Lusanne Tehupuring grows up in Friesland, falls in love with the city of Groningen during her studies, learns life lessons in Australia and turns a setback in her professional career to a new beginning. She is the owner of MetLusan and above all the foreman of Founded in Groningen. The organization that keeps the startup ecosystem in Groningen going. Like FC Groningen, Founded in Groningen has a deep belief in the words: ‘Everyone grows in Groningen’.
As a young student, Tehupuring really got to know the city of Groningen. After starting a business studies, she will eventually complete her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen with an accelerated track. In between, Tehupuring sits on the board of the organization of KEI Week, and she is to play football at The Knickerbockers. There is always something more Groningen in her DNA. Still, she chooses the adventure, a master’s degree in marketing at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
“I looked at a master’s degree and went to America for a while after my studies. I had saved up for that. As a sports fan, America is the ultimate, and I have wanted to experience that for a long time. In America, they looked crazy at me when I talked about choosing a master’s degree. ‘Can you afford it? We have to work first, see what we really like, and then make a master’s. ‘ The system is obviously different there than in Holland, but it opened my eyes. I first started working for a couple of years, so I knew what I wanted in my life before I traveled to Australia to take a master’s degree in marketing. ”
“When I think of my ‘Get Bigger’ moment, it’s boarding the plane to Australia. I literally took the step to the other side of the world. I had a stomach ache, was unsure of what exactly I was going to do. low, but I persevered.I have also always felt homesick.More than a year and a half later I stood by a comparable plane at Schiphol with a wonderful experience and an important diploma in my pocket.In short as a richer human being.In terms of knowledge, mindset and skills that period have brought me the most. ”
You are your own brand
Thanks to the diploma, Tehupuring was eventually able to work in Groningen in a position for which she would have too little experience on paper. That she can get a master’s degree in Australia removes any doubt from the company. “That master has determined my path. I found that step so exciting, but I really wanted to go down there to grow as a person and professional. I was also genuinely proud when my diploma was awarded. It’s something I did all by myself. ”
Tehupuring deliberately chose an English-speaking master’s degree. America is too precious, England too close, and the sports culture of Australia appeals to the sports fanatic. The will wins over stomach ache. “Ultimately, I really believe that your personality determines how successful you want to be. It’s also marketing. You’re your own brand, and the trick is to load that brand in a good way. In my opinion, you can not be “far apart in his business and private life. You are the same person in both cases. You have to show people in your network and the business around you who you are and what you stand for.”
With a backpack full of wonderful stories, experiences, life lessons and a diploma, Tehupuring returns to Groningen. In his own words for love. But also to a region where there are plenty of opportunities. She is embarking on a career in a good mood and working hard. Unfortunately, it’s Tehupuring’s turn after the fifteenth reorganization. Her position is being abolished, she must do something else.
A good coach
“At first you are angry and disappointed. It is certain to you that what you do is no longer necessary. Then you need to change quickly. It’s not personal, but purely business. You can not get mad at the management forever. Incidentally, my employer at the time was doing very well. I converted the disappointment and came out stronger.
Together with a coach, Tehupuring set about repositioning itself in the market. She starts her own company ‘MetLusan’, where she performs project and program manager jobs on a temporary basis. She finds out that she is not the type of traditional entrepreneur, but she is enterprising. A network that gathers the right people around it to get the best out of everyone. ‘Alone you go faster, but together you go further’ is very useful for Tehupuring. With that mindset, she fits in perfectly with the team from Founded in Groningen, which is doing everything they can to make the ecosystem of Groningen start-ups as strong as possible. I still work with a coach, partly to mirror things. An external coach is really there for you, and because of those kinds of conversations, I have an even sharper picture of where I want to go. ”
“You can think of us as the oil of the ecosystem. We are constantly asking ourselves how we can make it even more flexible and thus create the right conditions for startups and scale-ups. Together with all parties who can of course do something for startups. In this way nothing is hindered by the growth of companies. Groningen is a great place to start a business. There are many established entrepreneurs who are willing to help you. It is big enough to participate but small enough to “Finding and retaining the right people. FC Groningen and their business club can play a big role in this. We therefore work closely together, for example with our Startup Gro program.”
The city of Groningen and the surrounding region is bursting with startups and scale-ups. Young companies with a dream of conquering and improving the world. Entrepreneurs with a solid belief in their own service or product and motivated to the core to succeed. Together with Noord-Brabant, Groningen is the region with the fastest growing employment opportunities among start-ups.
“We do not offer first-line help, but look at the most common pitfalls and try to remove them. This can be done by looking at the investment climate. Introduce capital investors or talent to strengthen your team. We facilitate by, for example, giving workshops or arranging events where we offer parties the opportunity to connect with each other. It is up to us to show that a lot is happening here in Groningen. Sometimes this has to be done in an unfrozen way. ‘Could less’ is a very familiar expression here, but we should let the numbers speak for themselves. You may notice abroad that there are very nice companies located here in Groningen. ”
Tehupuring believes that sprouts should show up even more, putting them better on the map. She encourages companies to make the business plan not only in Dutch but also in English. “We have many international talents here, among other things because of the reputable educational institutions. A lot of international talent is leaving the region again and that is not a bad thing but it can add so much to your business. Look at Clippa. They have continued to grow much faster because they have established a culture with an international outlook. Diversity within a team is one of the main reasons for growth. We are doing quite well in Groningen with an above-average number of female entrepreneurs. ”
Everyone grows in Groningen
Tehupuring is very much at the home of Founded in Groningen, which has already hosted many major events and meetings in the first five years of its existence. Working with young people filled with fresh ideas and the feeling that they can improve or cope with the world gives her a lot of energy. The role behind the scenes suits her like a tailored jacket. “I do not really need the flowers. It is a big role to facilitate, inspire and connect people. By arranging everything in the background against politics, international investors or by arranging an event, entrepreneurs can fully focus on their dream. ”
“Everyone grows in Groningen, I definitely believe in that. And if you then grow and you choose to leave your head office to Scandinavia, London or New York; so remember that you are founded in Groningen. Entrepreneurs can be proud that they can start their business here. It’s like with football players. Arjen Robben and Ronald Koeman have never forgotten that they completed the education here. Virgil van Dijk and Luis Suarez know that they broke through in Groningen. Entrepreneurs will also not forget that Groningen is the place that made them bigger. ”