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Intellectual property workshop at the Impactory boosts knowledge

14 November, 2013 in news

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Yesterday Pierre Kihn from Office Freylinger hosted a workshop on Intellectual Property at the Impactory. It was a great session taking the participants through all the different types of intellectual property and the laws that regulate them.

Pierre, knows his trade very well, and also how to explain it. Using a simple ball point pen as a case study or example he went through all the main components such as trade secrets, design protection, patent and copyright.

Some highlights were the daunting fact that over a ten year period the share of company values derived from intellectual property has grown from 8% to 80%. This is based on a study by Arthur D Little looking at companies on the S&P 500 list.

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Looking at the top 10 list of the most valuable companies in the world one can clearly see that these are companies valued on their intellectual property. Pierre quoted the former head of Coca-Cola who once said that if every plant and bottling operation burnt down he could still rebuild the company based on the high value the brand has.

After the session Pierre spent time with members who had specific questions around their own business and intellectual property. On top of that he also offered a special rate plan exclusive to Impactory members which is of great value to the community. In a start-up situation every cent counts and it is important to get incentives to still make some investments in things that really matter. Intellectual property protection is one of them.

The Impactory to offer prizes to Startup Weekend Lux participants

10 November, 2013 in news, The Impactory


We know that all the #SWlux participants had great fun this weekend and worked hard on their ideas.

So what is the next step?

The Impactory think it’s important to support the teams in the next few weeks!

To keep up the good work and allow participants to continue working on their ideas we would like to offer a free Coworking 50hrs membership for the entire team valid from today until the end of the year.

Included in this is a session with one of our experts in reviewing and strengthening the business idea and how to move forward.

Please send email to to claim your prize.
State your name and the team you are part of in the email. Write Startup Weekend in the subject line.

We are looking forward to welcome you and follow your Startup adventures @ The Impactory

Open Days showed a glimpse of the vibrant community of entrepreneurs and creators in Luxembourg City

30 September, 2013 in news



Open days welcome signWow!

That’s the best and most succinct summary of the Open Days. The diversity and vibrancy in the community of creators and entrepreneurs was on full display for two days. Online marketplace qip home went offline and into the real world selling beautiful local furniture, crafts and design. The variety of workshops with Code Club teaching kids to code, new innovative guitar lessons from Simply Songs, how to create an ebook and start selling it instantly by Minerva are just a few. Local creativity dynamo and expert Miranda ran a popular dot painting corner which was full most of the time and they beauty that came out of it was great to see.

The Open Days also attracted a large number of people interested in knowing more about the value of coworking. The space combined with our collaborative community of members who can be of invaluable support to move and idea from a vague notion into action and a real tangible project and business is what creates the magic. We are going to be busy the coming weeks in welcoming a set of new members arriving from the open days.

An image does say more than a thousand words though, so here is a small sample of all the great moments over the two days.

genCreo demoCupcakes galoregenCreo nails Making new connections Kitchen table round table with business angels Members in disucssion DSC00625Steve at Code Club DSC00649 Another cup cake?! Miranda's paintings Online toolsCristina at social enterprise Mamie et Moi Impact paintingIntense discussionsEntrance Code Club in actionDot painting close up Rules for creativityMamie et Moi mittenMiranda in actionMamie et Moi at work Shop in real life qip home Cycle Luxembourg Dot Painting Simply Songs workshop


Dragon’s Den style competition: Take the opportunity gain expert advice and fine prizes

20 August, 2013 in news

The Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ILCC), in collaboration with The Impactory launched an Innovation Contest on 4 June at the Abbaye de Neumunster. The contest will culminate with a Pitching Event at Thursday 10 October at the premises of The Impactory. The project is being supported by a number of great companies who are offering a range of prizes in the form of cash, training and support. We will announce these sponsors in the coming days and weeks. This is a great opportunity to move your project to the next step and get the push it needs to become the success it can be.

