Life after TIAS: Working at Vertoro as founder and CEO
May 24, 2019 | 2 min read
A blog post written by Dr. ir. Michael Boot, MBA from The Netherlands | EMBA alumnus 2014-2016
People who opt to pursue an EMBA degree are looking to develop themselves further and often find themselves in completely different job positions and sometimes even in new companies after obtaining it. Like me, many in my cohort were uncertain about the future direction of their respective careers. While the curriculum is at the core of any education, I found the countless engaging discussions, (with or without beer) with my fellow EMBA students at least as valuable.
How has your career developed since the EMBA?
I started the EMBA program because I was somewhere between unsatisfied and unhappy in my two jobs at that time. Since 2010, I have had a dual career as a (part-time) assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and as an entrepreneur at several tech-startups. Shortly after finalizing the EMBA program, however, I decided not only to swift my technology focus, but also to leave the company I co-founded in 2009 in order to start a new one, Vertoro, of which I am now the CEO. At Eindhoven University of Technology, I moved to another research group and changed my job position to Fellow.
How is working at Vertoro?
Vertoro is a spin-off from an ongoing public-private-partnership between Royal DSM, the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Maastricht Universtiy. In this PPP, technology has been developed and is now being scaled up to produce a crude oil from biomass. Like Brent or West Texas Intermediate, this bio-crude can be used as feedstock for a wide range of fuels, chemicals and materials. Vertoro was founded in May 2017 by yours truly after transferring the whopping sum of € 1,20 to a notary in order to formally incorporate and issue the first 120 shares.
At the time of publication of this writing, we are now a team of seven, piloting our technology on two continents, and we are preparing to raise our next investment (Series A) round early 2020, which will be allocated towards the construction of a commercial scale plant for our oil. Working at a tech start up is merely like riding a rollercoaster. Before you can finally move on to the truly exciting part, you first have to invest your own money and time waiting in line. Then follows a slow and intense uphill ride. Finally, everybody becomes ecstatic with emotions into the downhill adventure, and one cannot wait to do the whole journey over again. We are now somewhere half-way said uphill climb.
My advice to you!
- Be open and share your thoughts, emotions, fears and dreams with your classmates;
- When choosing a topic to write on for one of your papers, choose one that is commensurate with the career path you would like to follow, not necessarily the one you already on now;
- Plan your work and do not underestimate the time required to hand in a good quality paper.
Read more about the Executive MBA