News update
16 Apr 2024

Inspiring knowledge session during the Marktlink Connect entrepreneurial event

Marktlink Organisation
marktlink connect event

At the 8th edition of Marktlink Connect 2023, 600 Dutch entrepreneurs gathered at the Zandvoort circuit under the theme 'the ability to grow.' They convened to learn from success stories of fellow entrepreneurs. A tour through the pitlane to closely observe high-tech F1 cars and soak in the circuit's atmosphere was a must, eagerly anticipating Sunday's Dutch Grand Prix. Marktlink's team was readily available to address all queries regarding the buying and selling of companies.

It was a moment to reflect on Marktlink's growth in recent times at the 8th edition of Marktlink Connect 2023. Host Jort Kelder asked managing partner Tim van der Meer about the number of deals Marktlink had completed since last year. Proudly, the response was that 125 deals were closed last year, with an aim to reach 150 this year. Marktlink Capital, the investment arm, is thriving with EUR 800 million in committed capital, approaching the billion mark. The announcement of the registration for the new fund was met with pride. 

Inspiring entrepreneurs shared their vision on entrepreneurship and the key lessons they have learned, drawing from both their successes and mistakes. In the plenary knowledge session, Dries Wajer discussed how he, along with his father, expanded a small shipyard, building a few captain's sloops per year, into the most sought-after brand in upscale marinas. Notably, with customers like King Willem-Alexander and American Football legend Tom Brady. The secret? Treating customers not just as boat buyers but as part of a community of Wajer owners, offering excellent maintenance service both in summer and winter.


During the knowledge session on investing in private equity and venture capital, David Sipkens from Mr. Marvis and Tom Peeters from Crisp shared their stories. They explained how external capital has assisted in elevating their brands. According to them, it's crucial to find the right partners willing to invest their capital to help entrepreneurs solve societal problems – whether broad in scope (as with Crisp: making groceries healthier and local) or specific (as with Mr. Marvis addressing the frustration many men share: why can't I find a good pair of shorts).



This day also addressed the war in Ukraine. Accountant and entrepreneur Olena Makeieva began her story by asking what we feel when we encounter a Ukrainian: fear, sympathy, sadness? She then shared the stories of some Ukrainian colleagues in business. How do you, for example, manage an energy company during a war where the energy infrastructure is constantly targeted? Or how do you keep a wine business afloat when your warehouse is destroyed in a rocket attack? Makeieva demonstrated that Ukrainians navigate through these challenges with great perseverance and creativity. Instead of feeling the mentioned negative emotions, she urged the audience to feel pride. Makeieva is involved with the Superheroes foundation, providing prosthetics for injured soldiers and civilians. She called on the audience to contribute to the foundation to help Ukrainians (if you haven't donated yet, now is the time).


Finally, Robert Doornbos, former F1 driver, took the stage. With a captivating story filled with humor and anecdotes from the cockpit, he unraveled the business and sporting logic of the sport. Above all, how did a relatively small privateer like Red Bull surpass all major and renowned racing teams? Doornbos revealed the winning formula involving excellent talent management, technological innovation, and massive data usage. The audience visibly reacted with surprise when Doornbos stated that it cost an estimated billion to make Max a world champion. However, Doornbos assured, the sponsors easily recoup the investment.


In conclusion, it was an inspiring day at Zandvoort, with much to discuss during the barbecue reception where connections were quickly established.

Marktlink Organisation
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