About Roland

About Roland

25+ Internet Scale-up Experience Internationally

Roland is a 25+ years veteran of Internet business, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. He:

  • is a former landslide winner of the Silicon Valley Founder Showcase
  • was CEO and co-founder of Topicmarks, acquired by Tagged
  • has served in a variety of executive, strategy, product and quality advisory roles to tech CEOs
  • has worked and lived in four countries and speaks six languages
  • was recognized by the US government as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability

Scale-up Pioneer in Belgium

Roland was born and raised in Wouw (the Netherlands). At 18 he enrolled at Brussels Free University (VUB) in Belgium. He earned his BA in Social Sciences and his MA in Communication with grand distinction.  In Brussels, Roland taught the first university-level course about the then-emerging Internet (1992). He co-founded Belgium’s first Web site company Allmansland (1994). From 1996, Roland launched Europe’s first consumer broadband Internet service for Telenet Belgium. Telenet grew from 8 to 1200 people in 3 years.

Continued Scale-up work in Switzerland

Roland earned his MBA in General Management from IMD Lausanne in Switzerland. He optimized strategy and product portfolio for Swiss Zurich-based scale-up Bluewin. On the side, he advised CEO and President of an idea factory scale-up. Roland’s first startup Avalu was an e-mentoring service for high potentials. It earned a nomination for FastCompany’s Fast50.

Third Scale-up Experience in Silicon Valley

After turning around Swiss Life, Roland brought Swiss startup Topicmarks to the US. He built a network and won the Silicon Valley Founder Showcase. The resulting media coverage helped raised a seed round, and Roland oversaw the acquisition by Tagged. In 2012, Roland joined Rocket Fuel, then an early scale-up. He launched a platform product, drove quality management and helped coach leaders of business units.

Thought Leadership and Credentials

Roland has authored several business works. In Apt Measures, Astute Metrics, Roland discusses the best metrics for a management scorecard. His 10 questions about programmatic buying and 11 best practices for programmatic advertising are available in six languages.

In 2016, Roland earned his certification as a growth company coach from Gazelles International, and in 2017 he added their coaching certification for Not-for Profit Growth organizations.