7 episodes

Rome was not built in a day, and neither are successful tech scale-ups. Join us on a captivating journey as we delve into the personal stories of 12 Dutch Tech Titans who transformed their tech startups into industry giants.In "Building the Dream," we take you on an exploration of their remarkable journeys, filled with challenges, triumphs, and life-changing experiences. These tech pioneers share their intimate stories and insights into the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship. Who are these extraordinary individuals, and what valuable lessons do they have to offer?Get ready to be inspired by the real-life stories of resilience, vision, and determination in the world of Dutch tech entrepreneurship.Host of the podcast: Leopold van Oosten, CEO & founder of Amsterdam Standard.

Building the Dream Leopold van Oosten

    • Technology

Rome was not built in a day, and neither are successful tech scale-ups. Join us on a captivating journey as we delve into the personal stories of 12 Dutch Tech Titans who transformed their tech startups into industry giants.In "Building the Dream," we take you on an exploration of their remarkable journeys, filled with challenges, triumphs, and life-changing experiences. These tech pioneers share their intimate stories and insights into the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship. Who are these extraordinary individuals, and what valuable lessons do they have to offer?Get ready to be inspired by the real-life stories of resilience, vision, and determination in the world of Dutch tech entrepreneurship.Host of the podcast: Leopold van Oosten, CEO & founder of Amsterdam Standard.

    Vision to Victory

    Vision to Victory

    Michel did everything to nurture his start-up for > 5 years before it could pay him a first salary. 
    Another 7 years later (+- 3 million ARR, + 175 clients and +-3,8 million end users) he did a massive textbook exit.
    No external startup capitalNo sales & marketingPure focus on building the best productAnd waiting for the momentum…Listen to my latest podcast with Michel Visser, the co-founder of Eesysoft (now Instructure).
    We talked about his career full of commercial roles that led to the foundation of his first compant Eesysoft together with his partner Jan; how they built that and sold it to a strategic buyer (Instructure) in the middle of the Covid crisis when their business skyrocketed.
    His time in Purmerend & BarcelonaHow to use your “golden handshake bonus” from your last job to start a businessTaking a job next to your startup to give it time to growWaiting for the momentum to scaleHow to build a great company cultureBeing ghosted during an exit processHow Covid helped Eesysoft to grow and bring exit opportunitiesHow life changed after exitingHis new AI adventures!His biggest failure and best advices (hint; don’t invest in boats)And much more!Eesysoft is a wonderful example of a company that has grown quietly, has made a few small pivots by carefully looking at the needs in the market and has managed to take action at the right time. 
    And all in a very pleasant and controlled way. For me, Michel has always been the epitome of control itself. 
    Much respect for these achievements; and I am very curious to see how Michel's comeback in Edtech will turn out during the current AI revolution.
    Thanks so much Michel for your time and a highly interesting conversation! 

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Growing Diamonds

    Growing Diamonds

    Ever wondered what those VC’s, business angels or Private Equity guys are looking for and how they operate? Then listen to my latest podcast with Frank Appeldoorn, managing partner at Arches Capital.
    Arches Capital is a fast growing group of business angels that is bridging the gap between Venture Capitalist (VCs) and Business Angels, by joining the best of both worlds
    What an honor to steal some of his time and learn more about the dynamics of such financing companies!
    We talked about his career that led to the foundation of Arches Capital, an initially completely bootstrapped company that is building up a pretty successful portfolio of fast growing b2b tech businesses using a deal-by-deal setup. Recently they announced another 20 million fund.
    His motivation to start this businessWhy he feels more like a psychologist and coach than a financial expertWhat exactly they are looking for in potential founding teamsHow to scout a great new dealHow the selection process worksHow to build a reputation in the marketThe biggest challenges that startups faceHis thoughts on the current economyHis biggest mistakesFinding a balance between family and growing the businessBooks that inspired himAnd much more!Thanks for providing a little more insight into how investors like Arches work. In this series of podcasts, almost every founder that I talked with - at some point in their growth - found reinforcement on the capital market and almost every day I speak to entrepreneurs who are still looking for funding.
    Focusing on a good product and great traction is one thing; but playing the financial game well remains challenging for many; especially in the first years of a startup! Investors like Arches Capital are truely vital for a healthy tech ecosystem.
    Thanks so much Frank for your time and a highly interesting conversation! 
    Link to Frank’s book recommendations for startups: Check them here!

