Items filtered by date: March 2019

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Items filtered by date: March 2019
Monday, 04 March 2019 14:19
image 2019 03 07

A warm welcome to our new co-founder Esther van Loon! She is currently still looking for a co-founder who joins her on her adventure to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry with a digital startup. Curious to learn more about her? Check out the blog below...

What drove you to join Holland Startup as an entrepreneur in residence?
Esther: 
I want to restore the public and private balance within the pharmaceutical industry. When I was writing my thesis, I realized how complex the pharmaceutical industry actually is; the system is complex, there are many different parties involved all with different (self-)interests. Furthermore, the industry is not transparent and it is therefore difficult to define a real problem definition. Let alone come up with a solution. My head was a jumble of problems and once I formulated a problem definition, I had difficulty investigating/supporting the problem. That is when I realized the pharmaceutical industry is too complex to build a disruptive startup on you own, which is why I joined Holland Startup; to help me focus and coach me through the lean start up.

Tell us what you’re going to be working on with Holland Startup and your co-founder?
Esther: 
Together, we are going to build a disruptive startup to change pharmaceutical cultures. First,  we will perform field research to improve our knowledge regarding the pharmaceutical industry. Then we will clearly define several problems within the industry and together will choose the one that we find most interesting and build a startup from it.

What is your learning goal in the first month?
Esther: 
Focus, compartmentalize problems, getting to know the cofounder and have fun!

Best part about what you’ve been doing so far?
Esther: 
Meeting incredible people that might want to become cofounder.

Which successful entrepreneur/company inspires you and why?
Esther: 
MyTomorrows, because I believe they have potential of making a difference within the pharmaceutical industry.

What do you think is the most challenging part of your position?
Esther: 
Ego’s and different interests.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Esther: 
Listen to your own feeling.

What did you expect when you joined Holland Startup?
Esther: 
Coaching and financial support. I would describe Holland Startup as "Enablers". 

What are you looking for in a co-founder?
Esther: 
Someone that is similar to me but fulfills me in my weaknesses and vice versa. For example, I can be quite impulse and wanting to move forward too quickly. Therefore, I would like the co-founder to be more cautious.

What does no one agree on with you?
Esther: 
My taste in music.

How do you think your best friends would describe you?
Esther: 
Funny, ambitious, energetic and determined.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Esther: 
Pharmaceutical cultures! Simplifying the drug development process and yet enabling safe innovative drug products to enter the market with an affordable price.

Where are you from?
Esther: 
Oosterhesselen, tiny village in the province Drenthe 

Tell us what it was like growing up in your hometown.
Esther: 
Until I was twelve I lived in Oosterhesselen where I felt I had a very safe upcoming. Then I moved to Barcelona where I lived most my teenage years and developed the pillars that established the person that I am today.

What was your childhood dream job?
Esther: 
Becoming a researcher and finding the cure against cancer.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Esther: 
Determined, funny and down to earth.

What is your favorite thing to do in Utrecht?
Esther: 
Sitting on the terrace with friends in the summer.

What is your top-secret advice for people in or coming to Utrecht?
Esther: 
When it is spring buy a floating boat and some beers. Cycle to Krommerijn, set up your boat get inside and get comfy. The current will get you to the city center.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Esther: 
I could live everywhere for one or two years, but in the end I would want my permanent residence to be the Netherlands, maybe in Utrecht.

What book or movie do you think everyone should read/see and why?
Esther: 
Unbroken, I love how determined he is and how he does not let horrific life changing experiences get him down. Instead it makes him stronger. Furthermore, what I find beautiful about the movie is that even though his life was made impossible when given the opportunity he rises above it and chooses not to be as petty.

If you could trade places with any other person for one week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be? 
Esther: 
With my best friend, our lives are in many ways 180 degrees completely different and I wonder if that kind of situation would fit me.

Published in 7 LIFE@HS | Blog
Friday, 01 March 2019 15:50
Yvonne

What drove you to join Holland Startup as an entrepreneur in residence?
Yvonne:
I have always had the ambition to change something in the world and make real impact with the work I do. I think that the fastest way to reach that ambition is by entrepreneurship.

Tell us what you’re going to be working on with Holland Startup and your co-founder?
Yvonne:
We want to connect people on a peer-to-peer basis through a platform for non-professional services, like an Uber for small tasks.

What is your learning goal in the first month?
Yvonne:
Get rid of the university mentality and get into business.

Best part about what you’ve been doing so far?
Yvonne:
Everything I do, contributes to the future company we are building.

Which successful entrepreneur/company inspires you and why?
Yvonne:
I just listened to the podcast from Daniel Ek (Spotify)- Masters of scale and I love how he changes the music industry with Spotify, despite the distrust he got from big music labels. He transforms music listeners to music lovers with his app, which is a very inspiring way of treating the customer, not as how they are but what they could become.

What do you think is the most challenging part of your position?
Yvonne:
The most challenging is, for me, that work is never finished, there is always something to research or improve.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Yvonne:
You are responsible for your own happiness.

What did you expect when you joined Holland Startup?
Yvonne:
Nothing, I usually don’t have any expectations when I have no idea what to expect.

What are you looking for in a co-founder?
Yvonne:
Ideally, he would also have eastern-European (preferably Albanian) roots, be funny and he must have the same drive as me.

What does no one agree on with you?
Yvonne:
This is a hard one, I think that many people do not agree with me that the actions of one person can make a difference to the world.

How do you think your best friends would describe you?
Yvonne:
Idealistic, caring and honest.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Yvonne:
Injustice

Where are you from?
Yvonne:
Schiedam, a city close to Rotterdam.

Tell us what it was like growing up in your hometown.
Yvonne:
My neighborhood in Schiedam was very protective and calm. I went to school, ballet, soccer and tennis together with my twin sister, Vera. When I wanted to go out for shopping or fun, I would go to Rotterdam, I still like that city a lot. People in Rotterdam have this ‘niet lullen maar poetsen’ mentality, which means something like ‘stop bragging and do something’ that resonates well with me.

What was your childhood dream job?
Yvonne:
I wanted to be a detective, after watching inspector Morse.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Yvonne:
Open, active and caring

What is your favorite thing to do in Utrecht?
Yvonne:
Going for a run along the canals.

What is your top-secret advice for people in or coming to Utrecht?
Yvonne:
Walk or play tennis in the Rhijnauwen forest and check out the cows, sheep and Dutch scenery, then eat pancakes in theehuis Rhijnauwen.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Yvonne:
Singapore

What book or movie do you think everyone should read/see and why?
Yvonne:
‘Running lean’ by Ash Maurya. I just got it as a present from Holland Startup and it is a very useful book if you want to start your own company. If you want to learn more about people, brains and why we keep making stupid decisions: ‘thinking, fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman.

Published in 7 LIFE@HS | Blog

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