👽 About me
🇳🇱 Dutch national
🇸🇬 Living in Singapore
👶 Born in 1986
🧪 Myers-Briggs E/INTJ
🏫 Formative years
Aerospace Engineer: BSc at the Delft University of Technology 🇳🇱. Philosophized on aircraft in 2050.
Linguist: BA at the University of Amsterdam 🇳🇱. Compared how the noun plural behaves in the Scandinavian languages.
Sustainable Energy Engineer: MSc at the Royal Institute of Technology 🇸🇪🇳🇴. Assessed the viability of a net-zero energy building in Gothenburg.
Process Engineer: Employed at ExxonMobil in Rotterdam 🇳🇱 and Fairfax, VA 🇺🇸. Did troubleshooting and wrote an operational guide on (lubricant) hydrocrackers.
🌏 Countries I have lived
🧐 Areas of Interest
Fintech/Payments: Big believer in account-to-account transfers and a post-credit card world 🚫💳🌏 Advocate for financial transparency, financial literacy, and financial hygiene.
Languages: Love acquiring new languages. In order of command: 🇳🇱🇺🇸🇩🇰🇸🇪🇩🇪🇪🇸🇫🇷. Current target: HSK4 in Mandarin Chinese 🇨🇳. Particularly nerdy about historical linguistics.
Space: Will read about how to terraform Mars. Bezos vs. Musk. Recent inductee and fan of science-fiction books like Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem.
💆 Free time
🎨 Contemporary Art
Over the course of 6 years, I have (co-)founded 3 startups.
The first one is Virgla, a Flipboard for fans of brands. We went through Startupbootcamp's accelerator in 2016.
In 2017, with a university friend, I worked on the second: HitchFly, a last-minute flight ticket startup for students.
Maesh — an online payment gateway in Singapore — is my latest and most successful. Starting out as a one-man show in 2019, I have been able to partly exit the business to Rapyd in 2021.
As the sole founder and CEO, I was fortunate to:
Raise US$75K in pre-seed funding 💰
Lead a team of 7 Maesh potatoes 🥔
Build the company to 63 active merchants and US$110K in GTV (Gross Transaction Volume) 📈
In a post-mortem article, I shared my learnings and f*ck-ups during my 2-year journey with Maesh:
I spoke about my ambitions for Maesh on the 10Fin.Tech podcast:
I'll be joining Antler's SG8 cohort starting May 24, 2021 🥳. On this page, I have tried to summarize who I am as a founder. I've also gathered my thoughts around who'd be my perfect co-founder.
🙋 Michael as Founder
Personally engaged in people
Vested in their success
Asking for feedback
Creating structure out of nothing
Using thought patterns to solve problems
Relentless, even when I don’t feel like it
Combining the verbal with the visual
Attention to detail
Comment by a fellow entrepreneur: “You are a true artist”
Product / Customer focus
Caring about their experience
Understanding their needs/wants
Worked in the hospitality industry for 7 years
Quickly getting to the root cause of issues
Understanding all the ins and outs of starting a business
Connected with fellow entrepreneurs
Extrovert and Introvert
Not somebody who wants / can be “on” 100% of the time
May be shy and/or observant under circumstances
I can be too serious. I can smile / relax more often
Good sleep is very important for my mood. Poor sleep can make me grumpy
Don't always plan ahead, as I like to do things on the fly
But I can also be too rigid to make sure I don't end up in chaos
I tend to compare myself a lot with others and have that determine my success
I rely on praise / recognition
Areas of Responsibility Exercise
I am a true jack-of-all-trades. As a former single founder, I am familiar with all aspects of running a business. I know how to sell to customers and I have been able to setup a website, database, and cloud environment. However, out of the 3 personas Hipster, Hacker, and Hustler, I lean most towards Hipster (Product).
🤝 My perfect co-founder
My perfect business partner in crime might be you! But who are you? Although I know I might be asking for the moon, it's the only way we can make this company a moonshot 🌚🌝 You can be either of these 2 types:
1. sales and marketing guru
You are very comfortable selling to people. You love setting yourself targets and overachieving them. You enjoy prospecting, building lists, and doing outreach. You might even call yourself a "hunter" 🎯
2. Strong Technical Leader
You are well-versed in development and technology. You enjoy drawing out the big-picture architecture and finding the right stack. You take pride in choosing the best tools to enforce code practice. Scalability, reliability, and maybe even security are second nature to you 💻
Other Values and Traits
The following company values might resonate with you:
Open to feedback / Humility / Willingness to learn
Loyalty / Trust / Keeping promises (not flaky)
You might identify with the following personality traits:
Bubbly / Cheerful
Decisive / Driven
Reflective / Self-aware
More rational than emotional