Scale your impact as a board member.

Scale-ups need an effective board. Being an effective board member of a scale-up requires a different skillset and mindset than that of a board member in a large, mature enterprise. There are three main factors that drive this difference:

1) In a good scale-up, the CEO already has a close relationship with all stakeholders and an insight in their needs and expectations. The CEO already embodies multi-stakeholder management. Little you need to do in this respect.

2) Focus in the scale-up phase is on value growth more than value protection. As a scale-up still has little to lose, most of its value consists of future potential and this needs to first be realized before there is anything to protect.  The role of a board member is not to help protect the company, but to help propel it.

3) The scale-up MT are gifted entrepreneurs – telling, directing, and advising do not play to their strengths. Asking insightful questions does.

We Enable Scale

ScaleUpNation is fully dedicated to scale-up performance and impact. Our leadership team includes Menno van Dijk (former director McKinsey, co-founder THNK), Noëlle Haitsma  (serial entrepreneur and investor) and Hayat Chedid (management and leadership expert).

Our unique ScaleUpDrivers methodology was developed through collaboration with and research of hundreds of entrepreneurs and their enterprises. We have published a perspective on the role board members play in the scaling journey in our memo: Board Members that Propel, not Protect.

Board Masterclass

In the Board Member Masterclass we enable board members to propel their organizations to scale. By going deep with coaching, influencing and supporting skills, this highly experiential program stimulates practice-based work and peer-to-peer learning with an accomplished group of investors, advisors, and business coaches. Each session of the program touches on the 3 different competencies of effective board members:

Leadership Coaching

Make the shift from advising to truly coaching.

The focus is on developing leadership effectiveness of the CEO within their current business context (start-up or scale-up), supporting their leadership development as well as the venture’s needs.

“I realized that board membership is all about listening and asking the right questions. You’re not a board member by nature – you really have to learn this skill.”

Business Impact

Understand the success and failure factors of scaling.

Focus on helping the leadership team discover the success factors to drive the enterprise to rapid growth. Unlock the power of your own experience and expertise and apply them to a scaling business.

“A lot of issues can be quite predictable. By having a diverse group with a collection of experiences and perspectives, you feel more prepared for what’s ahead.”


Grasp the formal and legal role of a board member and interact on what board dynamics look like in practice.

Focus on board membership supporting value creation instead of protection. Master powerful board interventions and constructive dynamics.

“The Masterclass really challenged us in the traditional Board Member role thinking.”

Join a select group of scale-up investors and advisors to bring your advising and coaching skills to a master level. Apply here.

Program Rhythm

What are we getting into?

  • Grasping leadership. Understand the ambition, trustworthiness and preparedness of the CEO.
  • Readiness to scale. Understand the stages of growth and success factors of scale-ups.
  • Roles and responsibilities. Understand formal role and define and align expectations.

Spring: 21 Mar
Fall: 19 Sep

9:00 – 21:00

Staying Customer Centric

  • Passion and purpose. Connect to and engage with the leadership on their development path.
  • Customer centricity. Stimulate the company on the customer journey.
  • Funding for growth. Align all around ongoing investment in experimentation-based progress.

Spring: 22 Mar
Fall: 20 Sep

9:00 – 18:00

Spinning the Flywheel

  • Building trust. Stimulate the MT to be open minded, learning oriented and trusting to delegate.
  • Driving excellence. Asking the right questions on sales, production, technology and delivery.
  • Pause, reflect and enable. Develop an independent view as board members and avoid biases and group think.

Spring: 17 Apr
Fall: 17 Oct

9:00 – 21:00

Making Smart Bets

  • Transformation. Build confidence in the CEO to think innovatively and courageously and challenge conventions.
  • Strategic leaps. Help recognize opportunities and make strategic bets.
  • Relevance, conflict and renewal. Understand board roles across three horizons of growth.

Spring: 18 Apr
Fall: 18 Oct

9:00 – 18:00

Ensuring State of Flow

  • Resilience. Provide a mirror on leadership effectiveness.
  • Organizational flow. Supporting the CEO/MT in building an organization with headroom.
  • Crises. Work in the board as an effective team.

Spring: 15 May
Fall: 21 Nov

9:00 – 21:00


  • A board member, investor, business advisor, or coach
  • At least 1 year experience in a start-up/scale-up in one of the above roles
  • Participation is determined by application
  • If you have any questions, please reach out:


The fee for the full course is €4750.

Fee includes:

  • 5 full days of training
  • All materials, meals, and refreshment
  • Membership in the ScaleUpNation community of investors, advisors, researchers, and ventures

Interested? Please apply here. Have more questions about the program? Send us an email at

The ScaleUpNation Experience

Empowering entrepreneurs to scale

To date, over 75 scale-up teams have matriculated through the Runway program.

We’ve also completed 2 classes full of inspiring board members and businesses coaches of some of these ventures and more.

Principles of Engagement

Scaling a venture is hard, complex, explorative, and experimental. Scale-up masters are experienced practitioners as well as lifelong learners. Our programs are designed to meet their needs, delivering:

  • International best-in-class faculty (in strategy, practice, and coaching)
  • Proprietary research-based insights
  • Master-level programming
  • Serious leadership development
  • Action and peer-to-peer learning, no lectures

Oscar Kneppers

Founder and Board Member, Rockstart

“Having been at the founder’s side of the table as much as I have, I now know I can leverage this to be a better then average Board Member. During the Masterclass I was able to internalize what I have collected along the road as an entrepreneur and unlock the learnings to empower others in an effective way.”

Caroline van der Lande

Founder, de BuurtBoer

“We were trained on different skills through a combination of theory and specially tailored scenario exercises. How do you handle specific challenging situations and how do I prevent to be too result-driven in my questions. I feel more in control of the situation and of which topics should be handled and l have much more insights in the responsibilities and opportunities in a role as a business coach and board member. I very much look forward to putting the new insights into practice!”

Frank Appeldoorn

Managing partner, Arches Capital

“The Board Masterclass provides a unique startup/scaleup board member course ranging from great participant interaction, brilliant coaching and business cases. Everything you need to be a better board member.”

Marieke van Wel-Stoffels

Scale-up founder and previous CFO/COO Guidion

“I learned a lot about the different perspectives of all stakeholders around a scale-up, about the patterns that you see in the development of a scale-up, and about the typical challenges scale-up’s faced. And, at least as important, the group was inspiring, fun and of a very high level. Great experience!”

Bart Markus

CEO GAP Technology

“The true value of the Masterclass program for me was the ability to share and learn from other people that are doing the same work but in different ways.  Having been on 40+ boards I have developed a very specific style and it was refreshing to hear other perspectives on how to contribute and add value as a board member.”

Femke Markus

Partner, Spring Associates

“For me the Board Masterclass was an excellent journey to come to the realization that an effective Board member it is not about constantly showing and presenting ‘expertise and experience’ but that it is about asking the CEO and his/her team the right questions – that you can only ask when having the right experience. The Masterclass really challenged us in the traditional Board member role thinking, the format was a very nice balance between theory and practice and such that we were pushed to practice and apply different behavior”

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