Roland has a unique perspective to offer on scaling tech startups.

He is the only person in the world having lived through three massive scaleup stories. In three decades and on three continents. Whether in product, marketing or strategy roles, Roland always found executives seeking his advice. Roland has seen the movie many times. And he can tell startup leaders exactly what will happen next.

  • In the 1990s, Roland launched Europe's first consumer broadband internet service for Telenet Belgium. Telenet grew from 8 to 1200 employees in only four years and is still market leader today.
     

  • In the 2000s, he led product portfolio and strategy optimization for Bluewin, the leading Swiss Internet scaleup. Bluewin also retains market leadership until today.
     

  • In the 2010s, Roland joined early programmatic advertising scaleup Rocket Fuel. He launched a platform product, drive quality management and rolled out business units. Rocket Fuel grew from 100 to 1100 employees in three years, had a successful IPO in 2013 and was acquired by Sizmek in 2017.

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Roland also co-founded three ventures:

  • CEO and co-founder of Topicmarks (AI-powered summarization of large documents, acquired by Tagged, 2011)

  • CEO and founder of Avalu (e-mentoring for high-potential employees, nominated for Fast Company's Fast50, 2006)

  • COO and co-founder of Allmansland (first web site producer in Belgium, 1994)


Education

After growing up in the Netherlands, Roland earned his BA in Social Sciences (1990) and his MA in Information & Communication Technologies (1992) from Brussels Free University. In Belgium, Roland also taught the first university-level course about the then-emerging Internet (1993). Roland earned his MBA in General Management from IMD Lausanne in Switzerland (2001).


Awards, Achievements & Certifications

  • Accepted as a Member of the National Speaker Association (Dallas, 2017)

  • Certified growth company coach (Gazelles, 2016)

  • Alien of Extraordinary Ability (USCIS, 2012, 2016)

  • Landslide winner, Silicon Valley Founder Showcase (Mountain View, 2011)

  • Joint Winner, VCTaskForce pitching competition (Palo Alto, 2011)

  • Winner, SFNewTech pitching competition (San Francisco, 2011)

  • Elected to the Board of ISPA (Brussels, 1999)

  • Most innovative Internet product (Computer Magazine, Belgium, 1998)

  • Prix de l’Alliance française (1988)