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.’