About us

Our mission is to support the thriving Dutch tech start-up ecosystem, through our Accelerator and the Global Tech Advocates network.

Contact us

Our story

Global Tech Advocates

We are the Dutch chapter of the Global Tech Advocates, an international grassroots tech
community, uniting the private sector in multiple cities and regions worldwide.

The GTA network consists of 20,000+ business leaders, experts and investors who volunteer their
time to campaign for the betterment of the global tech industry.

Our objectives

Support Dutch tech founders through mentoring and funding programmes, especially those with a diverse background.

Promote greater global collaboration
between The Netherlands and the global tech

Increase international awareness and promote the benefits of joining the Dutch tech scene.

Drive more investment into the Dutch start up space, especially to diverse founders.

Build a community of like-minded individuals and companies who get together to have fun.

Our Leadership


Andre Damian


Andre leads the day-to-day operations at Tech Netherlands Advocates. Prior to TNLA, he has founded and led two charities, ran Accelerator programmes for five years, supported 40+ social enterprises across five continents, and advocated for children rights at the United Nations. Andre holds an MBA at Quantic University, a law degree, and is a WEF Global Shaper.
Esther O'Callaghan

Esther O'Callaghan

Founder / Chair

Esther is the CEO and Founder of Hundo, a fast-growing Web 3.0 careers platform for Gen Z. She has 20+ years of experience across across the private and public sector. Esther has dedicated her life to tackling youth unemployment, resulting in hundreds of thousands of children and young people supported nationally and worldwide.
Maurice Bakker

Maurice Bakker

Board member

Maurice is Fund manager of IQ Capital, an early-stage VC fund in frontier technologies. As one of the founders in Startup Utrecht, he has a passion for helping entrepreneurs, building and expanding ecosystems, and is an open networker. He is a proud Ambassador of 4Ocean and Advisory Board member to the Quantum Collective. He is culturally diverse and interested, and has a proven track record in pushing for equal opportunity for over 20 years.
Lisette Braakenburg van Backum

Lisette Braakenburg van Backum

Board member

Lisette helps the fastest growing scale-ups of the Greater Rotterdam region with better access to talent, capital and markets, in her role at Up! Rotterdam. She has a background in community building, sales and marketing, and produces the Blijdorp Festival in her spare time.
Ohad Gilad

Ohad Gilad

Board member

Ohad is the Co-owner and Managing Partner of Keadyn, a tech VC firm, and Founder of 42Workspace, the tech co-work hub of Rotterdam. He has 26+ years of entrepreneurial and managerial experience. Ohad is active as an investor, connector and changemaker, and is passionate about impact, sustainability and innovation.
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