How it works

The 10 October event format is based loosely on the Dragon’s Den concept of pitching ideas to potential investors with market experience. There is no restriction as to business sector and whether it is product- or service-based. Entrants do not have to be members of the ILCC or the Impactory.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have covered:

  1. Market research
  2. Product prototype
  3. Business plan
  4. Have the ability to deliver a pitch.

They should email: with a brief outline of their business idea, with full applications to be submitted by 15 September 2013. A number of applicants/entrepreneurs will then be invited to pitch their ideas in front of the “Dragons” on 10 October.
Format of the pitch event

Each pitch will be for a maximum 5 minutes followed by 10 minutes of questions by the “Dragons”. When all pitches have finished, the “Dragons” will deliberate to choose the best pitch(es) and awarding of prizes. Judging criteria will be along the lines of the four basics detailed above, with the individual “Dragons” bringing their own market expertise to their critiques and decisions.

What are you waiting for? Bring your idea to the public and win great prizes that will help move you towards your success.

See for further details.


Less projection – more traction: great advice from micro finance stars at

13 July, 2013 in news

In this video you meet Premal Shah from Kiva. He shares his do’s and don’ts in a very clear and pragmatic way. It’s three minutes worth of your time. We particularly like his first advice: less projection and more traction. Even if your traction is a fraction of your projections, it’s real. A PowerPoint is just, well, a PowerPoint.


Mamie et Moi – winner of Seed Your Idea contest

12 July, 2013 in news

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 12.43.58Yesterday the finals of the contest Seed Your Idea took place at Exit 07 (Carré Rotondes). Seed your Idea is an initiative from the «Conseil Supérieur pour un Développement Durable» and the association « IUEOA ». It aims at planting small ideas and grow creative, sustainable projects which are implemented in Luxembourg.

Cristina Picco, Impactory member was selected for the final and won the price of the best idea for the non-goods sector. She is working, together with her partner Camille, on an innovative project called Mamie et Moi, aiming at selling unique knitwear pieces for babies. Those pieces are hand-made by grannies who are passionate about knitting and who can make use of their skills for extra income.

We are very much looking forward to the launch of Mamie et Moi, as babies being born and this kind of ecological & social product make a gift very special!



Betacube in the Press

18 June, 2013 in news

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One of our favorite associations, Betacube, was in the paper Journal last week. Georges Jentgen explained the missions of Betacube and analysed the web-development and IT-programmers potential in luxembourg and stated the big potential that lies in terms of innovation in the small country. Code Clud has also been mentioned as one of the pioneering initiatives in the coding scene aiming at making this discipline more available to kids. See full article in German here

What is Venture Philantropy, Impact Investing and how to measure impact?

15 June, 2013 in news, The Impactory

Pieter Oostlander was a guest speaker at the Impactory and he introduced the set-up of a social investment fund focusing on the Benelux. He also explained how EVPA operates around venture philantropy and Impact Investing.

Here are some key topics we explored and discussed about with the group which participated, who was mainly composed of multidisciplinary professionals in finance, training, academia and entrepreneurship.

Mr Oostlaner drew the parallell between risk, return and impact. He explained that Venture Philantropy investments work to build a stronger investee organization with a societal purpose providing both financial and non-financial support (advice, coaching, contacts, etc). Most people are not aware that venture philantropy and impact investing approaches include the use of the entire spectrum of financial instruments available (grants, equits, debt, etc) and it’s specificity is that it pays a particular attention to the ultimate objective of achieving social impactThe main different therefore lies in putting social impact before financial returns.

The main question arising at this stage is the one on definition. Throughout academia, experts, beginners, practitioners, there seems to exist the need of a clear definition: What exactly is Venture Philantropy and how does it differ from Impact Investing and other forms of investing for social purposes? The EVPA model defining Venture Philantropy and Impact Investment clearly illustrates the differences through a very simple diagram showing “finance first strategies” – where the financial return is maximized and the societal impact is secondary – and “impact first strategies” where societal impact comes first and financial return is secondary. In between these two extremes we can find a wide range of forms of investment including the venture philantropy scope and the newer term of “Impact Investment”, which includes both impact first and finance first strategies.

