Superconnectors: a vital networking platform for startups

Superconnectors: a vital networking platform for startups

Rotterdam has long been a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, and in recent years, it has given rise to Superconnectors, an initiative that redefines the way startups connect and grow. 

What is Superconnectors?

Superconnectors organises events globally, providing startups with opportunities to address their most critical questions. Whether it's connecting with key players in specific markets, finding the right investors, or meeting individuals with exceptional talent, Superconnectors recognises the importance of relationships in today’s business environment. In other words, Superconnectors focuses on helping startups build "social capital"—the connections and relationships that are often more critical than financial capital for growth and success.

The platform operates on the premise that the right introduction can significantly advance a startup, providing access to markets, talent, and resources that might otherwise be unavailable. Participating startups are offered opportunities to enter new markets, gain insights, and build relationships with influential decision-makers. Annually, 100 of the 600 registered startups get the chance to present their "Critical Ask" to over 400 influential connectors. Additionally, Superconnectors organises exclusive meetings during major tech conferences, providing startups with valuable networking opportunities.

Superconnectors Summit Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny AstapovSuperconnectors Summit Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny Astapov
Superconnectors Summit Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny AstapovSuperconnectors Summit Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny Astapov

Founding and inspiration

The idea for Superconnectors originated from the experiences of Jan Hein Hoogstad, a startup founder who discovered that social capital was often more valuable than financial capital. Together with Stein Fortuin, they launched the first Superconnectors event during the Upstream Festival in Rotterdam. Their aim was to create a platform that prioritises sustainable development and impactful startups.

The positive feedback from their initial event led to the formal establishment of Superconnectors, with Alexander Broekman joining as CEO in early 2022. Broekman brought extensive entrepreneurial experience, having previously built and sold a successful company. His belief in the importance of introductions and "paying it forward" has been instrumental in the development of Superconnectors. Broekman's participation in the second edition of the event during the Upstream Festival in 2022 solidified his connection with Hoogstad and Fortuin. This synergy prompted the decision to develop Superconnectors into an independent company, with Broekman taking on the role of CEO and owner.

Superconnectors CEO Alexander Broekman on stage at the 2024 Superconnectors Summit in Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny AstapovSuperconnectors CEO Alexander Broekman on stage at the 2024 Superconnectors Summit in Rotterdam. Photo credit: Evgeny Astapov

Blockchain integration

One distinctive feature of Superconnectors is the integration of blockchain technology from their partner, Kadena. This technology tracks successful connections made during events, adding a layer of trust and gamification to the networking process. Successful connections earn "karma points," fostering a community focused on mutual benefit and support.

The Superconnectors Summit

The Superconnectors Summit is a significant event that attracts participants from around the world. The 2024 summit in Rotterdam, part of the Upstream Festival, featured nearly 200 attendees and focused on introductions related to talent, market, capital, and knowledge. The event's international atmosphere and the messages from three international speakers highlighted the value of meaningful introductions.

For more information on Superconnectors and when the next summit takes polace, check out the official Superconnectors website.

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