ABOUT US | Board and jury

Our board and jury

The Philips Innovation Award has become a trajectory where each participant can profit from. By participating you will receive personal feedback and coaching, practice important skills and build a network. This all would not be possible without our vast network consisting of our partners, jury members, business panel and dedicated organisation committee.



The Philips Innovation Award is an independent non-profit organisation working closely with Philips and our other partners. The organisation of the Award is led by a Board of seven dedicated students from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. The board works part-time on the organisation of the trajectory.

During the semi final and final, a group of knowledgeable professionals make up the jury selecting the best of the best startups. Next to the jury members, we have a business panel of experts from different industries that will provide valuable feedback on the business plans handed in before the semi final. Learn more about our jury below.

Sophie Gehrels


Supervising all activities within the annual trajectory.

Derek de Munnik


Responsible for the annual budget and main point of contact for the partners.

Daan Rustige


Supervising the annual cohort of startups, the Business Panel and the jury.

Lola van Hunnik

Media & Communications

Ensuring the (online) presence of the PHIA throughout the Netherlands.

Olivier Larsson


Responsible for the organisation of all major events in the trajectory.

Mare van der Hoeven


Responsible for the organisation of all major events in the trajectory.

Timo Vonk

Head Ambassador

Coordinating the ambassador network of the PHIA and head scout for the annual cohort.


Graduate Entrepreneur

Graduate Entrepreneur is matching, funding and guiding the best and brightest founders from Rotterdam and Delft. They partner up with visionary founders through providing coaching, capital and a community. Their venture capital fund and coaching program supports founders from the universities of Delft & Rotterdam to realise their greatest ambitions. 

The Philips Innovation Award has a special collaboration with Graduate Entrepreneur, meaning that our eight finalists get a “Wildcard” to qualify for coaching, funding and all other services of the ecosystem no matter the university their founders originate from. Also, in 2024 we will organise a ‘Find your Talent’ day for the first time together and we are planning on continuing to do this annually. 

Feedback from the best in the field

Grand Final jury

Roy Jakobs

CEO at Philips

Eline van Beest

CEO of Hybridize Therapeutics

Robert Verwaayen

Founder partner of Keen Venture Partners

Shawn Harris

Founder and former CEO of Nature’s Pride

Mark de Lange

Founder and CEO of Ace & Tate

Janneke Niessen

Founding partner at CapitalT

Alexandra Jankovich

Co-founder and Managing partner of SparkOptimus


Semi Final jury

The Innovation Market is one of the most interactive events. During this day the best 30 startups will compete for a ticket to the Grand Final. The Innovation Market offers the opportunity for participants, partners and investors to engage in an interactive dialogue about the ideas presented. During the Innovation Market, all participants have the chance to present their ideas to our semi final jury.

The semi final jury consists of managers with an entrepreneurial spirit, and are representatives of our partners. The jury members are well prepared for the pitches and will be allowed to ask questions about the business plans. Based on the pitches and business plans of the contestants, the jury will grade the startups on different elements. At the end of this day, the three Rough Diamond finalists will be announced by Jordi Wardenburg and five Innovator finalists by Courtney Obregon. These eight startups will continue to the Grand Final!


Business Panel

Our Business Panel consists of around 150 volunteers with a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. Thanks to our Business Panel, all participating teams receive feedback on their business plans during the developing stage in January.

The goal of the Business Panel is to provide the startups with useful feedback given by experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals. The startups will be ranked based on a set of criteria (listed in the Business Plan guidelines), such as originality, sustainability and level of innovation. Based on this ranking, the top thirty startups will be selected for the semi final in April.


Register for Final


Learn all about our network