Interview with Suzanne Snel, Entrepreneur in Residence

Every month we put an Entrepreneur in Residence in the spotlight. This time it is Suzanne Snel, Entrepreneur in Residence who started working with us in January. Suzanne participated in our Pressure Cooker in December, and continued to our program with 3 other candidates. 

You recently started at Holland Startup as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your plans and goals here?

My name is Suzanne Snel, I am 25 years old and I studied Marketing and Communication at Erasmus University. After this I started working at FrieslandCampina as a Communications Specialist. 

After my job as a Communications Specialist at FrieslandCampina, I soon noticed that the standard picture didn't really suit me. I've known for a long time that I want to start my own business, but I just didn't know how. I had no idea, no people around me with whom I could do that and it was also very difficult to combine with my full-time job. 

And then Holland Startup came into play. It solves all these problems. My goal here is to learn a lot. At Holland Startup it's not just theory, you also put it into practice right away, and I think that works best. Ideally, I would like to start a company here that makes a real impact. It doesn't even have to be life changing, if only to change something small in the world.

What do you expect to do at Holland Startup and what do you expect from Holland Startup's role in this?

I see Holland Startup mainly as the guiding factor. You have a kind of independent party that you can spar with every now and then and who also tells you if you are going in the wrong direction. You have a kind of weekly accountability meeting, and that provides a lot of guidance. I expect to do a lot of experiments to find out what kind of business I'm going to start. I expect to talk to a lot of potential customers, and hopefully eventually come to the golden formula.

What do you think will be the most challenging part of your adventure here?

I'm quite an introverted person, so my biggest challenge at the moment is, for example, approaching people for a consumer interview. Sales will therefore also be quite a challenge. You really have to step out of your comfort zone to talk to people. That can be scary at times, but you also learn a lot from it.

What drives you to join Holland Startup as an entrepreneur?

A combination of the community of like minded people, who have all walked the same path, and partly also the support you get. You don't have all the risk for yourself, but you share it. That way, you feel like you're not all alone.

Which word best describes you?

I think "empathically". I always think about how other people experience certain things. I also never have anything against people, because I think they will always have a reason for what they do or say. This can sometimes be nice, but it can also sometimes work against you.

What was your dream job when you were a child?

Something completely different, because when I was really young I really wanted to become a Dolphin Trainer.

What is your favorite thing to do in Utrecht?

Nice walk through the Twijnstraat (which is also where I live). I think the Twijnstraat is one of the nicest streets in Utrecht. Stroll around and go to the bakery or to the cheese shop.

What is your secret advice for people who come to Utrecht?

Escape Rooms and the fun games shops that you can find along the canals, for example. I'm quite fond of Escape Rooms myself, and the game shops are also typical for Utrecht.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I don't necessarily have to live somewhere abroad. I lived abroad for half a year, but I was very happy when I came back to the Netherlands. Everything is well organized here, there is a good infrastructure and you have good care… But if I chose the weather, I would secretly want to go to the South of France.

Who do you have a lot of respect for in life and who do you look up to?

I have a lot of respect for my grandmother. She grew up in a Japanese camp and she has been through a lot, but she is one of the most strong and independent women I know, who always followed her own path. For example, she was divorced at a time when that was not acceptable and has always worked. She turned 80 last year and still regularly drinks me out when we go out for a beer.

What's the best advice you've heard?

Start before you're ready!

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