Reid Hoffman & Nathalie Mangelaars

For 15 years now, IQONIC, the incubator of Tilburg University, has been guiding starting entrepreneurs to the top. With advice, coaching, a workplace and funding, they have helped many success stories become reality. In this series of short articles, we let entrepreneurs from the incubator react to famous statements by well-known entrepreneurs: do they think the same, what drives them, and where do the entrepreneurs stand in direct opposition to each other? You can read it here!

Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) & Nathalie Mangelaars (Pitch Academy)


Reid who?

Internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. Hoffman was co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network used primarily for professional networking. He is currently a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners. On the Forbes 2019 list of billionaires of the world, Hoffman is ranked 134 with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Why he is successful:

Reid learned that as important as it is to build a product, you also need to have a good distribution strategy for the product, so he created a network. The online network: LinkedIn.

Famous quote:

"An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on his way down."

Who is Nathalie?

Nathalie is the owner of Pitch Academy and advises several profit/non-profit organizations on what it takes to make a great Elevator Pitch. After years of sales experience and winning pitch competitions, she discovered how to give a winning pitch. By now she and her team have helped more than 20,000 people to create a strong pitch.

More Nathalie? Look here:

Nathalie, do you identify yourself with the quote of Reid?

Here I am in complete agreement! Entrepreneurship is about daring and having guts, and thus jumping. But do think about what parts you may need for your jump. There will always be things missing, but this is what makes you creative. Because maybe you do not build an airplane but a helicopter, also fine!

How do you use the quote or your interpretation of it in your entrepreneurship?

Especially in the development of new products and services. I strategically think out the big picture and set a goal. Then I jump! For example, last year I developed the Online Pitch Academy - a program that takes you online to make your pitch. I decide I'm going to do it, and I jump and develop the product along the way with my clients.

What success did that bring?

For me, it makes me innovate faster. If I think too long and don't jump, I feel like I'm standing still. I also notice that my customers appreciate this enormously, especially because I also involve them in my "jump". They have an influence on the plane I am going to build and for me, it is nice that they often want to buy the product afterwards.

Name one thing that has always stuck with you from your time at IQONIC.

Stop thinking about your idea in your dorm room and start talking to potential customers and suppliers. Even if it's not quite finished yet. This will help you find out faster if your idea is feasible. Plus, as a startup entrepreneur, I've found that you can count on sympathy. People think it's cool that you dare to jump in at all and are willing to think along with you.

IQONIC – represents and supports all aspects of entrepreneurship within Tilburg University. They help students, alumni, academics and employees of Tilburg University to further develop their entrepreneurial mindset, so that they can make a difference in society. IQONIC does this by stimulating and supporting creativity and innovation.

Did you know: 84 teams (with a total of 353) students participated in the 2nd edition of the Tilburg University Challenge in 2021? Would you also like to participate in the TiU Challenge, sign up via