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Janneke Niessen

Co-Initiator of Inspiring Fifty & CIO and Co-Founder of Improve Digital

Janneke is a serial entrepreneur, technologist, innovator, and creative thinker. Most recently, she co-founded Improve Digital, a leading European marketing technology firm, and currently serves as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer. She also invests considerable time serving as a member of company (advisory) boards, she is mentor for start-ups, and she is active as an angel investor. In her industry, Janneke is a sought-after speaker and thought leader, regularly appearing at events to discuss entrepreneurship and digital marketing.
Janneke was named 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. One of many in a long list of honours for Janneke in her time with Improve Digital, with past recognition including Deloitte Fast 50, Deloitte Rising Star, Emerce European Startup Top 10, and European Digital Women of the Year, The Next Women Top 100 Most Influential Businesswomen, Online Media Women of the Year, Red Herring 100. 

Janneke is also co-initiator of Inspiring Fifty, a pan-European programme that identifies, encourages, develops, and showcases women in leadership positions within the technology sector. As part of the InspiringFifty initiative, Janneke has published a novel for young girls in conjunction with an award winning child book’s author. The goal of the project is to encourage young girls, inspiring them to pursue a career in technology and invest in an educational foundation focusing on math and computer science. Janneke recently joined the supervisory board of UNICEF and writes a column about entrepreneurship for Sprout and about technology for LINDA. At a personal level, she is a strong and vocal advocate for greater computer science and entrepreneurship education, beginning as early as the elementary school years. More broadly, she is an active voice in the Netherlands and across the EU, helping to highlight national and regional market strengths and reinforce their importance within the global technology landscape.

Joelle Frijters

Co-Initiator of Inspiring Fifty & CEO and Co-Founder at Improve Digital

Joelle is CEO and co-founder of Improve Digital. Since its founding in 2008, Joelle has led the company through a period of tremendous growth, seeing it emerge as a market leader in programmatic advertising. Joelle is a thought leader within the technology and online advertising industry, sought after as a speaker and commentator on topics ranging from entrepreneurship, digital marketing technology, and media revenue strategies. She is a guest lecturer on the MBA Entrepreneurship course at IESE Business School, and is also an active board and committee member, affiliated with regional and global organisations such as Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Prior to Improve Digital Joelle spent many years as a director at Microsoft, where she launched and oversaw Microsoft’s private advertising network in the EMEA region. Prior to Microsoft, with support from Nickelodeon and Isobar, Joelle initiated one of the very first social media start-ups, which was later sold to media giant Sanoma. Very early in her career, she worked with KLM, and it was here that her passion for yield and revenue management was born. Both Joelle and Improve Digital have won and have been nominated for several awards including Deloitte Fast 50, Deloitte Rising Star, Red Herring 100, Leading Online Entrepreneur of the Year, Online Media Women of the Year, Emerce European Start-up top 10, and The Next Women Top 100 most influential business women. Outside of her company role, Joelle regularly mentors start-ups as part of the Seedcamp programme; and in 2013 she co-founded Inspiring Fifty, a not-for-profit pan-European programme that identifies, encourages, develops, and showcases women within the technology sector. Joelle feels it is incredibly important to give back to the business community by helping to inspire a new generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs.


Nathalie La Verge

TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) at Deloitte & Board Member of InspiringFifty

Nathalie has more than 12 years of experience working for TMT clients within Deloitte. As segment lead Digital Clients, she is a member of the Core TMT industry team within Deloitte Netherlands.

Nathalie has worked mainly in the area of strategic risk management and Governance Risk & Compliance for broadcasters, publishers, production companies, telecom providers en technology companies. Nathalie is an active committee participant with the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), the industry trade organization for digital marketing, where she fulfilled the role of MD Netherlands (a.i) last year.

Next to serving clients in the TMT industry, Nathalie is a board member of the Inspiring Fifty foundation. Strong believer of creating role models as a positive and inspiring means of reaching more diversity and changing the perception of women in technology.