Spurred by a desire to enhance his disruptive innovation skills and to make a leap in his personal development, Jeroen joined the THNK Executive Leadership Program. Early on, THNK Co-Founder Menno Van Dijk challenged Jeroen to leverage his international development experience to come up with a breakthrough concept that could scale. This would become Jeroen’s Endeavor, which is a core pillar of the program.
Jeroen already knew about Mobile Money, a system which uses SMS technology to text money between individuals. After conducting user interviews, he discovered the frustration felt by donors at not being able to see the impact of their charitable contributions and that so much of their donation went to cover the overhead costs of large organizations.
At THNK, Jeroen learned about the power of platforms. “I realized that if we are able to build a platform like Airbnb, connecting people in Europe, enabling them to crowdfund money and then just to give it directly to people in Africa, and to organize feedback about what they did with the money… hey! That would be good!” His creative question became “How might we create the ultimate customer experience of doing good?”
Jeroen started connecting the dots. “I was tying together that just giving money is an effective intervention. That if customers want feedback about the impact of their donations, I could use mobile surveys. It dawned on me that it needs to be a platform, not a traditional organization.” Jeroen remembers standing in front of a whiteboard covered in clustered clues and thinking “Wow, this could be something. Okay, let’s just start. That’s what you learn at THNK. You have to have a vision, a plan, and then you get going.”