Founder Fireside on Internationalization

by TQ

Founder Fireside

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Founder Fireside on Internationalization

At TQ's Founder Fireside, we highlight people who've founded successful, growing companies and invite them to share those important details that'll help the next generation of founders get to where they are. For this edition, we'll be talking about how to successfully scale your business internationally with Gernot Schwendtner, Co-founder of weGrow International, Hans Scheffer, Founder of Helloprint, Jules van Bruggen, Founder of Sitly and Frederik de Beer, Chief Commercial Officer of Catawiki.  

We'll begin the evening with a talk from Gernot, who will share his experiences and challenges when it comes to how to best grow internationally. Did you know that only 0.4% of start-ups scale and the international roll-out is one of the major roadblocks in scaling up? He'll share what he's learned and show some dos and don'ts, mixed with a fair share of anecdotes and handy tools. Gernot says: "Scaling internationally is like going on a mountain expedition - you need to prepare, check you gear, and find the right team. Else you get into troubles and might die."

Following this talk, we'll move to a panel discussion with Hans, Jules and Frederik to further discuss the topic. The panel will be moderated by Gernot. Finally, we'll end with an audience Q&A before having drinks in the club. 

Spots for this event are limited. Don't miss out!

The schedule: 

  • 18:30 - Walk-in (Attendees)
  • 18:45 - General intro from TQ
  • 18:50 - Introduction to the topic and talk from Gernot 
  • 19:00 - Interviews with founders on the topic
  • 19:45 - Audience Q&A 
  • 20:00 - Drinks in the club
  • 21:00 - Close


  • Gernot Schwendtner is Co-Founder of weGrow International, an Amsterdam-based internationalization service focused on growing startups and scale-ups in Europe and around the globe. Gernot was the VP Marketing and International Country Manager of TravelBird, Managing Director of News Travel, and built up a venture-builder for an Austrian media company.
  • Hans Scheffer is Founder and CEO of Helloprint, Europe’s fastest growing online print platform. In 6 years, Helloprint grew from 4 team members to a team of 220 international professionals in various business departments from 22 countries and activities in 13 European countries. The company currently performs at a revenue level of €65,000,000 in 2019, a 6,500% growth in 6 years of entrepreneurship. Within Helloprint, Hans is responsible for general management, shareholder management, internationalization, culture development, and the general performance of the company. 
  • When Jules van Bruggen became a parent and searched for flexible childcare, he couldn’t find a good solution. He noticed that he wasn’t the only one struggling with this issue, so he created his own solution, and Sitly was born. He started it as a hobby project back in 2009 next to his job. In 2012 he decided to quit his job, established the company, and used his savings to grow the company. 
  • Frederik de Beer (37) joined Catawiki in 2015 to spearhead its international expansion. Under his leadership Catawiki started to heavily invest in new regions such as France, Italy and Spain as well as new categories such as art, design and luxury goods. In his current role as Chief Commercial Officer, Frederik is responsible for Catawiki’s 4 business units. His long term goal is to make Catawiki’s value proposition, powered by a unique combination of experts and technology, a reality for everyone in their target audience, thereby creating value for all their stakeholders including buyers, sellers, employees and shareholders. Frederik started his career in investment banking in London.  


  • weGrow is an Amsterdam-based internationalization service focused on growing startups and scale-ups in Europe and the USA. weGrow is helping companies like WeTransfer, UnitedWardrobe, Honeypot, and HelloPrint enter markets in both strategic and hands-on ways. 
  • Helloprint is the fastest growing platform for printed products. Started in 2013 by 4 young guys with a dream, quickly grown to an international pure e-commerce platform with over 200 team members, growing at lightning speed. With operations in The Netherlands, Belgium, The United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Ireland and offices in Rotterdam and Valencia, Helloprint serves over 600,000 customers, both consumers and businesses. Together with a young, incredibly motivated team, Helloprint develops new innovative business models that are challenging the market. Whilst you might think print is boring, nothing could be further from the truth at Helloprint. 
  • Sitly is a babysitter marketplace where parents, babysitters, and childminders can connect and make an appointment for a face to face interview. Sitly is built by parents, for parents and aims kids to have the best care and parents to have peace of mind when they need to be elsewhere. Sitly is still bootstrapped, has 2 million users and is currently active in 10 countries.
  • Catawiki was founded in 2008 in Assen, the Netherlands, and has grown from a small start-up to one of the leading online platforms for unique and rare objects. Through its platform, Catawiki offers special objects to international buyers, who share Catawiki’s passion for the extraordinary. Catawiki hosts over 50,000 objects on its platform every week, spread out over 80 categories, ranging from art, design & fashion to rare collectables and classic cars. Catawiki has high standards of reliability. The platform aims to be a safe place for buyers and sellers alike. This quality is warranted on a daily basis by around 200  specialised experts who select and inspect every item on offer.