In the “Meet the Startup Board Member” we profile a member of our ScaleUpBoard alumni community. Today we are speaking with Class 12 alumnus, Pascal Paemelaere.

Pascal is a ScaleUpBoard alumnus and a self-described scale-up and start-up addict. He is currently the Head of Global Marketing at Michelin, a company he has been with since 2004. At Michelin, Pascal discovers hi-tech coated fabrics businesses for aerospace, automotive, and energy markets. He has coached 10 venture teams (deep tech) and aims to create new businesses with a positive impact on the planet. Pascal is a travel enthusiast who has worked in France, and Russia and will be moving to Bangkok, Thailand in the summer to work with local start-ups. In his free time, Pascal enjoys watching movies and reading. He is currently learning Thai.

Learn more about Pascal and his experience in the ScaleUpBoard program below!

Meet… Pascal Paemelaere!


What is your headline?

Acceleration Phase | Leadership Team Power |  Board Team Power

What are you passionate about professionally?

I am always trying to learn more and I am very happy when I am able to share my learnings and make them useful to others. It is important to gather knowledge, deploy those learnings to my peers and then learn again through that process. I am built on that and that is when I am at my best, through sharing useful knowledge. In reverse, it is the worst for me when I share knowledge and nothing happens. 


Which sessions of the ScaleUpBoard program did you find the most insightful? 

Clearly, for me, it was the session on ambidextrous leadership by Anne Mieke Eggenkamp. That is what has stuck in my mind the most and what  I am continually trying to practice. I learned that you have a better chance when you balance the four leadership skills: conducting, exploring, architecting, and directing. That definitely makes sense to me in leadership and also the board team.  A powerful team is defined also by its soft skills, not only the hard skills. 


How do you want to add value to a board?

I want to amplify the board members’ spirit and support the leadership team with my soft and hard skills while relying on my corporate startup experience. I can contribute my soft skills such as creativity, courage to test options, make decisions, direct focus on important tasks, and encourage a positive work culture. I try to encourage conversation before and after board meetings with my board team because that is not a give-in. Many board members only speak in the boardroom meeting and then say “goodbye.” I am convinced that we can get much more out of the board by encouraging communication between board members outside of meetings which will encourage better leadership and team spirit.

 I can also support external startups to scale. In terms of hard skills, I can contribute my knowledge of Marketing and Sales in automotive and aerospace markets as well as scale transition specificities. I am a specialist in the pre-scale phase so I can provide a lot of expertise in that area. 


If you are on or have been on a board or in an advisory position, how did you encounter the opportunity? If not, what type of board role are you seeking?

I’m an advisor of some corporate startups but more recently I did start to be an advisor for an external start-up in the HR domain called Smart Brain. I am moving to Thailand in August and I am looking for local board opportunities. I am open to learning so I would be pleased to work with local ventures regardless of the domain. 


What is the best piece of advice someone gave to you?

“Trust your values.”

 You cannot work with people who do not share your values. It takes courage but sometimes you have to move from a project or organization if the shared values aren’t there. I will not accept any position that does not align with my values. So trusting my values and not compromising them is the most important thing for me.


What do you want your impact to be through your work?

Cultural sensitivity is crucial for me. I am convinced that the more you travel, the more you are open to others. Travel is a true source of openness. You understand other people better despite cultural differences. There are some people that say that traveling too much is bad for the environment. However, it is also true that only 20 percent of people on Earth have taken a flight. This means that there are a lot of people who only look at their surroundings and not outward. This creates an insular mindset which is also negative for the world. Therefore it is a motivator for me to facilitate safer and greener travels. I would like to support companies that have the same mindset to use technology and businesses to empower people to better understand each other and the world. 

Want to learn more about Pascal? Connect here!

Scale your impact as a board member

The next ScaleUpBoard class is kicking off in March of 2024 in Amsterdam. You can find all of the details here. Get in touch with Jan to save your seat:

Jan Ootes

+31 6 47422360

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