Nicolas is co-founder & COO of BlaBlaCar. He leads the company’s international growth and operations. Naturally pragmatic, he uses fast iteration to uncover high-growth opportunities. Nicolas is a strong advocate of local teams and acqui-hire, a strategy he implemented to expand BlaBlaCar’s footprint to a global scale. He also led BlaBlaCar’s $100m financing. He started his career working for start-ups in Silicon Valley during the 2000 boom, moved on to executive and investor roles, and finally worked as a Venture Capitalist in London, before leading BlaBlaCar’s global expansion.
Jan Kees de Jager was the Dutch minister of Finance from 2010 to 2012, but he originally was an entrepreneur. After his graduation he started a company with a college friend: IT company ‘ISM eCompany’. At the moment he is Chief Financial Officer at KPN.
BlaBlaCar started in 2006 as a startup in France. Due to the rising popularity it quickly expanded to neighbouring- and large countries in Europe. Shana Smeets was hired and made responsible for the expansion to the Benelux, making her CEO of the corresponding countries.
Jelle Prins saw a revolution coming and chose to be an entrepreneur. He started to build apps with some friends and got the attention of the founder of Uber, who asked him to build a prototype. After starting Moop he is now back at Uber, where it all started!
Steinar Henskes started the Bachelor Electrical Engineering, but after a year he switched to Business Administration at the VU. Since he was four years old he practiced Judo for sports, there he learned a mentality he still applies in his life as an entrepreneur nowadays, especially the discipline and the perseverance. Steinar founded the company Bird Control Group, where he is now CEO. The company is a YES!Delft Startup, which provides ‘efficient, easy to use and animal friendly solutions to keep birds at a safe distance from commercial activities’, quoting their website. Their customers come from all over the world and are mainly airports and farmers. Last year Steinar Henskes received the title of student entrepreneur of the world 2015 and he is just getting started!
John van Schagen is journalist, host and presenter. Working for BNR Niewsradio he is responsible for the business-program ‘Zakendoen met’ (Doing Business with). He also wrote a book about young entrepreneurs, making him te perfect candidate to host the E-Forum!
Martje Schoemaker is a Jack-of-all-trades when it’s about making radio. She produces, directs, edits, presents and does the technique. Apart from that she also writes for whomever is interested and for herself. All of this she does on a freelance basis, in name of her one-man business called De Mensen De Dingen (The People The Things).