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Michel de Rijk challenges traditional startup models with new company

Michel de Rijk challenges traditional startup models with new company

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Marketing veteran Michel de Rijk has branched out to start his own company, 19Volt, that aims to challenge traditional startup models, believing they are slow, inefficient, and prone to failure.

"19Volt is a high velocity venture builder," said de Rijk when MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out. "We believe that a lot of start-ups are failing because founders are too fixated on their original plan without truly understanding the product-market fit, they end up going down a biased path and dragging investors with them."

Don't miss: Michel de Rijk steps down as S4 Capital and Media.Monks' APAC CEO

"With 19Volt we don't incubate, we don't accelerate, but we create new ventures from scratch. We follow a clear "fly-or-die" playbook with set KPI's and deliverables and if they are not achieved, we move on to the next venture concept without endlessly burning our investors capital," he explained. 

He added that he is focused on two different areas of expertise. These are namely fast scaling consumer brands and focusing on IP-driven tech ventures. 

"Working on the tech and agency side for the last 15+ years, both start up as corporate I've seen lots of successful and less successful companies make or break it. Over the years, there have been a few concepts in my head that I believe have an opportunity to succeed. I see this as the perfect time to go for it," said de Rijk.

He is joined by Scott Moore, his fellow co-founder, in the venture. De Rijk explained that both Moore and himself will lead the business together and will further build out its team in the Philippines where they have data science and tech talent.

"We have a global view, but depending on the ventures, some will have a more regional play. We have also launched a consumer brand in the US and are about to launch an AI-driven SME credit marketplace in Southeast Asia, so it really depends on the venture and where we believe the opportunity is," added de Rijk.

The news comes shortly after Michel de Rijk stepped down from his role as chief executive officer APAC at Media.Monks and S4 Capital Group last year after four and a half years as he looked to focus on "different priorities in life", according to a LinkedIn post by the marketing veteran at the time. 

In his post, de Rijk noted that his time at Media.Monks and S4 Capital Group was a "journey" in what was probably the "most difficult circumstances I could ever imagine".

When MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out last year, de Rijk said that he decided to leave to focus on himself and the ones he cares about. "After some reflection, it was clear that the trajectory I was on, was no longer good for either," he said. 

He added that he will take some time to recharge, learn new things and "tickle the brain" in a different way. 

"There are so many interesting developments, of course around AI and such, but I haven’t been able to focus on purposeful initiatives as much as I wanted to so that will be a priority," he said to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE. 

de Rijk joined Media.Monks and S4 Capital Group in 2019 and was the first direct WPP manager at S4. In his role, he focused on digital content, media planning and buying, as well as first-party data.

Prior to his last role with GroupM, de Rijk was APAC president of [m]PLATFORM and Xaxis CEO of Asia Pacific before that.

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