Meet Mercator Launch’s program manager

Name: Brechtje Vreenegoor
Occupation: Program Manager & Business Coach @ Mercator Launch
Life quote:  “You never fail until you stop trying” –  Albert Einstein
Wakes up at night for: Good news from supported entrepreneurs

We spoke with one of the initiators of Mercator Launch: Brechtje Vreenegoor. Brechtje is Program manager & coach at Mercator Launch. She recently joined Radboud Innovation but feels right at home on campus, even though she is a business coach. No wonder, Brechtje sees innovation and entrepreneurship everywhere!

Brechtje, now a StartUp coach, studied law and business administration at Radboud University. After finishing her studies, she realized she needed to find a job in the “grown-up world,” as she called it. However, she was not sure what she wanted to do for a living. She ‘accidentally’ got involved in developing and managing innovation projects. A great experience because she got to see all kinds of innovative companies from the inside. Ever since, she has been working with enthusiastic entrepreneurs, mostly start-ups, that intend to change the world by bringing new products or services to the market. Now she is back at the University, where she is responsible for Mercator Launch and will be coaching the start-ups on campus.

“On Campus there are so many enthusiastic people with extremely good ideas. They want turn their ideas into something bigger but they are not sure how. We can help those people get started.” Brechtje is excited about Mercator Launch and its goal to help entrepreneurs grow as a person while boosting new ideas, new careers and new businesses. “By helping these entrepreneurs, I get to make a difference and contribute to changing the world indirectly. That is just awesome!”

if you think about becoming an entrepreneur, Brechtje believes the Nijmegen campus is the place-to-be. It basically offers start-ups everything they need. For years now, the campus has invested in all kinds of entrepreneurial courses, housing, state-of-the art facilities, but also funds to get started. With Mercator Launch it has added a place for entrepreneurs to meet likeminded people and get in touch with customers, investors and coaches to support and guide them. The region itself will also boost your company. It has a startup friendly ecosystem with many accelerators, incubators and investors. And even though Nijmegen is only 1 hour from Amsterdam, it doesn’t have traffic jams, office space is available at a normal price and the city is located near Germany, where many business opportunities await.

Why haven’t you heard of all this before? Because the people in Nijmegen are really down to earth, Brechtje explains. They are simply too modest and humble compared to other parts of the country. Mercator Launch will show the real potential of this campus and this region!

When we asked Brechtje about the biggest mistake you can make in entrepreneurship, she said: “The biggest mistake is arrogance. If you are arrogant, nobody is willing to help you and you will probably not succeed in business. Business is not only about business, it is mostly about people.” Brechtje also thinks that it is really important to focus on your business and that it takes time and efforts to start something up from scratch.

“Collect feedback from experts and improve yourself and your business all the time. But always hold on to your principles.”

— Brechtje