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Engineering E-commerce Empires

    Engineering E-commerce Empires

    I had the honor to sit down and interview Feike Groen, VP of Product & Tech at Channel Engine and former IT-director at Bol.com 🎙️
    This podcast is a MUST listen for every serious scale-up. 
    We took a deep dive into his story, from growing up in a small village to becoming a key leader in the Dutch e-commerce industry! 
    Our conversation covered insights you don’t want to miss:
    His time at the University of Twente.How he skyrocketed Bol.com headcount from 100-1k and > 1 billion revenue.The lessons of rebuilding the complete Bol.com webshop and switching to a new data center.
Joining Channel Engine in 2021 to scale the organization and making it a true iconic brand.
His leadership philosophy
Lessons learned from his biggest mistakes.
Visionary take for the future of e-commerce.
How Channel Engine connects brands and retailers to marketplaces worldwide 🌍You can truly see Feike’s commitment to driving progress within the industry. I can't wait to see where he steers the company next!This podcast was recorded in English.Link to the book about building Bol.com that Feike recommended.and if you want to know more about Foppe de Haan: click here.

    • 1 hr 41 min
    The Art of Persistence

    The Art of Persistence

    What a pleasure to learn this time from Mees van Velzen, founder and CEO of MrWork.
    MrWork, based in Rotterdam, is the nr1 Recruitment Marketing Automation platform.
    We talked about his very inspiring journey of the last twelve years building MrWork and dealing with all the ups and downs:
    His motivation to start a businessWhat to do when 90% of your traffic evaporated Pitching only once; and scoring an investment deal!Hiring your first team membersHow being an entrepreneur makes him feel aliveHow covid killed their pipeline but then boosted their business a lotHow to create an amazing company cultureHis ideas on scaling an organizationThe feeling of being in controlPeople that inspire himHis future plansAnd much more!As a spectator of their journey I have seen in recent years that the road to the top is not always a straight line. The perseverance, resilience and strategic insight of Mees and his partners are truly admirable! Each time they managed to adapt their company to the new market and economic situation and formulate a response to new competition in the market that eventually turned MrWork into a market leader in their segment.This podcast was recorded in Dutch

    • 53 min
    From Freelancer to Phenomenal

    From Freelancer to Phenomenal

    This time I had the honor to dive deep with Martijn Beumer, co-founder and CPO of Producthero!
    Producthero currently serves >10.000 webshops and + 500 online marketing agencies, has an Ad Spend of a staggering +1.5 billion (!!) euro over their platform and works for brands like Nike, Ikea, Wehkamp, Praxis, Etos and many more.
    They already have + 280 million products in their database; so big chance you see their name under a Google Shopping Ad when you search for a product (anywhere in Europe)!
    We talked about how his career of freelancing as an online marketeer led to the foundation of Producthero together with his partners Wouter and Hans.
    How he deliberately picked a job that didn’t require any studiesHis years of becoming an absolute expert in his fieldWhat EU regulation led to the foundation of ProductheroHow to make your first steps with your foundersWhy Producthero is 20% cheaper than advertising on Google itself?The flywheel effect of ProductheroWhat motivates himHow covid boosted their businessTheir goals for the futureHow to keep the founding team aligned when the company explodesHow to say no to interested investors as a teamHis advice for other foundersTune in to hear all about how his career of freelancing as an online marketeer led to the foundation of Producthero together with his partners Wouter and Hans.

    • 54 min
    From Passion to Profit

    From Passion to Profit

    Ruben scaled Ticketscript to over $100 million in revenue; earning the title of Europe's nr1. online ticketing site before he and Frans sold it in 2017 to Eventbrite. Now he spends his time as an investor and also works as the CEO of LeadingCourses
    We delved deep into his wild ride into the world of entrepreneurship. 
    Some of the things we’ve discussed👇
    How his love for coding and house music led to the birth of Beatfreax.The crazy highs and lows of building a startup.The feeling of selling your company and becoming financially independent.His time in the buzzing tech scene in San Francisco at Eventbrite.Life after exit and his transition to LeadingCourses.How to make your work from your passion.His rolemodelsHow tech can (potentially) make this world a better placeHis honest sharing of failures and some nuggets of advice in business.Tune in as Ruben speaks on his successes, failures, and the wisdom he’s gathered along the way!
    This episode is recorded in Dutch language!

    • 51 min

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