Summer Internship with a Dutch Water Startup

Inge Kodden

After five years at a global company advising corporate clients on process and technology improvement, my goal for the summer was to leverage my experience to support the growth of an early-stage, impact-focused startup.

I was excited to get the opportunity to join SEA Water back home in Amsterdam for an eight-week project right in the middle of the MBA programme, supported by the Hoffman Institute. 

I learned that access to potable fresh water is under pressure: several countries deplete their water sources faster than they can get replenished. SEA Water provides desalinated water solutions powered by renewables.

Traditional desalination solutions are extremely energy intensive.

SEA Water uses technology that reduces energy consumption of the system with 70% and uses 100% renewable energy. The goal of the brand is to raise awareness for alternative water sources in a world that increasingly faces water stress. 

When I joined, SEA Water sparkling and still water cans were available across the Netherlands in stores of the three major supermarkets in the Netherlands, as well as at specific out-of-home pilot locations. The team was investigating opportunities for geographic and vertical expansion. I worked with the founders and their consulting partner Metyis on growth strategy, future propositions and investment memo, and supported business development. 

The weeks flew by, and before I knew it I was on my way back to Fontainebleau.

It was a summer of personal growth: dipping my toes in the world of desalinated water, startups, and strategy that would not have been possible without the support of the Hoffman Institute. The experience fuelled my interest in accelerating the growth of impact-focused companies post-MBA. 

This internship experience was supported by the INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend and gifts from alumni.