This is a group of experienced serial entrepreneurs who give advice and share their lessons with the next generation: Duke Urbanik, Martijn Lopes Cardozo, Hessel Jongebreur, Wolter Wefers Bettink, Dimmes Doornhein and Michiel Lensink.
Our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are amongst the most valuable resources in our community. They know everything about the pitfalls of starting a company, and provide both strategic and operational advice to young and ambitious founders.
Duke is an entrepreneurial veteran. As a student, Duke started his software company in the early days of Personal Computing. The company grew into a multinational software supplier of Laboratory Information Systems, and was sold to a US multinational. Since then he has participated and/or invested in several start-ups and spin-out companies, some very successful, a single one a blatant misery. In 2010 he became Entrepreneur in Residence within YES!Delft. Since 2015, Duke is quartermaster, founder and finally first chairman for the social part of CIC-Rotterdam: the Venture Café: an innovation community that attracts 200-300 innovators every Thursday.
Martijn is a serial entrepreneur from the US West Coast who has built a number of successful companies in software, mobile and digital media. After he came back to the Netherlands he decided to focus his energy on transitioning the world from a “take, make and dispose” linear economy to a circular economy in which materials can be upcycled and re-used. He is currently the CEO of Black Bear, a circular economy company that retrieves high value materials from end-of-life tires and serves on the board of Circle Economy. He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as TEDx, and Start-up fest. Martijn holds an MSc in Applied Physics from TU Delft and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
General business Strategy coaching. In 2009 Joëlle co-founded Improve Digital, a global media trading platform trading over 10 bln of media units per month in real time. Improve Digital was sold to Swisscom in 2016. The company then employed over 250 people of whom half developers. Improve Digital has offices in 5 countries. Joëlle also co-founded social enterprise InspiringFifty, a network of high profile females in tech with the aim to increase diversity in tech. Next to these ventures, Joëlle is member of company (advisory) boards, a mentor for various start-ups and an active investor.
Hessel founded several tech startups at TU Delft, of which two were successful exits: Tytecker & Ephicas. He was involved in founding YES!Delft and was in the board for 10 years. Over the last 17 years he has been advising tech startups all around. He is in the advisory board of several start-ups, current chairman of the Rabobank Innovation Fund (ZHM) and one of the initiators of RIF010. Together with 2 former YES!Delft entrepreneurs Hessel recently founded a new start-up in renewable liquid hydrocarbons. His expertise lies in strategy, exits, financing, product development, marketing & sales.
Wolter is the in-house Legal Counsel-in-Residence at YES!Delft. He advices and coaches startups on legal matters. For example: how do I protect my intellectual property, what is the right corporate structure for my startup or what should I not forget when creating terms & conditions? He also advises young founders during contract negotiations. How do you respond to an offer, how to smooth negotations and how to close a deal? He also counsels teams on conflicts between shareholders or founders.
Dimmes is an experienced investor and serial entrepreneur. He founded various companies in international consulting, telco, energy, recruitment and online marketing. With his broad experience as interim CEO and Chairman he is active in various roles including: Chairman of the Executive Board at Asia Assist Shanghai, Aureus Analytics and Munisence.
Michiel is a serial entrepreneur. He started his career in Mozambique where he led a company specialised in the production of low-cost water pumps for rural areas. Back in the Netherlands he founded Filtrix, a membrane technology company (now part of the Pentair group) and was asked to join Voltea, a leading water desalination start-up that spun out of Unilever.
With two former YES!Delft entrepreneurs Michiel has recently co-founded Ikbenfrits.nl: an online mortgage broker that is changing the mortgage landscape in the Netherlands very fast. Michiel is also active as a board member of YES!Delft, is member of the commission DEI of the ministry of Economic affairs and is board member of a number of companies and NGO's.
Rolf is a seasoned all-round (interim) HR-director mainly with companies in (high) tech like HP, KPN, ASML and Tebodin. Next Rolf was MD for 13 years with several scaleups. He has a track record in (fast) growth environments, succession & talent management, people & organizational development, mergers & acquisitions but also in downsizing. Helping people and organizations to focus on their strengths and for growth is driving him. Last 13 years he has advised several start- and scaleups. Rolf holds a MSc in business economics and has completed a program for Non-Executive Directors / Members of Supervisory Board in 2017.