“Playful” entrepreneurship

Meet the Alumni: Jeroen van den Bremer, Glenn Verburg and Lourens Keers

Jeroen van den Bremer, Glenn Verburg and Lourens Keers, all alumni of the Executive MBA class of 2017, were interviewed for the first Nyenrode podcast! Jeroen, Glenn and Lourens have jobs and are entrepreneurs. Their new business, Oganika, is based on a completely new and intensive puzzle game that you can play by yourself, competitively against someone else, or even as a group. What did these three gentlemen think of Nyenrode, and how do they incorporate the knowledge they have gained into their lives? Read, listen or watch, and learn from their experiences.

MBA experiences

Three enthusiastic young entrepreneurs back at Nyenrode. When asked why they chose Nyenrode, Lourens answers: “Nyenrode has a fantastic reputation and atmosphere, and it exudes energy: through the landscape and through all the students and participants who come from all over the world.” The leadership component within the program was also very appealing to the trio. “I’m not good at self-reflection, but this program encourages and requires you to do it. It focuses on looking at yourself, who you were, who you are and how you want to be, as well as how others see you,” Glenn says. Jeroen mentions the management game: “You work as a group to simulate a company. It’s set up so that not everything goes smoothly, which causes friction. In a span of three hours, you see that people fall back into old patterns.” Jeroen believes this game is valuable: “It provides interesting insights and shows you how you handle the situation as a manager. Afterwards, you reflect on the game as a group. This is extremely valuable, because in ‘real life’ it isn’t so easy to get that kind of open feedback!”

Oganika

There was even more in store for the three gentlemen during the MBA: an opportunity for a new business based on a game. Jeroen explains the origins of the company, called New Road Gaming: “A friend of mine approached me in January with a game he had come up with himself. He asked if I wanted to help him market his idea.” Jeroen pitched the idea to Lourens and Glenn. The game “Oganika” proved to be a good basis for the new business New Road Gaming. The gentlemen will soon be starting a crowdfunding campaign to raise capital.

Lourens describes Oganika: “There are 36 stones that have a very geometric shape. You can put them together in all sorts of ways. Organic rivers flow on top of the stones and you have to connect them. It’s unique compared to other board games: easy to learn, but infinitely difficult to master!”

Valuable personal lessons

“Above all, you get to know yourself really well. The entire MBA is like a big mirror.” Glenn says that his greatest lesson was learning to become calmer. It’s a lesson he now applies every day: challenging others by taking a step back.

“You don’t always have to be out in front as a leader, but you do have to listen carefully to others.”

One of the valuable lessons for Jeroen was discovering his love for entrepreneurship and learning how to read his potential future managers and the type of management style they use: “Knowing this now helps me to make a better judgment of whether I would feel comfortable in a new job.”

Listen or watch here for more on the trio’s learning moments, successes and future plans.