriving in the UK emphasized the significance of pivotal small decisions that lead to big breakthroughs. And what better way to wrap up the day than a round of mini-golf! 🏌️

Stop Two: Polishing For The Grand Stage during VC Pitch Feedback Round 🎀

Day two began with an early breakfast before heading to the vibrant center of ‘American’ London for the VC Pitch Feedback round. Expert guest VCs, with their extensive experience in investing in European and US startups, provided invaluable feedback, fueling our founders’ confidence and preparing them for their grand pitch to US investors on the West Coast. It’s like rocket fuel for success! πŸš€Β 

The cohort then took their newfound wisdom and energy to Rugby, ready to conquer the next chapter of the journey.Β 

Stop Three: Alumni Summit – Stories That Shape and Inspire! 🀝

The second half of our London escapade marked the inaugural ScaleNL Alumni Summit, a celebration of shared stories and experiences. We’re big believers in the power of shared knowledge, especially when accompanied by coffee, dinner, and a hearty dose of startup tales! Joined by ScaleNL Accelerator alumni from previous cohorts, we officially launched the very first Alumni Summit at Stanford Hall in Rugby, complete with a delightful dinner hosted by Willson Sonsini. Our special guest, Daniel Glazer, Partner at Wilson Sonsini, shared insights on US Expansion, Fundraising & Exits, based on his extensive experience working with European startups scaling to the US. The dinner provided the perfect setting for founders to have their burning questions answered in one-on-one moments with Daniel.

Stop Four: (Re)connection in a Landscape of British Tranquility 🌟

Having our alumni join the Alumni Summit and meet the current cohort was an incredible experience for both sides. Imagine the serene British countryside as the backdrop for reuniting all the founders. Staying in a 16th-century mansion amidst the tranquil landscapes was the perfect way to disconnect from the daily hustle and bustle and reconnect with ourselves and each other. Sharing challenges and gaining fresh perspectives from other founders during the ‘circles of trust’ reminded us that the founder’s journey, though challenging, is enriched by a supportive community.


Our day was a blend of connection and entertainment, featuring some social activities to test our competitive and collaborative spirits. We were also joined by Ray Gibson, founder of for a Q&A session on hiring. The day concluded with a high-end dinner at another beautiful mansion house, culminating with a speech from Michael Dooijes, Kaoutar Ashour, and Andy Shannon. As the trip drew to a close with one last breakfast the following day, each participant ventured their own way, filled with newfound knowledge, insights, and energy.


The London Alumni Gathering was a glimpse into the culture of collaboration, growth and community that ScaleNL cherishes. Our journey doesn’t end here; it’s a crescendo building to something bigger and better. Stay tuned for more updates on our exciting quest! 🌟

Key Takeaways

  1. Pitch Perfect: The art of crafting the perfect pitch can’t be rushed. Take time to refine it, soak in feedback, and let it evolve. The pitch is your startup’s anthem; make sure it hits all the right notes!


  1. Small Wins, Big Impact: Success isn’t always about the big decisions; the small, consistent ones can have a massive impact. Each choice counts; don’t underestimate the power of incremental progress.


  1. Community is Key: Being part of a community of founders can be a game-changer. The insights, shared experiences, and collective wisdom of fellow entrepreneurs can light the way in the startup maze. While mentors guide, fellow founders inspire, and sometimes, a little inspiration goes a long way.

Would you like to get more insights like this? Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn and other social media channels for a dose of knowledge and inspiration.

Founders learn most from other founders
West Coast 2023 cohort, alumni, ScaleNL Team and advisors, posing in front of the manor house for a group picture
Share this article

You might also like