About us

The future of business comes from people as much as it comes from technology—designers, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and agencies who deliver “innovation” in human terms.

We’re on a mission to empower founders to drive positive change in and outside organizations. We know from experience that most early-stage founders face challenges in several key areas when growing their startups. Our team of commercially seasoned entrepreneurs guides you on how to optimize your time and resources to achieve the highest possible output. 

The world doesn’t need another huge consultancy company. What it needs is a family of passionate experts,  where expertise and experience lead, owners are entrepreneurs and so clients get what they really need. We’re building just that.

Our aim is to enable individual agencies and owners to belong to something bigger while respecting their independence. To be part of an international group of hundreds of entrepreneurs and creators, unified in one structure that strives to deliver the most cutting-edge solutions to organizations of all sizes and scales.

Our model and our capabilities intentionally disrupt the traditional landscape and are dedicated to serving clients, inspiring our own talent, and empowering clients in an increasingly transparent and digital-first world

We are a next-generation group. We help clients grow and scale through complementary, deep domain expertise—uniting creative, data, production, content, design, and marketing. Not because bigger is better. Because smarter is better.

Join the change, and Connect with Startup Spirit

Startup Spirit is a collective that offers services to corporates, incubators and accelerators. We are a bunch of passionate and professional innovation experts, and offer coaching, training, workshops and full programs (sprints, accelerators,..) with the support of a worldwide network of close partners.

We are as far from consultants and academic theorists as can be. We are first and foremost startup entrepreneurs. We only employ founders who know from first-hand experience what we are talking about and who also have the required corporate experience, enabling us to speak your language and transfer our knowledge successfully to you in your corporate context.

We combine the fast rhythm of a startup environment with the efficiency of strategic consulting. We believe in experience and excellence, so we only work with the best. Working from our studio and remote we are able to support you anytime anywhere.

Who am I Rob Aalders

Working as intrapeneur, investor and entrepreneur I experienced many sides of the table. I went through heights and deep lows. What inspires me is enabling people to make a positive impact in the world in a way that it takes into account personal health and happiness. I deeply believe the power of humans being the key driver and blocker behind innovation. Not only, since I have been there myself, I bored and burned out. As coach and peer, I have seen many intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs struggle over the same type issues. Mindset and Culture are the critical foundations for innovation and transformation.

I have over 15 years of experience in innovation working in corporations, government, and with startups. He has worked with startups and leading Fortune 500 companies. Rob founded disruptive new businesses that have profoundly impacted the markets and market strategies of market leaders.  He has created accelerator programs for market leaders, universities, and startup ecosystems. Our expert workshops have been attended by world-leading enterprises such ING, Bayer, BASF and Siemens to name a few.

The way I like to work is: Fast // Feedback // Forward // Fun // Fierce //

Our philosophy

Innovation is about humans
At the core of every successful company are people. Innovation isn’t just an ingrained trait geniuses are born with; it’s an active skill that can be acquired through discipline. In order to continue to grow, survive and thrive as a company, you have to keep building. To do that, you need to create an environment that encourages talent and creativity. Dynamic companies that nurture the development of creative ideas and encourage continual learning are the ones currently dominating the business world. To play in the big leagues, you don’t need to spend big money. We support organizations to cultivate entrepreneurial skills in corporate leaders and employees.

We deliver change not documents
First of all, yes I like as so many others to offer you our services. Since we can help you with things you just cannot do yourself. The big difference is the way we deliver, through our culture and business model.

Traditional consultants enable dysfunctional cultures to fester, often in their own favor. Ever considered what their business model is? Your culture is the first thing your company makes. Your culture is what produces your products. Your services. Your results.  And McKinsey can’t rewrite your culture, only you can.

We teach our clients how to change their cultures for themselves and then for us to get the hell out of the way. We empower your people, to become ever more curious about your customers, competitors, and the cultures you operate within. We don’t want you to become dependent on our services, it’s not on our veins. Our nature is curiosity and creativity, we are creators and changemakers, we stay as long as we need and no second longer. We’ll be your partner, your friend, whenever they’re when really needed.

Traditional consulting is astronomical fees for work delivered by talent fresh out of college. Recycled work as they sell “best practices” but are really just trading on the secrets of their other clients.  And zero accountability. They position themselves as an infallible expert and leave you to implement their recommendations. We’re your coach and mentor, helping you on day one to experiment with new ways of working. Ultimately, they deliver a document and we deliver change.

We work with practitioners, the marines of innovation and transformation. Highly-skilled people with strategic, tactical and operational experience. We know to operate in uncharted and hostile territories. Who are not afraid to act. We do interventions, make an impact that lasts.

Zero-waste of people
We promote sustainability for all stakeholders. We should be sustainable for the business, planet, and people. We do not want frustrated clients and colleagues and will do anything to create an environment in which all can flourish.

Real-life experience combined with scientific knowledge
Innovation isn’t something we’ve just read about while sitting comfortably in a university lecture; we live and breathe it as a state of mind. Everything we know, we have learned through first-hand experience of running our own business ventures and mentoring other startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. We’ll show you low-cost experimentation strategies and how to find out what fails, so you can do what works instead by delivering the products and services that your customers really want. Waiting for brilliant ideas to hit you is like waiting to win the lottery and in business, timing can be everything. Stop waiting and let us teach you how to turn ideas into a growing business. Seize them before someone else does.


Global network
Innovation is about people. That’s why we have built a networked model of trusted senior thought-leaders and world-leading innovation practitioners.

Together we aim to provide complete solutions to the challenges faced by our clients.


The way we work with organizations

We see ourselves as a design firm specializing in innovation ecosystems with demanding clients globally, including corporates, startups, publicly traded corporations, and governments. Every client is different and deserves a personal strategy. A stimulating personal relationship between you, your staff, and key members of the team is important to us. Our partners and project leaders work with you directly to serve your interests and assist you in navigating a complex path to achieve big goals.

Startup Spirit is a quality label. We aspire to offer you some of the best experts and methods available while streamlining relationships between different fields of expertise. Startups spirit also keeps its finger on the pulse of current practice, making the most of its global network in order to converse with international best practices. Our design principles include boldness, precision, simplicity, innovation, reason, reliability, resilience, and elegance. We extract poetry from the demands for economic optimization.

Can you employ design tools to achieve large-scale change, manage risk, and spread new narratives? Can you maximize the potential of a division, an idea, an infrastructure, or teams by design, planning or business modeling? The answer is yes. We believe design matters when it is realized. We analyze our projects to retain value over the long term, providing benefits to future generations. We offer professional services with talented designers, project managers, and technical specialists in all digital and business fields, in order to manage risk and allow cautious optimism.

Design can be a form of diplomacy, achieving the best results by drawing the brightest ideas from a plurality of voices and crystallizing them into simple, elegant and durable solutions. From its onset, our collective has developed expertise in incorporating and mediating between many contradicting voices. We constantly search for novel ways of creating synergies, in order to achieve the very best design services possible.

We are dedicated to innovation and creativity. We were among the first to introduce software and AI in all steps of the innovation process. Startup Spirit is a design innovation ecosystem for sustainable future business.

Questions? Get in touch?