Not everyone is brave enough to take the leadership of a ground-breaking start-up like Surge-on Medical. Luckily, we have Benno.
From the innovative kid to the businessman
Originally from the historical city of Delft, the Netherlands, Benno has always been on the move. Even from a young age, he was always looking for business opportunities and convincing his classmates to join him. With an incredible ability to detect business opportunities from his environment, Benno was constantly innovating when other kids were just playing catch.
Naturally, Benno was destined for a business life.
After one year at the Delft University of Technology and Leiden University (studying Life Science & Technology), he followed his passion for business and enrolled into one of the most entrepreneurial business schools: the Erasmus University Rotterdam. There, he completed his Bachelor in Business Administration and Master in Entrepreneurship & New Business Venturing (specializing in entrepreneurial finance) programs. However, Benno could no longer wait until his graduation to start his first medical technology (medtech) business together with a fellow student. Prior to that, Benno grew his private tutoring company to a team of 10 tutors, but he wanted to build a highly scalable and impactful business and therefore got into innovative medtech.
Salusion was Benno’s first company in the medtech sector, which was focused on severely incontinent people. The business was to help ensure adult diapers were changed at the right time with the help of a passive chip placed in the diapers. They filed three different patents and had three different products on the market. But suddenly, they had to file for bankruptcy, because one of their suppliers withdrew his guarantee on their bank loan. “I learned a lot of lessons from it, which I can now pass along to aspiring entrepreneurs,” recalls Benno from this experience.
Benno’s vision has been enriched by meaningful interactions with the business world across borders. After Salusion, he was invited to work for a new international accelerator in Brazil. Then, he went to Budapest to write a recommendation for a new cleantech incubator.
Later, Benno worked at the Dutch Embassy in Athens to help young entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a self-sustaining business, addressing both the “brain drain” and youth unemployment in Greece.
“The whole field of incubation and helping other start-ups with my experience and network became more and more interesting to me. I worked with several start-ups and did consulting to governments. At some point, I realised that it was time for a bigger project,” says Benno.
Back in the Netherlands, Benno gathered all his international knowledge to create a platform aiming to promote entrepreneurial initiatives worldwide. At Groosman.co Startups, Benno provided experienced guidance and hands-on management of projects in multiple areas for local and national governments, universities, event organizers, start-ups, investors, large companies and NGOs. Together with his previous business mentor, he completed a management buy-out for VirtualMedSchool, where Benno became CFO.
At Surge-on Medical and beyond
After crossing paths with Tim Horeman a couple of times in their previous companies, Benno and Tim got together to found Surge-on Medical in 2015. “I’ve known Benno for more than 10 years, and I knew he was the right choice for the CEO role,” says Horeman, co-founder and CTO of Surge-on Medical. “His experience in business and especially in the healthcare industry were what I was looking for. He is the support that I need for Surge-on Medical, the exact complement to my skills necessary to build a strong and successful company.”
Today, Benno has successfully led Surge-on Medical through diverse international initiatives and partnerships. The company has been recognized by the relevance of its steerable technology in many occasions, where Benno has played a key role in showcasing Surge-on Medical’s impact. His relevant contacts in the fields of funding, finance and business development have been crucial for Surge-on Medical’s development, and his entrepreneurial approach allowed for the creation of strong international partnerships.
As the energetic businessman that he is, Benno gets regularly invited to national and international events to share his knowledge and to inspire others to create their own ventures.
“Business is my passion, but adding medical technology to that really gives it a purpose. Our innovations truly have the power to improve lives,” states Benno. “My goal is to make Surge-on Medical a leading company in the field of minimally invasive surgery through continuous innovation and building partnerships with the best parties around the world.”
”The first cross-border European equity crowdfunding campaign we’re running now, supported by EIT Health and Aescuvest, is an example of the previous. It combines my interest in entrepreneurial finance with truly opening up our company to investors throughout Europe (and even beyond). We develop innovations for the public good, and now the public can join us on that very rewarding journey!” finalizes Benno.