Our faculty members live and breathe scaling. Check out their track record.
Robert has a MsC in Chemistry from Leiden University, a PhD in Chemistry and Physics from Paris-Sud university, and an MBA from INSEAD.
At ScaleUpNation his focus is on “Storytelling for Impact” - coaching teams on how to tell their story in a way that makes a difference.
Rod holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam.
Since 2010 she has practiced at Axon Lawyers, a niche firm that serves clients in the fields of food, pharma, medical devices and e-health. She is responsible for assisting companies in the generation, protection and exploitation of IP. Previously, she practiced in different law firms, both Dutch and international, and was Senior Legal Counsel at the Leiden University Medical Centre.
In the ScaleUpFood program Karin shares her expertise in IP law, sharing with participants what it takes to negotiate license deals or R&D cooperations, regulatory advice on product qualification and market access, and GDPR queries. Her area of expertise is functional foods, feed and pharmaceuticals.
His specialty is helping leaders communicate with connection, vision and startling authenticity, which are the skills he brings to the ScaleUpFood program.
In 2019, Gijs started Gritd: one of the most important partners in the start-up ecosystem to support the government, incubators and early-stage financiers that are committed to accelerating the growth of start-ups. Grits offers unique insights into how start-ups grow and translates these insights into content that guides more scale-ups with data driven tools.
His passion is developing data-driven training and tools, and to support entrepreneurs in realising measurable goals.
Aside from his experience in the capital market, Tijl has also joined as venture partner and board member at several investor boards, with innovative companies such as Pieter Pot, Foamplant, Phenospex and Arobrea. He is also the founding Partner of Future Food Fund, an independent venture capital fund that was founded by 25 entrepreneurs and the Dutch government, which focuses on innovative, high growth Dutch F&A companies with an up to 2mio financing need.
His experience can mainly be found in leading food and agriculture transformation, and strategy and innovation with a focus on sustainable transformation. A common denominator in his previous work is sustainability, ranging from the clean tech and the energy sector, to the F&A sustainability transformation.
Jaap has a Master degree in PHysics at University of Utrecht, a master degree in econometrics at the University of Amsterdam, and MBA at INSEAD.
He connects his strategic vision with reality and feasibility, achieving the agreed upon goals and taking the interest of all stakeholders involved into account. Jos is experienced in the B2B fine chemicals and food ingredients industry. This expertise includes financial analysis and management, optimizing business processes, business development, innovation and acquisitions.
He has a degree in Mathematics from Leiden University, and MA in Molecular sciences at Wageningen university.
He holds not one, but two degrees from Wageningen University, one of the leading food&agri universities in the world: a bachelor’s degree in Health & Society, and a master’s degree in Management, Economics & Consumer studies. After graduation, Thomas co-founded BoxBites, an healthy snack company which grew to €80K revenue in one year. The company was acquired 2 years later. He then joined InnoLeaps as a consultant, working on projects with Ahold, Rabobank, AB InBev, Unilever, and others. He was also a program manager and venture developer at Startife, where he worked with several food & agri ventures on customer development, business modeling and pitch training.
In 2018 he joined Innovation Industries as an investment analyst, focusing on hightech and agri-foodtech early-stage and growth companies. Since 2020 he has been the Business Creation & Investment Manager at EIT Food, a EU-funded consortium of industry & academic partners in the food industry.
Thomas' primary goal is to help Food & Agri and life sciences ventures grow. At ScaleUpFood he will do that by offering participants advice on their investment strategy.
As co-founder of F&A next, the first European platform that connects investors, start-ups and scale-ups in the food and agricultural domain, Jeroen envisions creating a flourishing ecosystem where start-ups to have access to finance, knowledge and networks to turn their new ideas and technologies into tomorrow’s game-changing solution.
The aim of Jeroen is the acceleration of innovation and entrepreneurship in F&A by leveraging network and industry knowledge, with the overarching goal to strategically engage with the best companies in the sector. His expertise can be found in financing and fundraising.
After Doppio, he worked freelance as a consultant, being involved in a variety of strategic and management assignments, before starting at StartLife as a start-up coach and joining Foodvalley as entrepreneurship lead. Jonathan is responsible for the development and implementation of strategy for a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem in which the most promising ventures can innovate and accelerate to impact the transition to a sustainable global food system.
Jonathan has a proven track record of building a significant market presence in a competitive consumer market. In his opinion, a strong brand identity, hospitality, encouraging personal growth and working for a greater good are drivers for business growth and expansion. His areas of expertise can be found in franchising, branding, business development, leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing.
