Deep dive
The Netherlands: the unique
“Silicon Valley of food”
Smart shopping, fast delivery, and the best food accelerators.

17.07 - 21.07
4 days
8 companies
Instead of learning them in theory, see the world’s best business practices in action!
Benefits of the “DEEP DIVE” tour:

4-day intensive training 

First-hand learning about internal business process inside global companies & successful startups

Networking with large numbers of like-minded professionals 

Opportunity to deeply assess the market that you want to work in/with

Getting new ideas and energy boost  

Who should join? 
  • Business owners & CEOs
  • Strategy and Business Development Managers
  • C-executives, who are looking for expanding their business and new partnerships

We are going to visit: 

  • The best companies in the Netherlands with ‘ultra fast’ grocery delivery and an effective online platform. 
  • One of Europe’s first multi-vertical start-up accelerators.
  • A Business incubator for the food industry.
  • Albert Heijn  - completely unmanned “to go” shop. 
  • Dutch Amazon.

Why the Netherlands?  

  • SPAR - a Dutch multinational retail chain and franchise brand with approximately 12,500 stores in 42 countries worldwide.
  • Rockstart is a leader in creating entire ecosystems around specific areas such as Digital Health, Smart Energy and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Gorillas company – promises delivery in 10 minutes or less.
  • Picnic - online supermarket, raised 600 million euros from various investors, operates in 125 cities in the Netherlands and Germany

Day 1

The group arrives to Amsterdam.

Transfer to the hotel

Rest time upon arrival 

Day 2

Tour of Amsterdam

On the tour, you will see all the best parts of Amsterdam:
- the canals and the crooked houses;
- the Royal Palace and the narrowest buildings;
- the medieval Waag (“weigh house”) and the Begijnhof;
- the old prison and the flower market;
- you will also have a chance to look at the city from above and to try the best herring in Amsterdam;
- secret places that the Amsterdammers don’t usually show to strangers, places that hold the soul and wonder of this charming city.

You will also learn:
what one may find in a Dutch cathedral;
how the King earns money on the side;
how the Russians fist engaged in industrial espionage in the Netherlands;
how the Dutch character was built through centuries;
how Amsterdam and the Amsterdammers live today, what kinds of things they consider important and not so much, what makes them happy and what makes them anxious.

Welcoming dinner

Day 3

Meeting with Rockstart

Line of business: food accelerator

Rockstart is an early-stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across Energy, AgriFood and EmergingTech. It is one of Europe’s first multi-vertical start-up accelerators with a global network and offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Bogotá. Rockstart has developed and implemented programs for Maersk, Shell, the Dutch Ministry of Health and many more. Last year Rockstart celebrated it’s 10th anniversary. 

Since its inception, Rockstart generated over 700 jobs. Rockstart was founded in Amsterdam in 2011 and has built ecosystems in domains including digital health, smart energy and AI. At the beginning, Rockstart followed the principle of holacracy, but at some point, moved away from it. The acceleration program has put together an impressive line-up of mentors, who bring expertise in markets, hardcore AI, data science and building businesses around technologies. Rockstart has invested in more than 260 startups and its alumni value to date is more than $1bn. 

● invested in more than 260 startups
● company’s alumni value to date is more than $1bn
● generated over 700 jobs

Meeting with Picnic

Line of business:  online supermarket & delivery 

Picnic is one of Europe’s fastest-growing online supermarkets. Since launching in Amersfoort in 2015, the foundation of Picnic’s success has been its innovative technology, which is almost always developed in-house. Picnic has revolutionized online food shopping in the Netherlands and beyond.

After raising €600 million in September 2021 in a Series D financing round led by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Picnic’s meteoric growth shows no signs of abating. With customers in 200 cities across the Netherlands, Germany, and France, the investment will help fuel the company’s growth even further. 

● developed its own innovative delivery technology 
● delivered to 200 cities across the Netherlands, Germany, and France
● raised €600 million from various investors

Meeting with Albert Heijn 

Line of business:  supermarket chain

Albert Heijn is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, founded in 1887, is the leading food retailer in the Netherlands. It is the market leader in online grocery shopping with a market share of 42%. Albert Heijn also operates in Belgium and Germany.  Albert Heijn delivers good, safe, sustainable and healthy food to millions of customers and in order to be affordable: the chain currently uses three different price levels.

