Before starting at Sumthing, Gijs took a path that combined his knack for technology and business. With a bachelor's degree in Marketing and a master's in Retail Management, he embarked on his career as a digital transformation consultant, helping established organizations harness the potential of technology to boost their operations. Over time, he found himself drawn to the vibrant startup scene, which he knew from an internship during his academic years. He wore multiple hats at two different startups, from onboarding customers to orchestrating strategic partnerships and nailing down sales. It was during this phase that he unearthed his passion for sales and crafting game-changing partnerships through innovation and technology.
One day, his old high school friend, Mike, showed up at his doorstep, claiming he wanted to grab a coffee. But in reality, he had an ace up his sleeve: the very first Sumthing pitch deck. It immediately resonated with him. He'd always dreamed of co-founding a business, and the issues Mike aimed to tackle struck a chord with him. He could see technology as the hero in this story. After several brainstorming sessions and an introduction to Guido, he made the decision to bid farewell to his previous job and dive headfirst into this thrilling adventure, and he hasn't had any regrets since!
He is primarily responsible for their growth and partnerships efforts. This entails working with Livia to build their brand, engaging with businesses, making their presence known at events, and scouting for partners who can integrate their solution. But here's the fun thing: in the world of startups, he doesn't just stick to his lane. He's also involved in crafting their internal handbook and handling various HR activities. The variety keeps things exciting!
What he enjoys most about this job is the incredible people he gets to meet every single day in a purpose-driven environment like Sumthing. There's a wave of inspiring initiatives taking shape, and almost every external meeting introduces him to more outstanding individuals. In an age where climate change can be daunting, and eco-anxiety is on the rise, his work provides a daily dose of optimism. They're actively shaping a new economy that restores their connection with the planet and nature, and that excites him every day.
His motivation is rooted in the fact that he can employ the skills he initially gained for creating shareholder value to make a real impact. He's helping businesses transform into forces for good, and that's a powerful driving force. Seeing the results their partners achieve gives him the satisfying feeling that they actually CAN make a difference, and that their work is resulting in real, tangible actions. His typical workday begins with reviewing his calendar and the CRM system, crafting a to-do list for the day. It involves meetings with potential and existing clients, reaching out to new businesses, delving into the marketing strategy, and brainstorming about the social media game plan. His highlight? When a business gives the green light to start restoring nature on Sumthings behalf.
His mornings typically kick off with a refreshing swim at the local pool before heading to the office. He's also a culinary enthusiast, relishing the art of experimenting as an amateur chef, creating dishes inspired by various global cuisines. And when it's time for a break, you'll find him indulging in his love for scuba diving during vacations. Floating above a coral reef and immersing himself in the wonders of the ocean brings him a profound sense of calm.
Gijs's outlook on nature mirrors Aristotle's wisdom: "Nature does nothing in vain." This quote resonates deeply, embodying Gijs's belief in the purposeful harmony of nature—a belief that drives his dedication to Sumthing's mission every day.