Meet the business coaches guiding you through your funding journey

Marian Spier

Marian Spier, Founder

Marian is a renowned social entrepreneur in the Netherlands, known for her unwavering commitment to creating positive social impact, focusing on empowering female entrepreneurs. In 2010, she founded TEDxAmsterdamWomen as part of the TEDx community. Building on this success, she established FEM-START in 2020, which includes the initiative FEMpreneurhulp a platform for mentoring female entrepreneurs. Marian’s passion for promoting female entrepreneurship drives her work and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women in business.
Her mentoring experience concentrates on female founders who:
  • Want to expand their business
  • Build their business and personal brand
  • Want to create a better life balance and be successful in building their business.
Sandra van der Pal

Sandra van der Pal, Co-Founder

Sandra is a seasoned innovation professional with years of experience under her belt. After completing her studies, she founded CheapBrains, a network consultancy for young entrepreneurs looking to work independently but with support.
She then went on to work for Next2Company, advising companies on developing sustainable business models, and HiiL, where she managed the NGO’s accelerator and established hubs in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands. In addition, she mentored and advised cohort members.
During her time off, she traveled the world, eventually coming back to co-found FEM-START with Marian and gain experience in corporate innovation while working as an Innovation Manager at ARAG, a legal insurance company. Today, Sandra is the Senior Manager of Open Innovation at The Next Web, a global platform connecting startups, corporations, governments, and funding providers.
With her extensive experience, Sandra offers coaching services to female founders seeking guidance on product/solution or product/market fit, setting up experiments, talking to customers, and improving their pitch decks.

Simone van Bijsterveldt, CFO & Co-Founder

Marian Spier
Simone van Bijsterveldt
Simone van Bijsterveldt is a seasoned financial with a broad business view. Simone has always strived to be a strong team player that uplifts others. Because she has a variety of working experience herself, from startups to big corporates, she knows where you are in. Simone has a passion for finances, culture, and people. She already coached female financials to get the best out of them. Not to make your weaknesses stronger but to make your strengths even stronger! You can also read more about Simone on www.liobe.nl <http://www.liobe.nl> to see if she fits you.
Simone is equipped to offer coaching services to female founders who lack familiarity with the financial field and want to gain more knowledge, struggle with back-office organization, need assistance with funding and raising capital, and require help organizing governance. With her experience, Simone is well-positioned to guide and support female entrepreneurs in these areas.
Ellen Tacoma

Ellen Tacoma, Co-Founder

Ellen has vast experience in supporting (social) entrepreneurs in India
www.womenonwings.com across Africa (www.hiil.org ) and the Netherlands.
She brings +25 years of experience in strategy, organizational development, and finance and a proven ability to substantially grow businesses across various sectors. She worked in telecommunications and advertising before she switched to the social impact domain.
She makes complex situations simple by creating clear choices and helping you focus relentlessly.
Her mentoring experience concentrates on female founders who:
  • Want to define their growth ambition, challenge and stretch them.
  • Want to understand if they are ready to realize that growth ambition
  • What do they need in terms of structure and processes
  • What are the consequences for the team composition
  • Validation of the business case

Join experts from the fields of entrepreneurship and fundraising. We will help you demystify the world of funding!