Robert Walters’ Director Pim van der Groen: ‘This is a unique opportunity for startups to start building their global presence’

Interview with Pim van der Groen, Director Robert Walters

With the third edition of Draper’s Silicon Spring Pitch Prize just around the corner, startup founders have a chance to win a free ticket into Draper University’s five-week Hero Training program. Yes, you read that right. It’s a chance to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime program in Silicon Valley at no cost to the startup.

Pim van der Groen, Director in Executive Search at Robert Walters Eindhoven, and partner of this third edition, weighed in with his thoughts on the competition and opportunity.

“As executive search and recruitment specialists, there are few things – if any – that excite us more than talent and passion chasing ambitious goals and a higher purpose,” he says.

“We followed the past edition of Draper’s Silicon Pitch Prize with great interest and saw the actual impact it had on some of its winners, such as Theresa Voss, CCO and co-founder of chunkx, and Kinga Matuła, CEO and co-founder of QurieGen. We are thrilled to join Draper University, LUMO Labs and the other partners to contribute to the continued success of this contest and the impact-driven innovation it encourages.”

And while the Netherlands produces innovative startups, Van der Groen believes the U.S. perspective of the Draper program is important for Dutch and European startups. In his opinion, the U.S. perspective complements the Dutch diligence and thoroughness in terms of scale and audacity. In addition to this, the link to Silicon Valley is invaluable for these early startups.

“Not being interlinked with Silicon Valley, is just not an option for any company aspiring global relevance nowadays,” Van der Groen says.

Located in 31 different countries spanning global financial and tech hubs, Robert Walters knows the importance of being a global company. It’s about building long-term relationships and being a reliable contributor to each local ecosystem. Draper University’s intense, five-week program can help participating startups start this herculean effort of building their global presence.

Van der Groen added, “For startup founders, this pitch competition is a truly unique opportunity to challenge your perspectives and to effectively grow your network and your networking abilities.”

With the program led by early-stage U.S. investor, Tim Draper, this program is not to be missed.

Calling all startups based in the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany. You have another two weeks to submit your applications. All the information about the program and how to apply are here. Submissions are due by March 23, 2023.