Day 1 and 2

Friday night, 4:15, Rough wake-up from a very nice dream… Oh wait, today is the day!

5:20, schiphol airport (thanks Mathijs!), no problems at check in, so time for coffee and some breakfast at Starbucks. 6:00, through customs, last kiss from my girlfriend ( 😦 ) and heading for the KLM business lounge. There I find Marijn Berk, fellow scholar at Kauffman, who owns for some reason a Gold card for the KLM business lounge. This will turn out to be a very, very nice situation for the rest of the trip. So, in the lounge are free drinks and breakfast, nice large chairs and internet, perfect for waiting until we can check in.

(Oh, this is a long post, but also the longest of all, so don’t worry, the rest will be better)

At around 8 o’clock we have lift-off from schiphol and we head west to the country of unlimited possibilities (:-S)! About 7 hours later, we land at Detroit airport, only to disover that we are plane nr. 3 in the last 1o min, meaning that we have around 300 people in front of us at customs. Normaly this would be no problem, but with our 1.5 hour transfer time we got a bit nervous. And rightfully so, once we cleared customs, our plane already left, so we could be placed on hold for the 15:25 flight to Kansas and we could be checked in for the 19:30 flight. Luckily for me, Marijn waved with his gold card again at the SkyTeam business lounge, and suddenly we could be checked in for the flight at 15:25! So once again we saw the enormous task of waiting in a lounge with free everything. After getting some sort of lunch, followed by a good wine, and on the side some chips with wiskey and gin the waiting could begin. Quite a nice way to spend your time, I have to say.

The flight to Kansas was fast and comfortable again, however, going to the lavatory in such a small airplane is simply not possible if you are longere then 1.20. On the route to Kansas we also discoverd David Koper on the plane, also following the Kauffman scholarship. Arriving at the Fairfield Inn for the first night, we were greeted by the rest of the group, Tim Rutten, David Gernaat, Loet Rammelsberg, Omid Majipour, Steven Lammertink and Jeroen van Duffelen.

A quick shower and a free ride to a restaurant area later, we where in the Irish pub, trying to get us some beers, but strangly that was more difficult than we expected. We had to go back to the door, explain to the waiter that we wanted a drink, no dinner, so that he could assign us a place in the bar where we could stand. But not sit, or would we like to sit?, no we could stand. Strange… Ordering a beer also means that we all had to show our passport, cause we, handsome as we are, look way under 21 :S. Then we ordered a budweiser, but got some belgian beer.

Dinner was served at the Tomfooleries, together with some large beers, budweiser this time. I selected a large burger as you are suppost to do, and got exactly that. A large burger, with in total 1/8th of a pickle as vegetables :). Loet and Tim made sure we had a constant supply of beer, the conversation reached an all time low (yes, already on the first day…) and suddenly we had 9 margerita’s in front of us (something with happy hour). Then asking for the bill gave us a new surprise, the waitress actually made a coupon where she already seperated exactly what each of us had for dinner and drinks. Really great solution for groups where everyone pays for himself. The total damage for me was only 23 dollar, so for 4 drinks, dinner and a margerita quite a good deal I figured.

Day 2

Waking up at 4:58 in the morning, with a really bad feeling, made me so glad for the time difference. Second time awake was 9:30, perfectly awake and feeling good! After a breakfast with some very strange sausage wrapped in a pancake with really awfull meat sauce, I figured that loosing those calories would be a good idea. So I did a workout on a spinning bicycle, got showered and packed my suitcase for the trip to the Residence Inn Country Plaza Marriot.

After we pulled Marijn from his bed and the bus discovered its second gear again (it was sort of broke, but not always), we arrived at our location where we would be staying for the next 5 weeks. Very nice and spaceous (how do you write that???) rooms, in the center of the country club Plaza area. We got a short introduction and intro to the progam from Nancy Walker, one of the program managers.

The rest of the day was filled with visiting the apple store, eating a sandwich (with at least a cm of chicken on it, topped off with bacon and sauce…, uploading foto’s and writing this blog. We ended the evening with dinner in The Cheesecake Factory (yes, from the Big Bang Theory). I only had a salade…

Beers in an Irish Pub made me decide to start a company, Marijn and David, thanks for that!

So, all in all a very pleasant start of the scholarship!

Advertisements

Interesting Stuff I

These posts will come back regularly, and give a short summary of interesting stuff I’ve encountered on the net or in real life.

To start off with, 3 movies about motivation, connecting and entrepreneurship:

RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
——————–

Ze Frank on connecting with people
——————–

Entrepreneurs can change the world!

——————–

Furthermore, for people interested in economies of the future, I’ve read this great article about the future of the battery

Detroit was one of the 4 major cities of the USA years ago, but ‘recently’ (past 10-20 years) over a million residents have left this city of car-manufactureres. In almost every publication detroit is pictured as a ghost city, with no hope for any improvement in the near future. But is this really true? Nobody less then Johnny Knoxvill checks out this great city of opportunities in a magnificent documentary.

That’s it for this week, more next week!

My Blog

In this blog I will be documenting my experiences during my internship at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

I’ll take part in the Globals Scholarship Program, a program aimed at creating new successful entrepreneurs. During the first 5 weeks of this scholarship I’ll be following workshops, meetings, lectures and I’ll visit several companies in the Kansas City region.

This is followed by a 3 week period of travel to MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Silicon Valley. The exact planning isn’t available yet.

Then I’ll follow a 12 week internship at a company somewhere in the US. Which company this might be is still unknown, but possibly Deka research (Dean Kamen) or SoftVu (Tim Donnely), but lets not get ahead of ourselfs here.

This scholarship program is than finished with a final week in Kansas City, where the whole group shares their experiences.

After the internship I’m planning to use the visa’s ‘grace period’ to travel in the VS.

So a first and very short description of the program and my activities next half year.

Erik