In the hot seat: Tim Linssen
Do you sometimes wonder what happened to your colleague alumni? Which path they chose to follow, or still follow? Or literally, where on earth they are working? After your study, you swarmed off in all directions and that is why you sometimes lose sight of your fellow alumni. Fortunately, often after years, one way or another they show up again. You might even find them back in this column!
In this edition: Tim Linssen
Graduate International Media and Entertainment Management 2012
Tim has always been very interested in media production. “It all started with producing a skateboard video and developing simple websites for friends and family,” Tim explains. “My close friend Maarten van Vugt was already studying International Media Entertainment (IMEM) at NHTV. He told me about his experiences and about the topics that were covered during the course. This sounded quite interesting to me, so I decided to start the same degree programme.
In my second year, I set up Boogiedown together with my fellow students Maarten van Vugt, Marco van Uden, Damai Schenk, Christiaan Beljon. Under the name of that foundation we started organising a hip hop music festival in Breda and during its first two years NHTV was actually our main sponsor. The festival grew quite big over the years.
In those days, we frequently used bookings agency Subotage Entertainment to book acts for our festival. This led to my first internship at Subotage Entertainment and BBE Music in Berlin, as both companies shared the same office. This even resulted in doing freelance work for BBE for a few more years.” Tim completed his graduation internship at the Cre8ion.Lab in Den Bosch, which was his first proper exposure to web and software development.
Change of plans
“After my graduation in 2012, I had actually planned a year of freelance work followed by some travelling before fully committing to my career.” With the exception of the travelling part, things went slightly different. During his graduation ceremony Tim already got approached by Peter Stepmen, an online marketing lecturer at the NHTV at that time. “He asked if I wanted come and work with him for a London-based venture capital firm called WPS Challenger. Only two weeks later I was in London and for the next 6 months I was travelling back and forth between that city and my hometown Nijmegen. Eventually I moved over there.
At WPSC we mainly worked on two projects, the first was a formula 1 - second screen application that allowed the user to decide the camera angle and monitor all the race data in real time. The second was a personal data platform for consumers to own and monetise their personal data. This was quite an ambitious and interesting project, but unfortunately too ahead of its time.”
Peter Stepman also asked Federico Ferraro to join the team. “On our first work trip in London together, Federico and I already met Bassel El Koussa who was just starting an internship at WPSC. While working at WSPC we also met lead software engineer Danny Hawkins and Rami Idriss. After just one year of working with each other, the five of us decided it was time to actually start our own business. We spent quite some time looking at different business concepts, but eventually we settled on Quiqup. For the first 3 months Danny's living room was our office, but we quickly grew out of it.”
Quiqup started as an app serving as a personal assistant shopper, giving users the power to buy or pick up anything from their local environment. Tim continues: “It took off like a storm! Our user base and the number of orders kept growing. This was a very intense time for us. Eventually, we raised additional capital to grow the team and even expand the business to Dubai.
The current focus for Quiqup is to provide a last mile infrastructure for business to leverage. Whether you order at Burger King or at H&M in London, Quiqup provides you with same-day delivery!” Nowadays Tim is responsible for Quiqup’s product development department, while taking on an active role in pre-sales for their enterprise sales efforts. But when asked ‘what is the first thing that springs to mind looking back on your life as a student?’ he answers with a big smile: “That life was sooo much easier back then!”