Interview – Meeting our Business Team

Welcome to this series of interviews with different departments within Aristotle Technologies. We will dive into different departments within our team and give you an insight into the dynamic environment of Aristotle Technologies. Within this interview, you will get to know the Business Department of Aristotle Technologies!

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Written by Lynn van Mourik

Danique Stappers, 24 years old, joined Aristotle Technologies last year. She has a master’s degree in industrial design from the Eindhoven University of Technology and a strong passion for sports. Each summer, Danique volunteers as a lifeguard on Texel beach. This responsibility has supported her in developing analytical insight, risk management, and leadership skills. She is intrinsically motivated to work together in such a manner that others can be helped at best. Currently, she is growing into her function as Product Manager. Her approach in her sales role is deeply rooted in human-centered design, focusing on creating solutions that are both intuitive and effective for the customer’s environment.

Maurits Overmans is one of the co-founders of Aristotle Technologies and will always tell you about Aristotle Technologies with full enthusiasm and passion. During his master’s in biomedical engineering, he met his fellow co-founders and decided to stop with his master’s degree to pursue Aristotle Technologies full-time. His motivation stems from personal experience witnessing the impact of cognitive decline on a loved one. This loss, however, has instilled in him a strong drive and determination to do everything in his power to assist as many people as possible who are actively working to recover and enhance their quality of life. Observing people strive to better themselves each day also ties closely to high-performing athletes in sports. This is particularly relevant to his hobby and passion for following sports like football and baseball, where he seeks to discover the hidden talents of tomorrow.

Marcello Sala is also one of the co-founders of Aristotle Technologies. With this background in Industrial Design and Innovation Management, he liked to explore, create, and brainstorm from an early age. What motivates him is the ability to create something from scratch, like a product, prototype, community, network, and complete business. Especially in the case of Aristotle Technologies, where he was motivated by the activities in the world of sports. Marcello is very stress-resilient, which is important in his role as COO & Head of Sports. Next to his role within Aristotle Technologies, he is project leader at TU/e innovationSpace where he envisions and concretizes how the University of 2050 could look like.

 

What is your role within Aristotle Technologies? What do you like about your role?

Maurits: I am co-founder and CEO of Aristotle Technologies; within the business department, I also have the role of lead salesperson. I deeply enjoy discovering the problems that keep our clients from doing their jobs more efficiently and effectively. That is the starting point of finding a solution together. This provides the opportunity to help leading organizations in their respective markets by providing our products. Next, it is an absolute pleasure to be on some of the biggest stages to share our story and connect with new people in the market segments we operate in.

Danique: Together with Maurits, I participate in the sales department. I visit and acquire potential customers and evaluate the customer’s needs and think about how we can provide the best solution for the client. Moreover, I prioritize sustainable clients and try to be as involved with them as possible.

Marcello: I am the COO & Head of Sports. I like to create an environment in which everyone can focus on their expertise and specialties, without having to worry about the practical implications, since I take that part on me. As Head of Sports, the intention is that I am heavily involved in contact with our partners in sports and clients and participate in the expansion strategy in the sports world.

 

How does the business side of Aristotle Technologies collaborate with the technical team to prioritize and execute projects?

Maurits: The main goal of the business department is to commercialize our products. We do this by having lots of conversations with potential clients to deeply understand their needs and desires to do their work more efficiently and effectively. In the process, we build our network and conduct extensive market analysis. This is the starting point upon which a strategic commercialization plan is made. This is executed by doing sales meetings, marketing, and attending conferences and industry events. To make it sustainable, our team is responsible for good customer relationship management to make sure that clients will experience long-term value.

 

How does the business side of Aristotle Technologies collaborate with the technical team to prioritize and execute projects?

Maurits: In the end, we all care about getting the best product to our end users, to help them achieve their goals. For the business department, it is our goal to validate the needs of our target group and communicate them to our technical team. The technical team’s vision is important in defining priorities concerning the development roadmap. Their creativity and critical thinking skills provide solutions to fulfill the needs of our target group. The business team then needs to be able to convey the value of this newly developed feature to better address the customer’s pain points and introduce the customer gains.

 

What sets Aristotle Technologies apart from its competitors in the industry?

