Technical leadership: Approachable, Fearless, and Fair

Written by Ines El Hamri

Véronne Reinders is the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Aristotle Technologies, an award-winning software development startup based in the Brainport Region. Her technical leadership is the driving force behind Aristotle’s innovative push for data-driven and personalized cognitive training. She always dreamt of having her own company. At 25, she is leading her own development team and she is here to stay!

Véronne Reinders is respected and well-regarded by her team and their partners because she is making a real impact, both professionally and personally. Being a Co-Founder and CTO at 25 is not an everyday occurrence and therefore shouldn’t go unnoticed. She oversees the technical strategy, both in building the technology as well as creating and managing the team to maintain and optimize it. Next to that, she is part of the executive board together with the CEO Maurits Overmans, and COO Marcello Sala.

Véronne is described by her team as an outspoken, courageous, and determined person. But of course, her story runs deeper than that. As a young girl, Véronne liked to create something out of nothing. Making puzzles, little robots, and the list goes on and on. She loves to create and is absolutely fascinated with our brain’s ability to trick us.

Her education started at Radboud University Nijmegen, where she got her bachelor’s degree in Artificial Intelligence. She then went on to get her master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence. This time she aspired to learn more about the application of science, bringing her to the Eindhoven University of Technology. Véronne has played handball on a high level where she was constantly looking at new ways to train to beat the competition. That is why she jumped at the chance when she saw the PSV assignment as a TU/e Innovation Space project. All she knew was that she had to be on the team, no matter what. She stuck it out as the only woman because she was determined that she would make an impact on this team.

Being one of the guys is something Véronne is used to, but she would like to make a difference and be an example for women in tech. During her studies, Véronne went abroad to Sydney. Walking into a lecture room full of guys and being looked at like you don’t belong because a woman in a technical course did not fit their norm, is something that she will never forget. This motivated her even more to show the power of women in the tech world. As the CTO, Véronne is extremely proud that half the development team consists of strong and hard-working women. She sees great potential in Andreea Murariu and Maja Burnell, our leading ladies in the AI department, and is grateful that they work at Aristotle Technologies.

Thinking back to the beginning of Aristotle Technologies, there are a few things she wishes she knew before this adventure began. Everyone does things differently and that is okay, learn to delegate; entrust your team with tasks and responsibilities. Starting as the CTO in September, her insecurities were high, but one month later she knew that she is the perfect person for this job. The most valuable advice I got in the past month was; ‘We are all just doing something, and it is okay to not know what you are doing. As long as you like what you’re doing and do it with ambition and passion, you will get there, eventually.’

Véronne her goal within Aristotle? To have a good atmosphere and dynamic on the work floor. With diversity and inclusivity being very important to work well together, she hopes that Aristotle is an example to others. Véronne wants her team to always feel like they can ask her anything and be an approachable, fearless, and fair leader.

‘I hope that someone can read this one day and think, if she can do it, so can I.’

Her piece of advice: ’Follow your passion and intuition, do everything at 110% and the rest will come, one step and one day at a time.’

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Marcello Sala

  • Business Innovation Manager & Content Manager
  • Current Study: MSc Innovation Management – TU/e

During recent years, I became more aware that a vast majority of technological advancements are not put to their full use in the current society. Some reasons for this are the fear of change that a lot of people experience, the lack of knowledge and awareness of the newest applications and because the existing infrastructure cannot keep up with the speed of technological innovation. Therefore, my goal is to inform people about the newest possibilities of the technology of this time and the added value these advancements can have to their daily life by making seemingly complicated technologies easy to use and understand for everyone. This is also why I decided to join Aristotle. I believe that there is still a lot of ground to cover in cognitive training and that we as Aristotle can make a difference.

Dirk Aarts

  • UX/UI Manager & Assistant Software Developer
  • Current Study: MSc Human-Technology Interaction – TU/e

I have a background in Automotive Engineering at Fontys and after completing the pre-master at the start of last year, I started the master. Due to the current global pandemic, the international semester had been cancelled. As an alternative, I knew I wanted to do something pro-active and work on a practical project instead of following more theoretical courses, and the TU/e Innovation Space project could offer just that. At Aristotle I can apply and broaden my knowledge of cognition, combined with a diverse multidisciplinary team there is a lot for me to learn! Together with Aristotle, I believe we can explore and create effective cognitive training tools and lift athletes to the next level both personally and professionally.

Antonios Mantzaris

  • Data Scientist & Software Developer
  • Current Study: MSc Data Science – EIT Digital Master School

I have the luck to study in two of the top universities in Europe, TU/e in Eindhoven and KTH in Stockholm and also get a minor in Entrepreneurship besides the Data Science track. I would describe myself as analytical, organizing and pragmatic. I joined Aristotle to get out of my comfort zone, develop my personal skills in social and technical aspects but also implement my knowledge attained from my studies so far in a real-life problem, in realistic conditions. I believe we can really make an impact with innovative ideas and tools but also highlight the advantages of cognitive training in football or in general.