Vincent Karremans (30) knows what it’s like to experience a Eureka moment. He did just that at the Timmer pub. It came after two or three beers. “I cut short the conversation straightaway, raced back home, and sat there drafting a business plan for hours on a dinosaur of a laptop.”

Company: Magnet.me (turnover not declared)

Conceived by: Vincent Karremans

At: Café Timmer

After: 2 or 3 beers

Graduated yet? yes

Earlier in the evening the idea was merely to ‘have a few drinks after studying’. “I was with about eight friends. A midweek evening, a Wednesday or Thursday, I think. In November. Yes, I remember that: it was cold.”

Thinking clearly

A mate suggested Café Timmer – apparently the oldest pub along the Oude Binnenweg. “Great. I hadn’t been there before. We were a large group, so inside we stood and chatted in small groups. It wasn’t that busy. I was standing there, chatting with two friends, one of whom was my housemate at the time.”

The topic: job hunting. “We were master students, so on the lookout for work. We all experienced the same problem: only the large multinationals have stands at job fairs, and they don’t appeal to everyone by far. You just don’t get to see the small SMEs at those types of events. We didn’t know what’s out there.”

And then – out of nowhere – the idea came to Karremans: talent scouting over and above studying. “No music was playing in the pub, all you could hear was background chat. Nor was it particularly busy. I think that helped me think clearly.”

Coffee and a place to sit

He conceived a platform where job seekers can post their competencies. These are automatically linked to companies looking for employees with just those talents. “I really wanted to work it out straightaway, before anyone else stumbled across the idea. With the same enthusiasm I had when cycling to football as a kid.”

And, as of that moment, Karremans required just two things: “Coffee and a place to sit. That’s the great thing about a student company: you can come a cropper at no extra cost to yourself. Not getting anywhere? Fine, then you start job hunting. It’s far easier to start something up when you don’t yet have a family or mortgage.”

For that matter, this Rotterdam man born and bred – whose company meanwhile also covers the English market – never returned to the Timmer pub. “Too busy. Yet it remains the place where Magnet.me was conceived. The setting was perfect. I’ve no idea if I’d have come up with the idea at a different pub.”

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