In Amsterdam you can find a truly unique experience that is all about you: An Instagram Museum. A Youseum.
The minds behind this innovative and unique concept are Koen and Joep.
To learn more, we visited these two entrepreneurs and asked everything about Youseum, the entrepreneurship, and the payment solution they finally chose.
How did you come up with the idea?
Koen: “I lived in New York for three years and I went on a date once to the Dream Machine in Williamsburg, an Instagram museum. I immediately thought the concept was very cool and I thought: “this could also work in Amsterdam”. I also wanted to see if we could attach a message to it so that it is not just about the pretty pictures. And this idea turned into Youseum.
My cousin Joep took the first steps in the Netherlands, while I was still in New York. In April last year I came back to live in Amsterdam and we continued to work on it together. Seven months later, in November, Youseum opened its doors.
What can visitors expect at Youseum?
Joep: “Youseum is an art-experience all about YOU. As a visitor, you are taken through 15 rooms with art installations, where you are the main character. The idea is that you can take beautiful pictures of yourself in every room, but also to reflect on the role that social media play in your life. We also address social themes such as , LGBTQIA rights and plastic waste”.
Setting up a museum is quite some work. How did you experience this as entrepreneurs?
Koen: “It was – and still is – a great adventure, with high workload peaks and a lot of bumps on the road. On the positive side, we are not alone. At moments when I felt overwhelmed, Joep gave me a pep talk and vice versa.
There are so many things to consider. We completely underestimated this. What saved us, I think, is that we tried to work out solutions as down- to-earth as possible. For example, when we chose a new partner, we asked ourselves : would we like to have a beer with this person on Friday? This is how you make choices based on your feelings and that turned out to be the best way for us. Like this, we have gathered a very nice and good group of people around us. That’s actually also how we connected with the account manager of CCV.
How did you get to know CCV and what did you pay attention to when choosing your current payment solution?
Joep: “A payment solution was just one example of the things we had never thought about before. We did not know what to pay attention to either. At first, we searched on Google, but there was too much clutter. What helped us a lot though, was that when we finally reached out to CCV, we felt CCV was there for us from the start, both personally and professionally with good advice and service. We really appreciated that. An account manager from CCV came over, explained exactly what the options were and together we found the best and most advantageous solution for us.
We finally went for the CCV Smart solution, with a service package. Technical support is important for us and if one of the payment terminals does not work, we can count on CCV to be there for us. It is so important that the payment solution always works. Visitors only come here once and there is no ATM within walking distance.
On top, the CCV Smart accepts the latest payment methods, which is especially important with the international public in our museum. Whether visitors want to pay with a smartwatch, mobile phone, credit card or contactless debit card, we never have to say no.
Do you have good advice to share when starting a business?
“We were really surprised how many people who were willing to help. But of course, you have to ask for it, so don’t forget to ask for help!”
Youseum in a year from now, what does that look like?
“Youseum has been open for 2,5 months now and we had over 10,000 visitors already. We are of course super proud! It is now up to us to make it bigger and better. First, we would like to increase the number of visitors of course, but also to exceed the expectations of our visitors by an amazing and creative experience. We want to continue to surprise visitors and we want to keep up with current events and developments in social media landscape”.
“The great thing about setting up something like Youseum is that you enter a new phase all the time. First, we spent months of managing contractors, organizing collaborations and creating the concept. Now the focus is on sales, marketing and managing the team. It is incredibly rewarding and fun”.
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