Next to Startlife, Jan is co-founder and director of F&A Next, a conference that engages start-ups and scale-ups with investors and corporate innovations, and thus promotes businesses for impact. F&A Next is a strategically motivated and powerful joint venture of Startlife, Rabobank, Wageningen University and Anterra Capital, each bringing in unique and complementary networks and perspectives.
Jan’s specialities are in innovation management, technology transfers, and start-ups.
Leendert boasts an impressive career at Unilever: over the course of 30 years, he took on the roles of Project Leader, Head of Product Development, and Director R&D, ultimately joining the global leadership team as Vice President of R&D. After that he joined the supervisory and advisory board of different food & agri institutions - Dechema, Institute of Sustainable Process Technology, Barry Callebaut group, and others. In 2016 he started his own practice, offering R&D and business strategy advice to public and private organizations in the fields of Foods Science and Technology, with a focus on Edible Oils & Fats.
In ScaleUpFood, he works with scale-up teams to translate their business vision into a challenging technology strategy, and then to create an effective delivery plan in the short and long term.
Next to his position at Foodvalley, Jeroen is the founder and spokesman at the Green Protein Alliance: a worldwide unique, fast growing alliance accelerating the consumption of plant protein. Their ambition is a more healthy and sustainable 50/50 intake of animal and plant protein, that wants to inspire consumers to make a difference. He is also a consultant at Food for Impact. In short, everything Jeroen does is to inspire consumers and businesses to make a difference in the food industry and make our diet a bit more sustainable in a social, environmental, and commercial way.
Jeroen has over 20 years of experience in the area of food research and entrepreneurship.
Before joining Startlife, Loet gained his experience as an entrepreneur setting up Vicancy: an innovative marketing company that specializes in recruitment, where he was the creative director. Now his mission is to foster entrepreneurship in the food and agtech sector, to support entrepreneurs and their teams as they develop their innovative business ideas into global enterprises with a lasting impact.
Loet has a BA in Tropical Agriculture, writing his thesis on the extent to which bilateral development banks apply Genetically Modified Organisms policies and/or criteria in their investment criteria. He spent six months on an internship at a sustainable food technology start-up in Silicon Valley, on an entrepreneurship scholarship from Harvard, Standard and MIT.
Sales & Marketing
At ScaleUpNation he helps teams develop a winning sales strategy. His expertise is in commercial excellence, value proposition design, coaching and change management in commercial organisations, and persuasive communication strategies.
He has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of roles and industries. In the last 5 years alone he has become a branding associate at EY VODW, started his own practice (irresistible branding), wrote a column at the Marketing Tribune, joined Viisi as the creative director, and founded his own brewery (Willsark).
At ScaleUpNation, he helps teams create a branding strategy that will make them stand out.
Peter holds a Master’s degree in History of Art (Leiden University, 1985), and is a Doctor of Philosophy (Delft University of Technology, 1988).
Team & Operations
In order to scale, teams need to work together to a particular business beat when they want to scale a company. At the ScaleUpFood program, she will help you define that beat and achieve sustainable growth, using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and Lean principles.
Francesca’s mantra is “Ideas are easy, execution is everything. And discipline will set you free.”
Currently, Martijn works as independent advisor and interim HR developer, to strengthen the HR strategy, optimize organization, and help to improve sustainable employability. His specialties can be found in human resources management, translating business needs and HR expertise into practical interventions, leadership and talent management, and managing growth.
Martijn has a Master of Science in industrial engineering at the TU of Eindhoven. He also joined the Corporate Governance and Responsible leadership program at Nyenrode Business university.
Anne Mieke is a trained designer and experienced board member. She has worked in different disciplines and countries, and in 2016 she co-founded her own business innovation consulting firm - Caracta. She and her co-founder help companies design their future direction, brand positioning and transformation journeys (clients include AkzoNobel, Red Cross, Corbion, KLM, Atlassian, The Hague University). She also serves as chair of the supervisory board at BYBORRE, an innovative textile innovation studio, alongside several other advisory and supervisory board positions.
In ScaleUpNation she is responsible for building creative leadership and the essential competencies for driving scale. Her focus is on companies working in the field of food, agriculture and circular economy.
Anieke is passionate about helping companies articulate and accelerate strategic business development and innovation initiatives. She always says there’s 2 sides to innovation: the one you can see - prototypes, project plans, business cases - and the invisible side. Everything that is related to passion, human interactions and learning. Anieke believes that those aspects are the true enablers for innovation, and in her interventions she strives to bring those aspects out with change management techniques, combined with innovation management tools.
Anieke holds a PhD in Chemistry (Utrecht, 1997), a Master’s degree in Advanced Change Methodologies (SIOO, 2011) and an education in Corporate Governance (ESAA 2020).
At ScaleUpFood his role is to guide participants through the program’s business case module, a practical simulation of different scaling challenges.
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