Discover our mission and meet the team.
We are impact-driven in our mission. We equip our tech entrepreneurs with access to cutting-edge expertise and first-hand industrial knowledge, which are the cornerstones of a strong and sustainable business foundation. In turn, our startups bring about lasting impact in the world with their innovative solutions to complex challenges.
Meet the team
Sven de Cleyn - Program Director
Sven De Cleyn leads imec.istart in Belgium. He has been in the incubation and tech startup world for over 15 years, accumulating academic know-how through his PhD degree on the success of academic spin-offs, and hands-on experience through the coaching and support of some of Belgium’s leading tech ventures.
John van Laar - Program Manager
John van de Laar is a serial entrepreneur with a career in innovation and venturing. John has lectured at the University of Applied Sciences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Maastricht School of Management. He strongly believes that (business) knowledge, an entrepreneurial mindset, and good leadership are key to making tech-innovations successful.
Jaap Beernink - CEO Novel-T
As a CEO of Novel-T, Jaap Beernink is currently building one of the most successful ecosystems for innovative entrepreneurship in Europe – one in which startups, scaleups, and SME's flourish. Jaap is also a director of Holding Technopolis Twente, and a member of the Advisory Board of Techleap.nl.
Mike Verkouter - Manager Startup Acceleration Novel-T
As the founder and manager of Incubase, the student incubator at the University of Twente, Mike Verkouter brings extensive experience and connections that support students and founders alike through their entrepreneurial journey. He holds international experience in various domains including higher education, startup, corporate, industries, and government.
Peter Langela - Venture Acceleration Manager
Peter Langela is an active startup coach with over 30 years of experiences in entrepreneurship, management, sales, and business development in the Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey. He is also a serial entrepreneur and has founded companies in a plethora of industries including blockchain technology, Big Data, and Internet of Things for Housing cooperatives.
Lea Milovich - Venture Acceleration Manager
Lea Milovich is an experienced international business developer, entrepreneur, and startup coach. She's has coordinated multinational projects and is currently leading several interdisciplinary teams in the valorization of scientific breakthroughs at the University of Twente and Novel-T. Moreover, Lea is an entrepreneur: CEO of BuBclean, and Co-Founder of InkBeams/FlowBeams - both spin-offs from the University of Twente.
Tim de Kraker - Venture Acceleration Manager
Tim de Kraker is an active startup coach with an extensive background as a serial startup entrepreneur. He has founded several companies ranging from the printing management software Market and Digital Asset Management to the hospitality industry. Tim is a team player, with a people-oriented leadership style, and an innate talent in fostering collaboration and growth. On a strategic level, Tim brings to the imec.istart.nl team - and in his role as a startup coach- his expertise in talent development, organizational scalability, and long-term vision and strategy.
Bart Nelissen - Venture Acceleration Manager
Bart is an experienced business developer/venture builder that over the years has supported and coached many academics at the universities of Eindhoven and Antwerp in becoming more entrepreneurial and starting their own business all the way from exploring the initial ideas to founding the company and raising the first funding. He loves working at the interface of science, technology and business and tackling the complexity of building and growing a successful tech startup. His main field of expertise is in Health and MedTech but any technology based startup will trigger his curiosity.
Muriel Jolivert - Operation Coordinator
Muriel Jolivert brings with her an extensive background in project management within established international organizations including the International Monetary Fund and the Embassy of the Netherlands. With a structure-oriented mindset and a knack for organization, she is excited to be part of imec.istart.nl’s newly minted program with guidance from its strong roots in Belgium.
Isabelle Duteweerd - Marketing
As our marketeer, Isabelle Duteweerd keeps you up-to-date about everything that’s happening with imec.istart.nl. And of course, she makes sure you know how and where to find us within seconds. Isabelle turns complex information on innovations within the startup industry into accessible and legible material. Creating content and campaigns to attract the innovative frontrunners within the startup ecosystem is a true energizer for Isabelle.
Cindy Marsman - Marketing Officer
Cindy Marsman leads the imec.istart.nl and Novel-T marketing team and has many experience in the fields of branding, marketing and communication on a strategic level. Together with the marketeers in the team, she coordinates the imec.istart.nl campaigns, content and events. She loves to put her energy and creativity in building up brands and is always up for a good marketing challenge.