The Scaling Experts

Our faculty members live and breathe scaling. Check out their track record.


scaling expert

Menno van Dijk

Scaling Strategy

Menno is the founder of ScaleUpNation. His expertise is in leadership, business strategy and growth. He helped many companies to scale and he is always looking for supporting the future innovative enterprises. Menno worked for McKinsey & Company in most European countries, US, Australia, South Africa, China and India . Now, his goal is to make scale-ups achieve success, since “only the companies that scale can move the needle in terms of impact, value creation and employment”.

Robert Oushoorn

Business Engine

Robert’s expertise can be found in business strategy. His career started at Shell, as a business analyst and then marketing & sales manager of Europe. After that he joined Strategy& as Partner and Vice President for over 13 years. Then, he joined Bain & Company as partner, for global management consulting that is dedicated to developing practical, action oriented insights to deliver undering results, mostly focusing on strategy, operations, technology, organizations and M&A decisions.

Robert has a MsC in Chemistry from Leiden University, a PhD in Chemistry and Physics from Paris-Sud university, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Rod Ben Zeev

Rod Ben Zeev

Mission & Vision

Rod’s career started off with playwriting and screenwriting, having passed through stand-up comedy, storytelling, and improvisational theatre. His main metric of success? LPM - laughs per minute. He uses those soft skills for training behavior change through role plays, writing for film and television, and teaching Design Thinking and Leadership at THNK, the School for Creative Leadership.

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.

Karin Verzijden

Karin Verzijden


Karin is an intellectual property lawyer and licensing expert. She’s active in the life sciences sector, with a focus on food.

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.

Robert Wolfe

Mission & Vision

Robert has a long track record of facilitating modules on leadership and personal development - he is one of the founding members of THNK, the School for Creative Leadership, he’s in the faculty of the Amani Institute, and has moderated courses on design thinking and innovation in several renowned universities (Wharton, Columbia, Stanford). In 2002 he founded his own company, where he designs learning journeys for senior management, focusing on strategic thinking, self awareness and next level communication skills. Robert is also the author of 4 young adult novels.

His specialty is helping leaders communicate with connection, vision and startling authenticity, which are the skills he brings to the ScaleUpFood program.

Food & Agri


Jonathan Teoh


Jonathan Teoh is the founder and commercial director at Doppio Espresso - joining the company in a very early stage and helping it develop to one of the leading brands in the national market, which expanded via franchise. Jonathan was responsible for the general management, business development, franchising, marketing and operations.

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.

Jan Meiling


Jan currently is the managing director of Startlife, aiming to shape the future of food. He is a dedicated professional with over 20 years of experience in driving innovation and business in the food, agro and green biotech industries. Before joining Startlife, he has gained experience at DSM and the Wageningen University and research centre.

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 Wesdorp

Technology Strategy

Leendert is a creative and inventive scientist with deep experience in food and technology. In his own words, his motivation is to “improve people's well-being and leave a healthy planet to the next generation”.

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.

Jeroen Willemsen


Jeroen is the “protein commissioner of the Netherlands”. Currently, Jeroen is the innovation lead protein shift at FoodValley, which has since 2004 been developing and strengthening the F&A ecosystem as an international network of organizations and companies that jointly work on the transition towards a sustainable food system.

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.

Loet Rammelsberg


Loet is a highly entrepreneurial professional with a strong desire to gain new skills and find business opportunities. Currently, he is program director at Startlife where he supports Food & Agtech entrepreneurs to turn their idea into a viable business, create partnerships with innovative corporates and share his experience along the way.

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

Rene Jongen

Rene Jongen

Commercial Excellence

Rene Jongen has a background in business strategy and marketing, having managed business units in different tech companies. He then rose up to partner at Boer & Coon, a management consulting firm, where he helped companies streamline their marketing & sales strategies for nearly 10 years. In 2014 he founded RevelX, a strategy consulting firm that supports organizations with the design and execution of growth, innovation and go-to-market strategies. Along with his co-founders, he helps clients sail the waves of digital transformation through strategic innovation.

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.

Team & Operations

Jan Smit


Anne Mieke Eggenkamp

Anne Mieke Eggenkamp

Leadership & Board

Anne Mieke believes that “re-inventing today’s world requires new ways of thinking and doing”. Her mission is to help entrepreneurial leaders design new possible futures and apply creative intelligence to transform their business.

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.

Nina Kotterik

Chief Operational Officer

Miranda Berkhof

Venture Partner & Leadership Coach

ScaleUpBoard Experts

Jan Paul Grollé

Business Case Facilitator

Jan Paul’s career has been focused on digital transformation for over 20 years, in roles that ranged from journalist, to intrapreneur, to senior global executive. His experience in the scientific publishing industry revealed to him the limitations in traditional governance practices, but also the opportunities to improve. So he went on to become an independent coach on innovation and leadership. In 2015 he joined Rockstart as Program Director of “Renew the Book”, an international startup accelerator. He also joined THNK, the School for Creative Leadership, as an enterprise coach, guiding participants on their individual innovation projects.

At ScaleUpFood his role is to guide participants through the program’s business case module, a practical simulation of different scaling challenges.

Jolanda Holwerda

Program Director

Anne Mieke Eggenkamp

Board Leadership & Composition

Marlies de Ruyter de Wildt

Hard & Soft Controls in the Board Room

Salmaan Sana

Frustrations in the Board Room

Ilmar Hotsma

Board Governance

Patrick Polak

Financing for Growth

Rob Becker

Board Dilemmas

Dr. Natalia Blagburn

Board Governance

Dorine Wekking

Board Governance

Natalija Counet

Share Options

Venture Partners

Ingrid van Rossum


Miranda Berkhof


Pieter Tavenier


Ian Wachters


Olaf Knijn


Jan-Willem van Wensem


Peter Kurstjens


Rard Rijcken


Ronald Monster


Mijke van Ballegooien


Evert van Holthoon


Guido Dubbeld


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