Building relationships with our partners is important for TEDxVenlo. With this in mind, we organized the first Gear Up 2 Evolve event exclusively for our partners.

In one afternoon, we brought forward two workshops aimed at developing an innovative mindset and an impactful pitch. 14 participants of 5 different nationalities came together to learn new ways to solve challenges and pitch ideas using the best practices from TED.

The location provided by our partner Grenswerk was warm, cozy and fostered ideas to sparkle. 

The program started with an opening speech from Bart Verlegh, the chairman of TEDxVenlo. He introduced the origins of TEDxVenlo, and boosted a sense of innovation and entrepreneurship for the rest of the afternoon.

In the first workshop, participants gained an understanding of the principles of Design Thinking. They learnt the process and tools required to analyze user needs, prototype, and generate ideas. Soon after, theory was applied to practice by working in small groups to solve practical exercises.

During the break, participants got a chance to take a sneak preview of the rehearsals, visit the back stage and witness live preparations, one day before the main TEDxVenlo 2016 event.

During the second workshop, participants discovered how to structure and deliver a convincing pitch that satisfies TED quality standards, and learnt from a coach who helped speakers prepare talks featured on the stage of TEDxVenlo 2016. With the belief that effective workshops are interactive and collaborative, the participants applied tips and techniques to develop their own pitch, had a chance to present their pitch to the audience and get immediate feedback. We have been surprised that a great pitch can be developed in 10 minutes having the right guidance and tool set.

Of course, in the end of the program, everyone had a chance to network, share ideas and enjoy drinks with other participants and TEDxVenlo volunteers.

As the first Gear Up event was a great success, we plan to organize more sessions like this, addressing various topics that young professionals might be interested in. If you have any suggestions, please email us at


"Hereby I want to thank you once again for the great event you organised last Thursday. The workshops were great, we all learned a lot and the atmosphere was very open and inspiring, which I loved! – Lars Hennissen, Marketeer , BlueHub"

"I participated with the TEDxVenlo Gear Up 2 Evolve event, and it was fun! There was this look-behind-the-scenes during the final rehearsals. It made feel being part of the TEDx-community, and that was great. During two workshops we worked on creative brainstorming and pitching our own ideas. I learned some interesting stuff about design thinking and pitch-like-TED. I could recommend this event to everyone, if you have the possibility to join. – Olav Smink, System architect, Océ Technologies"