He is 25 years old and has already sold two successful companies and set up a third. This earned Crispijn de Koning a nomination for Most Inspiring Entrepreneur of the platform De Ondernemer. And you can vote for this former student of The Hague University of Applied Sciences!
Crispijn calls himself a doer. “I've always done a lot besides school. That started when I was eighteen with a trading company in scarves and dinnerware. I sold them on markets and it went quite well, although I did it without a well thought-out plan. But doing is the most important. If you have a dream: do it, even when in doubt. Don't keep looking, do it. That way I have always done my own thing, sometimes with success, sometimes less. But that is how I found my passion and I am where I am now. ”
All kinds of challenges
That passion is called Verum, an alternative to coffee. “Three years ago I started to study nutrition, because I wanted to get more energy out of a day and was suffering from stress. To research how I could feed my body as optimally as possible, I tried all kinds of challenges: a month without meat, a month without dairy. When I decided not to drink coffee for a month, I noticed after a week that I had more energy, I also slept better and I had no stress. Caffeine boosts the stress hormone cortisol and disrupts the sleep molecule adenosine. That's how the pieces of the puzzle fell together. ”
Together with partner Erik Messemaker, Crispijn saw a gap in the market: a drink that does give the boost of caffeine, but without the negative side effects. “We bought a blender and started mixing herbs and plants. After a year, Verum came out. It took a long time to find the right taste, but now it is a well-balanced drink. ” The launch took place in the middle of corona time. “That turned out to be beneficial for us, because people have started to think more about health and nutrition. Awareness is growing. The business is doing well. We are about to hit the shelf of Verum in health stores and supermarket chains. Moreover, we are working with an investor to grow further. ”
Models very educational
In between companies, Crispijn submitted his graduation thesis for the Business Administration program at HHS in 2018. Whether his studies helped him a lot? “As far as the big picture is concerned, and I am grateful for that. How do you determine your strategy, how do you create a brand? The models you get are very educational. But in practice, many other things are also required of you. How do you proceed? How do you market a product? How do you approach potential customers and how do you find investors? I invented all of those things myself. ” With success, because in 2019 he was able to sell the Westlander Bier brewery and catering company Bier & Burgers for a good price. To now devote herself to Verum with passion.
Inspirational story? Vote then on Crispijn de Koning as Most Inspiring Entrepreneur.