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Saturday is a super exciting day since we have Paul Stomph here! There is a list of reasons why. First off, Paul has a lengthy experience as an entrepreneur. Right after graduating from Building Engineering in 2011, Paul became self-employed and has never worked under a boss since. As he says,

“The regular 9 to 5 thing doesn’t interest me, neither does the pursuing of someone else’s bestowed vision.”

Well, we can only agree! As CEO & Co-Founder of QwikSense B.V., Paul also has a lot of experience with startups. He participated in programs like Rockstart Accelerator,

SWUtrecht chats with the mentor Paul Stomph
SWUtrecht chats with the mentor Paul Stomph

UtrechtInc, and Climate-KIC Accelerator. Last but not least: we love having Paul here at SWUtrecht because of his involvement organising it last year. His return as a mentor puts a smile on all our faces.

Paul, who is your role model?

That is Elon Musk for sure, a real dreamer. Without the dare to dream, this world will not be a better place for everyone. As a child he got inspirited by science fiction, and intended to make the world more sustainable and safe.

 

What is the most comprehensive book you have read about startups?

The book Zero to One written by Peter Thiel opened my eyes on how to build distinctive companies. The point is not to add something to existing ideas, but to create a totally new one.

Can you name three personal traits necessary to launch and run a successful startup?

Dare to do. Be patient, but act strong. Above of all, have fun!

What is the most impressive startup you’ve seen so far?

Treatwell. They make an exit of 34 million euros after 18 months. The concept is really simple, the Booking.com for beauty treatments, but very effective.

Why did you launch a startup?

To be free and to spend your time doing the things you like, and acting on things you believe in. Being an employee of a corporation means working for a vision that is not yours. It was my intention to see my vision come alive.

On a more personal note: what’s your typical Sunday?

Depends on the weather. If the sun shines, I am outdoors running, driving my mountain bike, or enjoying the city. In other cases, I can spend hours watching a great television series like House of Cards. I like to cook, so at the end of the day there will be always a nice meal!

Last but not least, why did you come back to SWUtrecht this year?

I organised SWUtrecht last year and I realized that mentors have a lot of influence while launching a startup. After my startup Quicksense went through Rockstart Accellerator, I’ve collected more than two years of experience that I want to share with others. SWUtrecht is a place with beautiful ideas. I’m addicted to continuously searching for solutions. In future, I envision myself continuing supporting other startups and also founding new ideas on my own. As well as working in a startup, SWUtrecht gives you the chance to do great things on your own, while working in a corporate you are a small part of a bigger, and usually not very efficient, machine of actions.

We raise a cup of coffee to Paul who rushes away to meet other teams to help them out to reach their goals!

Cheers!

Monika Dainyte