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The ACE-List: What’s Hot

Get to know ACE startup founders & find out what drives them!

The ACE-List: We are proud and excited to introduce our awesome startup founders. The ACE-List is a regular installment where startup teams from the ACE Incubation Program introduce themselves and share a little insight into their startup journey!

Meet the founders

Name(s): Mick Vermeulen, Lennart Kerkvliet
Title(s) + field(s) (MSc/PhD or other): Computer Science (Mick and Lennart still working on BSc)
Company: What’s Hot
Industry: Fashion and Marketing
Founded in: 2018

In short

What’s Hot allows anyone to earn money through social media by simply sharing what you’re wearing.

Tell us more!

How did you come up with your startup idea?

We founded What’s Hot during the minor entrepreneurship at the UvA with the intention to create a clothing app that would reduce the hassle of trying to keep up with fashion trends by making a feed that would always show the relevant items for you. When we we’re building this platform we introduced social media features like sharing outfits, where users could tag what they were wearing and receive a compensation if the product was bought. After the minor, we noticed that the outfit sharing was the best working part of our app, but it was limited by the brands we would have in stock. So, we pivoted to just outfit sharing and decided to take that to a broader scale. That’s how we came up with the idea that we have today: rewarded outfit sharing, everywhere.

What is your company’s unique proposition?

We allow anyone to earn a quick buck on the internet by simply telling us what they’re wearing and then sharing anywhere through What’s Hot. We provide easy social media integrations on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to make the entire process hassle free. We handle all the technical marketing stuff in the background, making this way of online revenue accessible to everyone.

What has been your ACE moment? (or: when did you feel like you really nailed something?)

When we did our validation we did a lot of personal contact but in the end we also decided to make a questionnaire. Many people shared it for us and in the end we acquired over 350 answers and insights, within a day! This really was our GO moment to start building.

What has the shift from academia to entrepreneurship been like for you?

Thus far it has been very fun and challenging, it feels like steering a ship together where we decide the course, instead of someone else. Our minor also really shows its benefits now as we already have made plenty mistakes there that we learned from. Not sure if you could call that our academic background, but it sure helps!

What is the best advice you could give someone who wants to start their own business?

Just start! It’s an amazing journey. If you can prove that there’s a problem you can solve for a specific group of people, you’re on to something. Often you can get stuck in trying everything on paper, over and over again. But actually getting out there and starting your business provides a great sense of freedom and dedication. Don’t overthink or over-complicate, just start.

What are your next steps for the coming months/half year?

Now that we’ve got our validation out of the way we will mostly focus on building our product and make it as nice to use as we want it to be, then present it to our first pilot group and really look at the feedback we get there. Besides that we will probably attend many networking events, learning from people with much experience has proven to be extremely valuable to us!

Learn more about What’s Hot on their website: whatishot.nl.

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