Tell us a little bit about your role at Innoleaps, what does a Lead Venture Builder do?
As a Lead Venture Builder, I manage the innovation projects from start to finish. Project objectives can be; develop a new product and/or business model. This starts by getting the corporate-startup team in the lean methodology mindset and to help navigate them through the different stages of business building; understanding their consumers, test hypotheses and experiment with solutions. In the end our goal is to make the corporate-startup team successful owners of a growing business.
And how did you end up working at Innoleaps?
After my studies and some work experience, I quickly realized that I wanted to work in an innovative dynamic company. And when I went travelling in between jobs, I was thinking of business ideas all day long. I was full of creative ideas and it gave me so much energy. In the end, I just wanted to ‘get to work’. So I wrote to the CEO of Innoleaps to see if I could come in for an interview. I walked out with an internship that turned into a full-time position after 3 months. I have now worked at Innoleaps for over four and half years, time really flies!
What do you love about the work you do?
I love our approach and believe it is very unique. I love the entrepreneurial way of working, and the fact that I can play 'on the field' and not stand on the sidelines. I am able to get my hands dirty and contribute to building businesses for a better tomorrow. As the world is changing, businesses are changing and it’s great to be part of that change, especially when business ideas become more sustainable. Working on durable/sustainable solutions and products is an aspect of my work I find important. It's very close to my heart and personal purpose and morals.
What skills do you think are crucial to be successful as a Lead Venture Builder?
I think It’s important to remain adaptable. Each project that we do really demands a different approach compared to its predecessor. There is no ‘one size fits all‘ approach to the work we do. Alongside this, being happy to work in an uncertain environment is crucial. At the beginning of a project you never know what will come out of it. I find this uncertainty exciting, but it can be a difficult place to be in for clients. So in this time, it comes down to having a strong set of 'soft skills' so you can guide, help and manage different situations that arise.
Every Venture Builder has a different background and has specific tools in their 'tool belt', but some of the crucial skills are; consumer-centric business modelling, concept creation and being able to design experiments to test assumptions.
Why do you believe that it's paramount for companies to focus on sustainability now, rather than later?
Companies, both big and small, really can't ignore the need for sustainable innovation. By being agile now and adopting sustainable practices, businesses are not only safeguarding the planet’s health; they are future-proofing their revenue streams. Alongside this, it's really a personal passion of mine to contribute to the world in a more sustainable manner, and I feel lucky that I'm able to do that through Innoleaps and the projects we work on as well as in my private life.
What was your favourite Innoleaps project this year?
Well, It's only May but one of my favourite projects links back to sustainability. We worked together with Tetrapak & Nestlé on something very cool! I can't reveal much about the project just yet, but it was focussing on sustainable packaging and there were some very cool outcomes from the project! Stay tuned!