After fifteen years of doing exciting work at DaCapo College, a school in my hometown Sittard, I started working at Agora in Roermond in 2015. We developed a public secondary school there based on a simple principle: Ask kids what they want to make, do or learn and go from there. At first, we did this as a team of colleagues, and as we grew, I became the team leader. A position which I accepted under one condition:
My main goal would be to make myself redundant.
Because a school shouldn’t depend on its leader (too much). Core values should be part of the culture, owned and put into practice by the students, parents and staff.
While working at Agora, I received more and more questions from people all around the world. I did some keynotes, events and school visits, but I could never live up to the demand. I realized again that I shouldn’t stay on as a team leader too long because I started in education to change it on a large scale, not to change just in one school. For that to happen, I needed to be able to share my learnings on a large scale. One thing led to another and this summer I got a great opportunity. I resigned from Agora and started my own company with a great first customer: Agora! I have an easy-to-explain new job there: Setting up the new management for success and helping them during the next two years to establish an Agora playbook.
Now I can finally focus on helping other schools, organizations and ministries. Besides Agora Roermond, I’m working with Agora Leiden, Green School South Africa, Torphichen & Westfield Primary, Education Scotland and The Lego Foundation. I’m also doing some great conferences in Amsterdam, Dubai UAE and Busan South Korea in the upcoming months.
I never expected to be in a situation where I could contribute to the evolution of education on a global scale, but at the end of my first real month as an entrepreneur, I can conclude that I’m on a roll.
Are you interested in hiring me? Have a look at my website and get in touch.
4 thoughts on “(Why) I started my own company!”
You are one of the people that taught me the most about turning vision and innovation into everyday practice with my own qualities and skills. Wishing you the best of luck and fun, you deserve it!
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Thanks for your reply and for summing up my key quality in 7 words: turning vision and innovation into everyday practice!
Congratulations Rob! Great to hear you’ll have more time to share your vision with the world. I’ll definitely be in touch.
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Great Dean, would be great to work with you again!