Meet the ttopstart team: Consultant Jelle Eikelhof

8 September 2021

At ttopstart we work in an international team of creative innovators. In our series ‘Meet the ttopstart team’ we introduce you to our colleagues, from consultants to programme leaders, business developers and directors. We interviewed Jelle about his passion for science, love for his job and personal interests.

As a consultant at ttopstart, Jelle works everyday with (biomedical) researchers and entrepreneurs to help them turn their innovations into reality. He supports our clients in the translation of their disruptive innovations while simultaneously challenging their ideas to improve them together. We interviewed Jelle about his passion for science, his background, and personal interests.

Jelle, can you tell us how and when your love for science started?

I have been passionate about (life) science since as long as I can remember. When I was little, I was already very curious to discover how the world works, specifically with regards to nature. During high school, biology quickly became my favourite course, as it provided me with all the answers that I had been so curious for. However, with every answer came more questions. Hence, it was a natural step for me to continue my studies in the field of biology to satisfy my urge for research and innovation.

What is something biomedical innovators have to deal with that you want to fix?

I believe that very few people are aware of the difficulties that biomedical innovators face to bring a novel device/medication/technique to the market (and thus to patients). There is very little realisation about how many innovations, that each could have a serious impact on the quality of our healthcare, never make it to the market regardless of their often enormous potential. For example in the case of the antibiotics market, where it is practically impossible to bring new compounds to the market, even though we really need them. Creating awareness of these issues and struggles is step one in boosting biomedical innovation.

What are your credentials/past experience, for working in your position?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology (with a focus on molecular genetics) and a master’s degree in Science and Business Management from Utrecht University. During my studies I gained experience in scientific research during an internship and subsequent job as student research assistant at the Plant-Microbe Interactions group of the Department of Environmental Biology at Utrecht University. Here, I worked on the genetic elucidation of the recognition of Bremia lactucae (downy mildew) effector proteins in lettuce and on developing methods for the improvement of the sequencing of resistance gene clusters in plant genomes. Additionally, I gained experience in the field of consultancy through an internship in the Executive Leadership and Change team of the Strategy and Transformation department of Capgemini Consulting. My broad academic background and experiences in both molecular biology and business management provide me with a helicopter view across markets and scientific fields.

What do you like most about working at ttopstart?

What I like most about working at ttopstart is the collaborating and brainstorming with likeminded colleagues. The culture of constant improvement and curiosity pushes me to become a better consultant and professional as a whole.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I grew up in Rotterdam and have lived there for most of my live. I have spent most of my free time on the athletics track of PAC Rotterdam where I used to train as a hurdler and sprinter. After persistent injuries forced me to slow down, I transitioned into a role of youth trainer. Which is something I’m seeking to continue once I’m settled in my new place in Utrecht. Additionally, next to my studies at Utrecht University, I used to work as a salesman and running specialist at the Runnersworld store in Rotterdam centre.
What are the values that drive you?
Honesty, transparency and collaboration

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

In my free time I really enjoy going on adventures on my motorcycle, reading (comic) books, playing videogames, and visiting new places together with my girlfriend Christina.

Do you want to become a ttopstarter as well?

Are you interested in joining our team? Check out our career page! We are always looking for talented and motivated people.

“I believe that very few people are aware of the difficulties that biomedical innovators face to bring a novel device/medication/ technique to the market (and thus to patients). There is very little realisation about how many innovations, that each could have a serious impact on the quality of our healthcare, never make it to the market regardless of their often enormous potential.”

– JELLE EIKELHOF, MSc CONSULTANT AT TTOPSTART

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