The chain operates four formats: the conventional Albert Heijn supermarket, the extra-large Albert Heijn XL supermarket, the AH to go convenience store and the Internet-based home delivery service The company is using many in-store innovations: such as AH Mobile -  AH's free smartphone app where you can make a shopping list, order groceries or find recipes at Allerhand. AH Self-scan is a smart shopping experience where shoppers scan their products with a handheld scanner, then they can immediately pack their products while shopping without waiting in line. Google Assistant and Google Home help prepare food and groceries bought in the store, offer recipes to choose from.

● the chain has over 1000 stores
● a market share of 42%
● there are over 100K employees

Day 4

Meeting with Kitchen Republic

Line of business:business incubator

Kitchen Republic is a business incubator for the food industry; a fully equipped commercial kitchen that assist local producers, start-ups and quality food services to enter the market and grow their business.

The company has created the perfect foodtech environment for small entrepreneurs. Kitchen Republic provides access to fully equipped starter kitchens, scalable plug & play appliances, premium rental kitchens, office space and event spaces. At the Houthavens Kitchen Republic offers 5,000 sq. feet of kitchen space, working on sales opportunities and helping businesses with the necessary knowledge and networking capabilities.

● offers 5,000 sq. feet of kitchen space
● provides the perfect foodtech environment for small entrepreneurs

Meeting with

Line of business: delivery services 

Just Eat is a Dutch multinational online food ordering and delivery company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands and connecting consumers and restaurants through its platform in 24 countries. The company operates under different brand names in different countries.

This is an intermediate online portal between the client and restaurants, where customers can order food online from the restaurant menu and receive it directly to their homes. It is the parent company of brands including, Just Eat, SkipTheDishes, Grubhub and Menulog. charged a 12% order commission for a restaurant and increased it to 13% effective January 1, 2018. Recently, the company announced the launch of a supermarket delivery service in Germany through the service in 50 cities. In addition, Just Eat Takeaway also plans to launch the service in the UK and the Netherlands. According to the company, it is determined to work with all major grocery chains and local stores and deliver goods to customers in 20-30 minutes.

● 250,000 connected restaurants
● platform operates in 24 countries
● the website processes over 800K orders per month 

Meeting at

Line of business: online store - an online store in the Netherlands that offers products in categories such as music, films, books electronics, toys, jewelry, watches, children's products, gardening, and home goods. The store owns by Ahold Delhaize. According to a study published in 2015, it is the strongest retail brand with the most anticipated growth in the Netherlands in years to come. is called the Dutch Amazon. The company developed their own Spike system, with over 4 million active customers in the Netherlands and Belgium and $1.3 billion in annual revenue. is a direct competitor for Wehkamp, Amazon and Overstock. employees are actively involved in the company’s website personalization, bundling and CoEs. operates on the principle of self-organization.

● over 4 million active customers
● $1.3 billion in annual revenue
● a direct competitor for Wehkamp, Amazon

Day 5

Meeting at SPAR

Track: supermarket chain 

SPAR, is a multinational retail chain and franchise brand. The business started with one Dutch store in 1932 and now comprises more than 13,500 stores in over 48 countries on four continents. SPAR operates a multi-format retail strategy with four distinct formats: SPAR, SPAR Express, EUROSPAR Supermarket and INTERSPAR Hypermarket, each tailored to meet specific customer needs and markets. The driving force of the success of SPAR is the close co-operation of individual retailers and wholesalers at a local level in meeting the needs of their customers. 

SPAR Express is one of the formats designed for high footfall transit locations such as gas stations, airports, bus & railway stations and city centers. With a sales area of between 100 and 300m2, SPAR Express is ideal for smaller sized retail locations, allowing for extended opening hours. The SPAR Express assortment is focused towards the convenience shopper looking for food on the go or to top up their weekly shop from the larger supermarkets. 

● operates in 48 countries on four continents
● over 13,500 stores

Meeting at Gorillas

Line of business: delivery

Gorillas, a German grocery delivery startup that specializes in ultra-fast deliveries. Gorillas pledges to deliver goods to consumers within 10 minutes or less. Last year, the company expanded its operations to more than thirteen cities, including Amsterdam, London, Munich and New York. As of today, the company has built more than 40 micro fulfillment centers.

They currently deliver in ten countries and plan to expand to more than 50 cities. In March 2021, the company became the fastest unicorn company in Germany with a $1 billion valuation and a total raised funding of €305 million.

● delivery in 10 min or less 
● a $1 billion valuation  
● delivery services work in 10 countries 

Day 6

Tour of Wageningen University, Innovative Farms and Ag start-ups

Track: University and Research Center 

Wageningen University & Research is a public university in Wageningen, Netherlands, specializing in technical and engineering subjects and an important center for life sciences and agricultural research. It is located in a region of the Netherlands known as the Food Valley. Wageningen University & Research is the best University in the Netherlands and one of the leading international universities in the field of healthy food, living environment, as well as current and future global issues that are of increasing importance to both industry and government.

