Ruud Hendriks co-founded the first commercial radio and tv stations in the Netherlands; Sky Radio, Radio 10, RTL 4 and RTL 5.
In 2011 he decided to challenge himself, leaving the media industry and moving into innovation by co-founding the Innoleaps Group.
Currently the company owns Startupbootcamp, the leading startup accelerator outside the U.S, Innoleaps, the accelerator for corporate digital transformation and The Talent Institute, an accelerator for people.
He’s a renown speaker about innovation, entrepreneurship and media and writes a monthly column for tech magazine Emerce.
Ruud is a supervisory board member at Invest-NL and advisory board member at BSUR.
Ruud is co-founder of over 900 companies.
"Building companies is a passion for us. Just like the word 'work' is never really mentioned"
After studying journalism Ruud started his career as a DJ on board legendary pirate station Radio Caroline.
At the age of 20 he became a TV-reporter. Over the years Ruud anchored numerous Dutch radio and tv programs about news, current-affairs and sports for stations such as NPS, Veronica, AVRO and BNR
In 1982 he initiated the first non-stop newsradio format in the Netherlands.
In the late eighties Ruud co-founded Sky Radio and Radio 10. In 1989 he co-founded TV- stations RTL4 and RTL5 and became their first program director.
Under his tenure RTL became the market leading TV broadcaster in the Netherlands.
In 1992 Ruud became President of NBC Europe in London and transformed NBC Superchannel into CNBC Europe.
In 1994 he became an executive board member of TV-production company Endemol Entertainment. When he left in 2001 Endemol had add subsidiaries in 18 countries. Market value had grown from 135 million euros’ to 5.3 billion.
Amongst others he developed the online business model for “Big Brother”.
Ruud played a key role in Endemol’s I.P.O, the start of failed pay tv channel Sport7, and the acquisition of Endemol by Telefonica from Spain.
Ruud had several non-executive and advisory board positions at amongst others Rabobank, Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers, Radio 538 and UBF.
Currently he's the Chief Strategy Officer at Innoleaps and a supervisory board member at Invest-NL, advisory board member at BSUR, Group and a columnist at Emerce.
How do you view the course of your career so far?
I experienced unique highs such as the start of RTL4 and the IPO of Endemol, where I spent 8 years on the Executive Board. But the downfall of "Sport 7" was an absolute low that I have learned a lot from. I still apply those lessons daily.
You made a remarkable career switch in 2011?
Yes, at my 50th birthday I had achieved everything I could in the media industry. The likes of Netflix and Spotify were growing rapidly and I realised that if I ever wanted to do something completely different and reinvent myself this was the moment. I had the skills, the experience and the financial means to start all over again. So I co-founded the Innoleaps group which basically does what I love most, helping others to start new ventures. Since then the company grew to a major international innovation and digital transformation specialist.
What are your goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
From a business perspective, I want to continue building the Innoleaps Group's three brands(Startupbootcamp, Innoleaps and The Talent Institute) into major international players without becoming as slow and bureaucratic as some of our customers.
Privately, I just want to enjoy life. I've a wonderful wife with whom I work with closely. We're both very passionate about creating new ideas and companies.
How do you prepare for a performance?
Thorough. I read everything there is to know about a subject and the target group. Speaking or chairing myself is the easiest, I have done that hundreds of times. I do spend a lot of time on logistics. How do you handle parallel sessions and how do people get on stage well? The preparation is the crucial part that really stands or falls with everything.