Startups July 03, 2020

Ignite Podcast – Episode 10 – Anouk van der Laan – NestVC – Living In a Fund-Starved Environment

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Ignite podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Anouk van der Laan, the Head of Innovation at, a corporate innovation accelerator and incubator for a variety of businesses. Based in areas with developing markets, such as South East Asia, the Middle East and East Africa, Nest.vs is dedicated to helping businesses adapt in the age of digital transformation. In this podcast, they discuss Anouk’s global experience in the corporate world, along with the market gap she discovered between corporate and startups.

Around the World

From the Netherlands to Uganda, Japan to China, and Australia to Bangkok, Anouk has gained valuable insight and experience working in a variety of cultures and environments. 

In this podcast, Anouk explains her journey from a physicist to working in the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry, what aspects of her physicist degree helped her, and the corporate insight she gained from years of experience in the field. 

Bridging Gaps and Forming Connections

“Connect. Collaborate. Scale.” is the motto at

Working in a company that is a ‘corporate innovation accelerator and incubator’, Anouk has gained expertise in bridging the gap between corporate businesses and startups. She discusses the key differences and growth requirements for both of these types of businesses in order to see what the best execution would be to drive success. 

She then goes on to explain how she bridges the gap to form a successful connection to help both of them grow, such as defining key problem statements and finding the right specific collaboration opportunities for both parties. 

The Startup Mindset

“If I don’t get venture capital funding, then I don’t get funding at all.”

With the fast-paced and ever-changing digital environment, it’s suggested that businesses should generally adopt a “startup mindset,” one that is flexible, agile and adaptable. However, Anouk discusses how this recommended startup mindset could potentially be what kills startups themselves. 
She goes on to explain the different routes startups go down to get funding, and how most startups want to acquire venture capital funding. They discuss how funding should not determine the success or validation of startups, as well as alternatives for capital that startups can aim for.

To learn more about Anouk van der Laan’s journey around the globe, gain insight into how innovation consultancy is changing and growing, listen to this episode of the Ignite podcast today.

This episode was expertly edited and produced by Alanis Braun. You can see her portfolio here and her LinkedIn profile here. The music called “Clear Progress” was created by Scott Holmes.


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


As the Head of Innovation at Nest, I am responsible for the design and execution of corporate innovation programs globally - ranging from corporate-startup collaborations, to workshops, to designing effect in-house innovation teams. I look forward to getting in touch and discuss views on innovation, sustainability and partnership.

Before moving to Nest I worked for 3 years at McKinsey and 1 year as a freelance consultant focusing on the energy, infrastructure and public sectors, and had the opportunity to work with great clients on their main strategic, regulatory and organisational challenges.

Always interested in how to push forward ideas I believe in. I coach initiatives globally in e.g. forestry, renewables and transport solutions.