Don Ritzen

Don Ritzen

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I’m from a country called… Netherlands

I work at… Rockstart

And my job title is… Co-founder

My secret side projects include… Startup Weekend, Startup Digest

Outside the office, I’m passionate about… Music, traveling, squash, cricket, football (Barcelona)

I’m involved with Rockstart because…. I really, really love Startups 🙂

More about me:
Before starting Rockstart Accelerator, I had a few entrepreneurial gigs during my studies, but I really got infected with the startup virus during Startup Weekend Copenhagen, in 2010. I was part of a team called: Memolane, led by Eric Lagier, and during the weekend we created a prototype for a social media diary which integrated all your tweets, pictures and the music you listened to on a timeline. We pitched on Sunday and we won the event and VC’s from the jury came to us and said: we’d like to invest. Which was a crazy experience. Later on, Eric raised 2 million from Atomico, got into the SXSW final and moved to San Francisco. I moved back to Netherlands (I couldn’t code…) and co-founded Startup Weekend in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, and Utrecht. Next to that, I started working for a VC backed Startup, Wakoopa being responsible for their biz dev (acquired in 2015 by netquest), but after seeing the teams come out of startup weekend who quiet their job, but often struggled after a few months I thought: we need to create something for them, a launchpad for global, disruptive companies. So the plan for Rockstart Accelerator was created and launched together with James Digby, Oscar Kneppers and Rune Theill. From there on, it’s been a complete rollercoaster: accelerating and helping almost 60 startups so far.

Some of my favorite quotes are: “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” Mario Andretti – F1 and “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance”.
Steve Jobs, Interview, 1995