The university was founded as a higher agricultural school on March 9, 1918. Wageningen University offers fifty educational programs for masters, bachelors and Doctor of Sciences, nine research platforms, and its own Starthub, which annually attracts the most innovative ideas and startups in the agricultural industry. The university has about 12,000 students from over 100 countries. It is also a member of the University Network of the Euro League for Natural Sciences (ELLS). 

The university teams are actively collaborating with different businesses working together on varies research projects and innovations in new products cultivation. This collaboration allows the Dutch Food Valley to strengthen its role as a world center for the future development of the food industry, bringing the university to the number 1 position in world rankings, and the Netherlands to the second place in the world export of agricultural products.

Key achievement of Food Valley 
• Unites and supports 175 world leaders in AG business (Herbalife, Sofine foods)
• 150 innovative products ranging from molecular processing concepts to non-animal meat production, optimization of traditional recipes, cooking delicious meals in 3 minutes, and environmentally friendly packaging for vegetables that do not require refrigeration.
• Annual awards for startups (up to 10 awards) exploring digital technologies and AI for innovation in agriculture and the food industry

Day 7


Small changes to the programme and visits to alternative businesses are possible due to scheduling conflicts and the human factor. We may also adapt the schedule to suit your wishes and needs.
What are the benefits?
Learn about the method of decentralized management from the companies that have a proven track record
Receive a huge boost of inspiration and innovative ideas for your business
Learn practical tools and secrets of successful management
Connect on a personal level with the unique US entrepreneurial community 
Discover real reasons for the success of the world’s leading companies
Learn from the best
What is included in the price?

What is included in the price?

  • City Tour 
  • Visit of the companies announced in the program (or pre-approved substitutions)
  • Meeting with company representatives announced in the program 
  • Interpreter 
  • Transfers to and from all official activities listed in the program
  • Informational materials 
  • Visa support 
  • FastForward expert accompanying and coordinating the group 
  • Taxes and fees 


What is NOT included in the price?

  • Air Fares 
  • Accommodation 
  • Medical Insurance 
  • Meals 
  • Visa fees
1. Each country has its own specifics of doing business. How useful could be the practical knowledge received from a foreign speaker in application to my local business specifics?
Although each country has its own cultural and business specifics, innovative ideas, trends in marketing, management and overall business don’t have geographical borders. Learning and networking with our speakers in the US, you will have a unique opportunity to learn new ideas/trends and be a step ahead of your local competitors.  
2. What is the optimal number of participants in the tour?
We’d recommend having a group of up to 15-20 people
3. Who are our speakers? 
Our speakers are top managers of the companies. We are carefully preparing our speakers for the meeting, sharing information about the group, the list of questions from the participants and the purpose of the meeting.
4. What is the format of the meeting?
Meetings are usually interactive. A typical meeting takes about 2 hours. It starts with a speaker presenting on the topic announced in the program, followed by the Q&A.
5. Where meetings are taking place?
We are arranging a comfortable bus to get to the location. Usually, meetings are taking place in the offices of the companies or in some instances at the pre-arranged conference halls if the office of the company we are visiting works remotely or cannot accommodate the large group.
6. Will somebody be accompanying us during the program? 
Throughout the program, FastForward expert will be providing detailed information about all meetings, speakers and locations, accompanying and attending meetings, resolving the org. moments with translation equipment and internal logistics. He/she will be always in touch for any questions, ready to recommend good restaurants, or resolve an issue. 
7. Could I ask speakers specific questions related to my business? 
Yes, you can ask questions during the Q&A part of the meeting. 
8. What language is the meeting in?
All meetings are in English 
9. Do you assist in the hotel and airfare selection? 
We will be glad to help you choose a comfortable hotel, as well as select flight options based on your preferences. Hotel reservations and ticket purchases are on you. 
10. Will meals be arranged? 
Breakfast is usually at the hotel, lunches are pre-booked for the group close to the next meeting location. You have free time in the evening, so you could choose the location based on your preferences. Please note that the cost of the meals is not included in the package. 
Since 2006, FastForward has been conducting management tours in Europe
Each visit is a charge of breakthrough ideas and positive emotions! Here's how it was last time:

Managers and executives of over 250 companies have trusted their education and search for business ideas for us by joining our management tours. 
To participate in the Tour registration is required.

We will contact you ASAP!