Tell us about yourself?
Think big, believe in what you do, create excellence and deliver the impossible A successful, high calibre business leader and product expert with 20+ years experience working in start-ups and scale-ups.
Expertise in combining innovation, consumer insights and strategy to develop and launch disruptive products. Excels at developing new business models to maximise potential of new technologies and products.
Success in the fast track development and launching of 40+ products, including Ed-tech, medical devices, instrumentation and consumer electronics.
I have earned a 1st Class Maters Degree in Product Design Engineering and an MBA. Having lived and worked internationally my whole career I presently live in The Netherlands with my husbanding two children
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
Startups have a glamour associated with them, people often perceive them as being overnight successes. However in reality many people have been working tirelessly behind the scenes for 5-10years already to make that overnight success!!!
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
The tip would be “Hire slowly, fire fast” – I have a tendency to be a problem solver and always looking for a way forward. Sometimes this can work against you as you rapidly scale an organisation.
Everyone you bring in has the potential to disrupt your culture and vision, or enhance it. It is critical not to just hire the best person that is available, but wait until you find a person who will strengthen your fragile business rather than weaken it.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I know what it takes to being something to market, and build a marketplace around something that is truly new. this means investing not only the product itself but also the language and market around it
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Using a good combination of data driven decision making and intuitive leaps. It is important to use data to drive your growth and inform your decision making.
However in the early years that data is often not available. Indecision is more dangerous than the wrong decision. It is important to always build and create momentum.
Learning every step of the way. Doing more of what works, and stopping what is not working. That is harder than it sounds.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
We have two founders. Diane who is ex Microsoft who was part of theMicrosoft journey from its early venture into Europe , and Theo who is a Professor in search technology.
They started Wizenoze within a few days of meeting each other with a vision of using search technology to help drive change in Education.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We will continue to be the largest aggregator of digital educational resources globally. Enabling our customers to improve learning outcomes for millions of learners.
We will empower our customer to connect learners and educators with the best content for education. Not only that we will be helping drive the quality of educational resources higher and enabling a personalisation no other technology can offer.
We will be at the stage where governments will be able to use our technology to improve national curriculums and close the gap between education and fast evolving industry needs
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Those who benefit most from our technology are not the customers. There will always be a challenge to prove our direct impact and effectiveness as we are part of a complex hybrid learning environment.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
By focusing more of the needs of our customers and end users we have repurposed our technology to deliver a must have service. This new offering resulted in an immediate 300% increase in new customers in 2021
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
Mainly via our website and customer recommendations. We are already growing internationally based on successful integrations with some key regional players. Our founder Diane is a key market builder for Wizenoze
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Never waste momentum, once you have it you can move any mountain. It takes a long time to build and is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
Measuring success for me and Wizenoze is easy to define. It is impact. Really improving education and helping be part of carving out a new and improved way of learning. Building technology that really empowers to educators and learners of today