Founders Fridays is a new StartupAmsterdam initiative that showcases local entrepreneurs who help strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer five questions, we want to shine a light on our ecosystem’s most inspirational stories and role models. We hope that we’ll all learn and grow together by providing startup founders with a space to share their insights and experience.
This week we spoke to Ilona van Wegen, co-founder of GetEase. Through GetEase’s innovative app, users can choose from a variety of experts who can deliver their services easily and instantly.
1. How did your career journey lead you to found GetEase?
I started my career more than 20 years ago at Heineken Netherlands and worked there for seven years, mainly in marketing. After Heineken, I wanted to become an entrepreneur but noticed the timing was not yet right - I didn’t have a great idea or enough money and I was expecting my first baby. So, I decided to join a VC. I learned a lot there and got really inspired by the digital revolution that was going on at the time. Then, I got the opportunity to join Google where I have been working for the last eight years. I'm 41 now and I still live the dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Doing everything from scratch and building a company that matters to people. GetEase is inspired by the services on-demand industry in Asia and the growing demand for convenience. I strongly believe that with GetEase we can make people’s lives even easier.
2. What makes Amsterdam a great city and a great ecosystem for a startup founder?
I have lived in Amsterdam for around 20 years and the city has a huge startup ecosystem. From startup and female founder communities to startup office spaces. But maybe what I appreciate most is the mentality of helping each other here. Although I have lived in Amsterdam for a long time, since I became an entrepreneur I have made so many great connections to people that can help, connect and inspire.
3. What are the goals and needs of GetEase for the upcoming months?
Getease wants to attract talent. We are currently looking for more service providers in Amsterdam, so they are all very welcome! Next to that, we want to increase our awareness so that everyone in Amsterdam knows what they can book with us.
4. What has been a recent win for your business?
We just raised a 700K pre-seed round of financing that was led by Graduate Entrepreneur, a fund backed by Erasmus, Delft Alumni and APX, an early-stage VC backed by Axel Springer and Porsche.
Having validated the MVP, GetEase just launched two user-friendly and scalable apps to fully cater to the needs and demands of both clients and service providers. The first allows users to seamlessly book their favourite services from the comfort of their own homes. While the second offers service-providing freelancers a plug-and-play solution to grow their business in the digital world.
5. What has been a recent ‘challenge’ for your business, and what have you learned from it?
Building a startup is full of challenges. Our biggest challenge over the last few months was to grow fast with only a very small team. Our users and service providers do expect a seamless experience from the very beginning which was challenging at first. However, we managed quite well and are improving every day.
If you would like to share your story with our local ecosystem, you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.