Simone, 27, is a director of Capital Tour XXL and she recently joined the Amsterdam Capital Week team. Her goal at Capital Tour XXL is to ‘demystify the world of funding’ in different cities in the world. Find out more about her background, what particularly attracts her to the startup world and what she predicts for the Dutch startup ecosystem in the near future.
Interview with Simone Schoutens
1. Hi Simone, thank you for agreeing to do the interview. Could you tell us a bit about your background and your role in the Dutch startup scene?
I have a background in communications and a bachelor in editing and media productions from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Since May, I have my own company, Capital Tour XXL. It’s a project I started in 2015 when the concept was still a part of Professional Rebel. I got introduced to the startup ecosystem there and I immediately felt that I wanted to be a part of their organization. Since I try to grab every opportunity that comes my way, I started helping Professional Rebel as a volunteer before they offered me a job. I have worked there for almost 3 years, learned a lot about the startup scene and I had a chance to grow my network, meet a lot of entrepreneurs, work with corporates’ clients and get to know the investor landscape. My role was to help fill the gap between startups and corporates and later on between start-ups and investors with Capital Tour XXL.
2. You’ve recently joined the Amsterdam Capital Week team. Tell us about your role and how the preparations for the most important startup annual event are going?
I have joined the Amsterdam Capital Week team five weeks ago, so it’s really fresh :). In the upcoming months, I will be leading the marketing and communications campaign, so I’m making sure we spread the word about Amsterdam Capital Week. During this week (25th-29th September) there will be more than 20 events, all focused on connecting founders and investors. My job is to make sure that the companies that are a part of Amsterdam Capital Week are well represented in our communication and that we attract the right audience. I’m also helping with partnerships in order to make sure both sides get the most out of the collaboration. The preparations for the event are going really well! A lot of people are still enjoying their holidays, so I expect it will get even busier as we’re approaching the events.
3. You’ve worked at Professional Rebel, and you’re the new owner of Capital Tour XXL. What is it about the startup world that particularly attracts you?
I come from an entrepreneurial family. My father always had his own company and he taught me about the importance of being independent, especially for women. Do something that you love and that gives you energy, then you will be successful. I’m very curious about entrepreneurs – when they tell me about their passion I get inspired. I believe you can do anything if only you set your mind to it. And for me, that’s what the startup world is about and what attracts me to the scene.
4. During Capital Tour XXL, 150 startups will hop on their bikes to meet a selection of the most relevant investors at their offices. Amsterdam Capital Week connects startups and investors and inspires new long-term partnerships. What is the thing you’re most proud of in shaping the Dutch startup ecosystem?
In the recent years, I see a lot more initiatives that help startups grow and connect them with investors, and I’m proud to be a part of that! I really hope that Capital Tour XXL will help demystify the role of capital in the Netherlands, and who knows, in other cities in the world as well!
5. What do you predict for the Dutch startup ecosystem in the near future? What are your plans, what will you focus on?
A lot more people are starting their own business, or they have more entrepreneurial roles inside the organizations they work for. In the future, I think fewer people will work for one company their whole life. For me, it’s really important to keep developing myself in different areas both personally & professionally. For example, in my free time, I love to photograph and visit exhibitions. Professionally, I’m exploring the possibilities to grow Capital Tour XXL more as a company. We have two yearly events happening in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but I would like to explore if Capital Tour XXL can support entrepreneurs in their search for investors in other ways too. I would also like to see if there is a possibility to organize this event outside of the Netherlands!
Thank you for your insights, Simone! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.