Danique: Our approach is grounded in scientific research and real-life experiences of customers and users, ensuring we address actual problems. We introduce a unique method for facilitating cognitive double-task training. Our product is easily accessible, requiring only an internet connection and a screen, such as a tablet, monitor, or laptop. It is designed to seamlessly integrate into existing working environments, allowing it to be applied in current working methods or training sessions. Our focus is on the user, with cognitive tasks managed by the product, freeing the user to concentrate fully on exercise execution. Additionally, our product offers measurability, providing valuable data insights after each session.

Marcello: Moreover, we focus on dual-task training, which is proven to be a highly effective development method. Next to this, our network of partners is impressive, which helps us to constantly learn new things from our applications/markets and can translate that to create a stronger value proposition.

 

What was your/the motivation to start with Aristotle Technologies?

Marcello: I always had an entrepreneurial mindset and the dream to start my own business one day. However, I never expected it to happen so early on in my career. The first thing that attracted me to Aristotle specifically was to be active in the world of (top)sports, but due to recent personal experiences in my life and that of close colleagues, we also saw the need for our tool in sectors where we can really make a difference in the quality of life of our target groups.

Maurits: The loss of a close one was the strongest motivator for me to start with Aristotle. I need to stay loyal, determined, and focused to achieve our goals and help as many people as possible. In combination with the opportunity to meet my co-founders during a course at the Eindhoven University of Technology resulted in the chance to go all-in.

 

Can you share a memorable experience or project that you have worked on during your time at Aristotle?

Danique:  If I must pick one moment, I would like to highlight our participation in “the Pitch” at FC Utrecht. It was interesting to discuss our product with others, which brings novel perspectives and shows the value of our hard work. Winning this competition made me realize that the potential of Aristotle is recognized by experts in the field. Eventually, I believe that going to these competitions and conferences prevents us from getting into the bubble of our own product. By visiting these kinds of events, we stay in touch with the latest developments and relevant technological breakthroughs, which give a wake-up call whenever it is necessary.

 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your time at Aristotle Technologies that has helped shape the company’s success?

Maurits: I needed to learn how to ask for help and be open to collaborating more. Expanding the business team with Danique and Lynn helped me be more collaborative and their input and insights improved how we reach out to potential clients and deal with marketing strategy.

Danique: I would say that the open environment we hold is essential for being successful. The combination of giving feedback in a respectful manner and discussing multiple perspectives results in an overall viewpoint with consideration of stakeholders, struggles, and solutions.

Marcello: You should only start a company in something that you are enthusiastic about. In 99% of the cases, everything that you think will be easily achievable is a lot harder. This requires hard work and resilience. If you do not enjoy what you do that will not be worth it.

 

Why is it important what Aristotle Technologies does?

Danique: Technology has reached a point where it is mostly viewed as a troublemaker by the increased use of automated products, social media, and smartphone addiction. Therefore, it is great that Aristotle facilitates technology that is aimed at helping people. Whether it is everyday activities that can be enjoyed again instead of challenging or a boost in sports performances, I am proud that we are there to tackle real-world problems.

Marcello: Yes, we really help to reach the goals of our users. Whether it is supporting someone to become a better athlete, or supporting someone in improving their quality of life, being able to contribute to that is important and fulfilling.

 

In your opinion, how can Aristotle Technologies stay innovative in the rapidly evolving tech landscape?

Maurits: Co-creation is in the DNA of Aristotle Technologies. Through the strong partnerships we established, we will always stay committed to improving on the latest user feedback. In combination with our continued and extensive market analysis with potential clients, we understand what alternatives are tried to solve their problems and it helps us understand our role in the competitive landscape. This helps us to improve and have a unique value proposition to serve our clients.

 

How do you see the future for Aristotle Technologies?

Maurits: We have the mission to help 1 million people with cognitive challenges in the year 2030. I am dedicated to growing our business department and strengthening our commercialization strategy to achieve this. I see a majority position in the domains of professional sports, physiotherapy, and (special) education starting in the Netherlands, expanding in the Western EU, and scaling to the North American market.

Danique: Yes indeed. This year we will focus on gaining more new customers which will allow more people to discover the potential of training in cognitive double tasks.

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