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Starting this fall, students and graduates from universities and universities of applied sciences will take part in the Amsterdam-based pilot programme ‘Growth Hacking’. As part of the programme, students will learn, among other things, how data analysis can optimise the growth of startups in an experimental way.

Cory Doctorow (Flickr CC)
Flickr CC

The programme – which is supported by Startup Amsterdam – is an initiative of the Growth Tribe Academy and the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE), a partnership between the University of Amsterdam (UvA), VU University Amsterdam (VU), the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK).

A new approach to growth

Growth hacking is a technique that centres on the growth of companies – not through conventional  marketing, but through an experimental way of working in which data analysis and creativity are combined. This allows growth hackers to test assumptions about the market in order to optimise the growth of a business. Some of the companies that have utilised growth hacking include Airbnb, Instagram and Dropbox. A number of different programmes already exist in the United States; the programme in Amsterdam is the first in Europe.

The (fulltime) programme will combine knowledge and practice from various disciplines such as management studies, computing science and multimedia design. The first programme will be held at the UvA’s Amsterdam Business School and will start on 2 November and conclude at the end of January. The participants will take different workshops and work in teams (comprising a developer, an analyst and a designer) on an existing growth project at a promising startup. The participants will also receive personal supervision from experienced growth hackers and entrepreneurs. The programme is open to 24 students, Master’s students from universities and universities of applied sciences and recent graduates. After successfully completing the programme, participants will receive a certificate (no credits will be awarded). The deadline for registration is 23 October and can be done via the link below:

An incubator for startups

‘At the end of the academic year we will evaluate the experiences of the first groups and see how we can make the programme a fixed part of the list of programmes currently on offer. In doing so we are not only strengthening our education in the area of entrepreneurship, but also making an important contribution to the development of Amsterdam as an incubator for startups,’ says Erik Boer, director of the ACE.   

The municipality of Amsterdam supports this initiative through the Startup Amsterdam action programme. The Growth Tribe is also supported by Facebook, Catawiki and the Dutch investment fund Peak Capital.