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IBA LAB: the next generation of impact ventures

11 May 2023
On April 25th IBA LAB students visited Enviu, the social impact venture builders in Rotterdam. They had a chance to discover what it actually means to explore a societal problem and to develop and execute a fitting solution to this in collaboration with societal stakeholders.

IBA Lab course is an experimental and experiential learning lab for the students of the International Business Administration program at SBE. Students learn through first-hand experience how to become empowered and socially-minded entrepreneurs by developing their own venture that combines economic and social goals.

The course puts Active Blended Learning principles into practice, enabling students to be more engaged and self-directed in their learning. It is completely project-based, so students can acquire skills while executing solutions working with societal stakeholders. The on-site lab space allows them to have hands-on experience and facilitates peer collaboration. Digital tools provide students with constant access to academic knowledge and help them stay connected with potential customers, beneficiaries, and business partners around the world.

The course consists of two parts - IBA Lab I and II. During IBA Lab I, students are guided by Christer Guldemond (Management and Organization department) and Juliet Vink (Management and Organization department) to cultivate and nurture their impact venture ideas. In IBA Lab II, Dr. Amanda Porter (KIN Center for Digital Innovation) and Laura Nino (Eindhoven University of Technology) equip students with the knowledge they need to execute their venture plans.

On April 25th IBA Lab visited Enviu, the social impact venture builders in Rotterdam. The IBA Lab students got the opportunity to learn first hand from Enviu builders Maarten Fonteijn and Anne Poggenpohl about these ventures and related challenges. 

Five groups of students pitched their ventures:


Freelancing can give students the freedom to work when they want, allowing them to balance work and study more effectively. However, starting a freelance career can be daunting due to complex bureaucratic procedures, navigating taxes, sending invoices, and other administrative necessities. Torch guides students and aspiring freelancers to help them achieve work independence through simplified paperwork, skill-building courses, and personalized support. On the platform, users can acquire essential skills, such as mastering KVK paperwork, creating invoices, building a network, and finding new clients.


While the population ages and families become more spread out, more seniors live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. These facilities can provide excellent care, but they can also be lonely places for residents. SeniorSync helps them combat loneliness: the platform connects residents with each other, family members and friends. The app includes such features as messaging, video calls, virtual events and activities. SeniorSync aims to strengthen the connection between elderly people and their families by providing the opportunity to improve their communication.

Food Cycle

FoodCycle uses student-produced food waste to create compost: the final product is a soil fertilizer. The goal of the venture is to address the current food waste issue in the Netherlands and influence the implementation of a circular economy system at the VU.


A new law banning all single-use cups will affect the coffee-drinking process on the VU campus. Cupje is an innovative system that promotes sustainability by providing consumers with the option to borrow reusable cups without buying them. Simply use your bank card at one of our designated locations to receive a uniquely-numbered cup. The cup is absolutely free unless it isn't returned at one of our drop-off points within two weeks. Every night, the used cups are gathered and washed to be reloaded into the machine for the following morning's use.


Bridge is a platform that offers personalized coaching to help students build a professional network. On the platform, students can connect with each other and set up meetings to network, share knowledge and experiences, and explore new opportunities. Bridge introduces a variety of features to overcome the challenges of networking. For instance, it includes a dashboard where users can efficiently manage their submissions, view their connections, and update their account details. Bridge aims to empower students to form meaningful relationships and make a positive impact.

Students received feedback from Maarten Fonteijn and Anne Poggenpohl, and they continue to develop their ventures on the IBA Lab platform.