Depending on the type of issue a project or venture is focusing there are all those choices which we can choose and which fits best the given project goal.
Next to this model, we explored the aspect of measurement of impact. As Einstein once beautifully said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”. This issue can be clearly seen in social impact business models, where most of the added-value is intangible and hardly quantifiable. A good example of impact measurement reporting can be seen in the EVPA survey 2011 / 2012 itself and they have also published “A Practical Guide to Measuring and Managing Impact” which aims at helping organizations willling to measure and manage their impact. In a nutshell, the guide shares best practices in impact measurement through 5 steps illustrated below.
1. Setting objectives: which change do you want to make in society?
2. Analyzing stakeholders: who will be involved?
3. Measuring results: how will you measure? Which metrics can be used?
4. Verifying & valuing impact: are the changes perceived and valued by the stakeholders themselves?
5. Monitoring & Reporting: Capture the data, follow it up and report it – use information to build on for the upcoming period
About Pieter Oostlander
Pieter (52) is the founding partner of shærpa. His professional background is in accountancy and finance. In that field, he has had various top-level  finance functions. Nine years ago, he switched to the (venture) philanthropy sector as a director of the service organisation of a family foundation. This ultimately was the basis for shærpa. The decision to switch resulted from his ambition to make social impact and value creation (in addition to creating shareholder value) a significant part of his professional activities. He sees it as “marrying the soul of philanthropy with the spirit of venture capital”, and his work with shærpa is dedicated to doing exactly that.

As the chair of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), Pieter actively pursues to further professionalise venture philanthropy and social investing in the European arena. Pieter is also a member of the board of directors of SROI Network, promoting the use of a systematic approach to social value accounting.


CodeClub Luxembourg launch today!

13 June, 2013 in news

A tweetccwlogoConverted1-300x188 on 27 February started an avalanche. Today CodeClub Luxembourg launches as part of the global launch of CodeClub Global. The first press coverage tells the story of how the non-profit organisation CodeClub UK started and now expands.

This is an event deserving big words. I think this will be a day we can look back at and say “13 June 2013, when CodeClub Luxembourg started, really set the wheels in motion and is one of the reasons we have such a strong coding literacy and a healthy ecosystem for new innovative tech based companies”.

Change Makers 1 – Status Quo 0

Patrick Welfringer read that tweet and it grew to an idea, more talks around the kitchen table at the Impactory. With a little help from friends in our community and beyond, it turned into a talk and more help from members of Betacube. A true collaboration starts and now a few weeks later this idea is a reality that will have a serious impact on the kids who will become great coders. What a strength to turn kids away from just being consumers of “coded stuff on screens” and instead be able to understand, control and create with code. That’s value creation for the individuals and society at large.

Praise and action

So join in the applause and praise for Patrick and his team. The best way to honour their hard work is to go to the CodeClub Luxembourg website and offer help, ideas and spreading the word to every school in Luxembourg.


Irina is introducing herself

7 June, 2013 in members, news


Fellow Impactory members,

My name is Irina Aleksandrova, I am a journalist and business consultant turned entrepreneur. Having worked on corporate and standalone ventures across industries and geographies over the past 10+ years – defining visions and strategies for new business ideas and implementing them side by side with my clients, I finally found an idea that would keep me awake at night and decided to make it real.

My venture is about creating success stories. Stories that encourage and inspire underprivileged communities by showing that there is life beyond poverty, by giving them an opportunity to succeed. Or should I say ‘sportunity’?

SPORTUNITY is a global initiative that provides financing and support to children with outstanding athletic talent and no financial means to realize that potential.

We are currently searching the best athletic talent all over the world and building up strategic partnerships that would help us to develop that talent. We are looking forward to finding many friends and supporters who would share the same values and believe that there should be no such thing as social exclusion in sports.

Our website was launched last week during the JCI European Conference in Monaco where we were invited to present the project in the capacity of a finalist of the Social Business Plan competition. I invite you to check out our website for more details on what we do. We are on Facebook, too – so please support us with your likes and share us with your friends :) If you want to get involved even more – there are plenty of opportunities to do that, from helping us on sourcing the talent to leading fundraising efforts for SPORTUNITY in your company or amongst your friends. Feel free to contact me at  or at +352 621 677 100.

Have a great entrepreneurial day – and see you soon at our wonderful Impy.

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