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Rotterdam, Day 1

The Erasmus Bridge

The flight over was a breeze, only 9.5 hours. Still it was hard to sleep and I had too much time for mind-racing thoughts.

I’m in the Netherlands to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. There’s a big entrepreneur event at Erasmus University Wednesday night; 8 teams with brilliant ideas have made it to the finals. I’m a judge. I’ve been reading their business plans and making notes; I hope to make pithy and sarcastic comments while encouraging them to persevere no matter what. These are always fun events and I’m thrilled to be invited.

My first day experiences? I’m staying at a nice, if funky, hotel on an island in the Rotterdam harbor. Once the largest in the world, it’s still damn big. My location is only a single Metro stop from the city center. All I needed was a three-day pass on the Metro, but my Visa, all three of them, were getting declined and it’s a banking holiday for all of you; cash not accepted, only coins which I didn’t have a single one. Instead I lingered on the far side of this bridge knowing that it was too far to walk and way too cold. That’s why I want to get across the harbor; I could use a nice big sweater and a new pair of shoes. There’s always tomorrow…

At lunch tomorrow I meet the man who nominated me for this role as judge, Symbid‘s Korstiaan Zandvliet. His startup is by-lined, “ownership for everyone” — it’s a Crowdfunding site.

Wednesday, with a little help from friends at the Alliance for Walking & Biking and Bikes Belong, I’ve got an interview with a local advocate. I’m looking forward to this – it means taking the train back up to Amsterdam and then off to Utrecht and back in time for the big event that night. I think I have it all planned out; it should be an adventure in itself. Stay tuned.

Oh, bikes everywhere here in Rotterdam, clustered in large ‘parking lots’ in front of many buildings. I’ll have photos once I get across that river.



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