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Meet Annemieke Teune: Founder of Qdrop, the company automating your data collection process by gathering impact data directly from the source!

Hi Annemieke! We’re very excited to have the opportunity to chat with you here at FEM-START. Can you share what inspired your journey into entrepreneurship and the driving force behind the creation of Qdrop?

In the past, I came into contact with impact investors and that sparked my interest. Besides making money, impact investors also contribute to a better world. It can indeed go hand in hand. I wanted to know more about that, which in turn triggered that I also wanted to gain practical knowledge and experience (I am more the ‘learning-by-doing’ type), but soon found out I didn’t have the right background. After several rejections, my husband told me the impact world is clearly not waiting for you, if you want to do something with this then you have to create it yourself. Quite by chance, a few months later,  my co-founder Marjoleine van der Peet knocked on my door, she is an impact investor and had this issue of measuring impact and reporting on it. Soon after, Qdrop (impact analytics) was born!

What are some of the most essential things you did to get your business off the ground?

Looking for the right people. We wanted a local multi-disciplinary development team. This allows us to move quickly because we are often on the same page. There are also heated discussions – which we certainly don’t avoid – because that only takes us to the next level. The group dynamic is good, everyone values each other and listens to each other. 

I have also learned to ask for help, and always give the people I asked the option that they shouldn’t feel burdened to say ‘no’. I noticed that if you have a specific request and approach the right person in your network for it, almost everyone is willing to help you. Learn to deal with rejection. You often do things yourself – like sales – and then rejection is part of the deal. Whereas I used to take rejections personally sometimes, I don’t anymore. Maybe it’s because it happens so often that you get used to it. But also make sure it doesn’t become an energy drainer by also doing things on the side that you really enjoy so that your energy levels are balanced.

How did you build your customer base and grow your business?

Initially, everything went through our network of people. Marjoleine (Qdrop co-founder) has a large network in the impact investing world which helped us enormously. It made it easy for us to get in touch with the right people. Additionally, during the launch of Qdrop, our personal messages on LinkedIn also helped a lot. It moved us how many people responded to it, tagged relevant people, and even reposted it. In the end, everyone was also open to a conversation when we reached out. Based on that message, we also got a fantastic launching customer. It really is true, personal messages work best on LinkedIn, we also regularly post subject-related messages but those resonate much less. We notice that now the flywheel has turned on and we are also getting referrals through our customers.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way, and what did you learn from them?

In the first year, we focused on two very big potential customers and, as a result, we also had to go through the whole RFI process which took a lot of time and energy. We had our hopes up and thought we would hit the jackpot. It was a big disappointment when it didn’t work out. Instead, we have now set up a system that is much more scalable. It has made us realize that multiple smaller customers with shorter decision trees are more realistic and profitable for us in the phase we are now in with Qdrop.

Furthermore, we received many compliments and praises during our talks with potential customers. As a result, we often shot straight into the solution without asking and listening to what problems our potential customers are facing concerning impact measurements. It is sometimes hard to swallow when you get critical feedback, but in the end, it is incredibly valuable and useful. It provides new insight.

What is your biggest achievement since founding the company, and how did you get there?

There have been two moments I want to share. Firstly, the signing and onboarding of our first clients – this, in our opinion, gave us the right to exist. Qdrop was turning into a professional company and was not only a nice idea anymore. In addition, building a company is teamwork and we are very proud of our team and also our advisory board members, on which we can always fall back upon. Whilst we were at an event with many in attendance, Marjoleine and I took a moment to look around and saw everybody happy and energized. That made us happy and proud.

What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own business?

Be bold and ask for help. Often you will be pleasantly surprised and you will get the help you asked for. As for the times you get a ‘no’, you will also learn to deal with rejections. Do not underestimate the power of your network! Secondly, focus on your ICP (Ideal customer profile) and don’t get too distracted by other ‘interesting opportunities’. You only have so much time to spend in a day. Therefore, do not work harder but more efficiently, weigh up where the time you put in has the most impact. Lastly, be patient! It is an exception to build a successful business within a year. Building a business takes time. Hang in there!

What’s next for Qdrop? Anything we can expect in 2024?

Our first hire, if our resources allow us to! We want to continue to grow, our motto is to make impact measurement accessible to everyone, not just the private equity investors we focus on now. Our dream is that impact measurements will be a standard slide in every business plan, pitch deck, and marketing plan so it’s fully incorporated into the business strategy. We want to be the stepping stone for that!

If you want to know more about Annemieke’s company Qdrop, click here!


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