Vincent van der Holst

CEO @ BOAS
470 karmaJoined Mar 2022Working (6-15 years)Amsterdam, Netherlands
boas.co

Bio

Participation
3

Founder of BOAS, a fast vintage fashion platform that donates 90% of profits to the most effective charities that save lives. 

Our vision is to move as many of the world's trillions in profits to effective organisations through Profit for Good businesses (where charities receive most profits instead of shareholders). 

BOAS' mission is save jeans and lives. Peter Singer is an investor in our business. 

We're fundraising, so if you can help, send me an email at vin at boas . co

We're almost always looking for interns, so if you're interested please reach out. 

Thanks, Vin

How I can help others

Entrepreneurship, profit for good, economics, (paid) marketing and recruitment and hiring. I can also give feedback on startup pitches and ideas. 

Comments
84

Congrats Brad! I hope and think the Ted stage gets more people otherwise unfamiliar with effective giving and profit for Good to take action.

That's very relevant information! It's very similar to our idea, so I'd love to talk to him. Could you share his contact details with me on vin at boas dot co ?

You raise an important potential downside. It was already hard for people with shallow pockets to reach people with deep pockets and this might make it harder.

For me personally, I would do the following. Someone cold calls or emails me. If this is an aspiring entrepreneur who has no deep pockets and a good pitch, I will meet with them for free. Same for any NGO or individual making the world a better place. If this is a for-profit company that has X profits I will charge a Y amount that I think is fair for that company to pay me for my time, through a donation to an effective charity. If facebook wants my time I will charge a million. 

There's pros and cons to everything, but the additional money flowing to charities seems more important to me, but we should think of ways for people who can't afford donations to not be excluded. Replying with your HearMeOut link depending on who cold emails or calls you seems like a simple but effective solution, at least for me, but I'm curious to hear what others think!

That's a great question. @Brad West is a lawyer and can probably answer this for the US.

In the EU this would be possible if you just redirect someone to make a donation to the charity directly and upload their receipt as payment verification so they can book the meeting. This is a workaround solution, and I think this can be made tax deductible directly through HearMeOut as well, but if the beta goes well we should have a lawyer answer this depending on the country. 

You write "Again, you would feel icky paying a company for this, but you might feel OK doing it in exchange for a donation." And that's why we think HearMeOut can work so well, because it donates rather than pays to individuals. People are likely much more opposed to giving someone a lot of money for their time (e.g. paying a billionaire to meet with them), but would be more in favor of doing that when it goes to charities. 

I will beta test this with anyone who cold calls or emails me. I'll simply tell them that for a €100 donation they can have an hour of my time, and see what happens. 

I've tried many things but by far the biggest contributor to me working hard was working on something that I truly believed in. I find it much harder to work on something I don't actively believe in (to the point where I will quit or pretend to work) and now that I do what I believe in it's hard for me to not work on it.

I am currently at 60-70 hours per week (although I intend to optimise to 50 hours per week because it's more sustainable over an entire career) and I receive no pay (I'm a profit for good startup founder) and I used to be at 40 hours per week with pretty good pay. 

The second thing that has tremendous effects on me are sleeping well, excercising, having stable relationships with my GF, friends and family and eating well, in that order of importance. 

Other things that worked for me to work smarter or harder, which might be only 10% where the others above are 90% for me:
- focusmate.com
- telling people I will do X. It's more likely I do X when I promised it to someone else than when I promise it to myself
 

I just wanted to add that I've been at events in The Netherlands where sunscreen manufacturers were giving away free sunscreen (either by people or in dispensers) so the cost was zero (it was basically marketing by sunscreen brands). 

I just saw they are. For those interested, I provided comments to the red teaming working document. 

Disclaimer: I sometimes work with Brad and I founded a PFG so I am biased towards thinking PFG's can work. 

There's some more red teaming in the comments of a quick take I did about the fundraising round that the PFG I founded is going through. That's here.

We also did a red teaming session on Profit for Good at EAGxRotterdam. This was filmed but unfortunately never released (I think the video person literally said they lost the recording :/). 

Generally the biggest reasons against Profit for Good, based on my experience of founding one called BOAS:
- Raising capital is (at least currently) harder. It's hard for me to put a number on it but I'd say it's at least 3 times less likely you'll receive funding. 
- You will raise less capital and slower than the competition so they might outcompete. 
- Legal issues. Depending on the country there's not set company structure for this. 
- Lack of capital means you cannot retain talent (based on my experience getting talent is easier as a PFG) as easily as having deep venture capital funded pockets. 
- Lack of understanding of stakeholders: generally a lot of people assume PFG's cannot scale because they donate profits. It's important people understand PFG's can reinvest profits just like regular for-profits. 
- Status quo bias: just because people think it hasn't been done (it has, but people don't generally know that) they assume it cannot be done, even when presented with arguments (e.g. the successful PFG's already out there and the research on them). 
- Some people argue that people are selfish and founders start companies to get rich, so they wouldn't want to start/run PFG's. Based on our founder pipeline it suggests the opposite. It was full of people who could make more money doing less work, and many applied because we were a PFG, not in spite of. 

I would quickly add to what Nick said by saying that donating to charities that save kids' lives (e.g. AMF) likely improves all of your bullets.
- Families become happier if they receive the health interventions they need (and they almost certainly don't rate themselves 4/10 on the happiness scale, your quoting the wrong thing as Nick mentioned)
- I think it's also unfair to single out the Burkina Faso alone, when you donate to these effective charities they cover dozens of countries, most with far lower FGM rates
- You say they will spend their lives in 'extreme boredom', but your link doesn't really state any evidence for that
 

It's true that the lives we can save might still be ones full of hardship, but the evidence suggests that they will be happier and healthier lives. The counterfactual is death, and even in your bullets (that seem a bunch of pick and choose to bolster your argument) I don't see strong evidence that suggests we shouldn't be funding these charities. 

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