Sebastian Mennes

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Sebastian Mennes

Sebastian Mennes

Sebastian Mennes

Sebastian Mennes is a serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker and writer. He put together his first webshop as a teenager and in his twenties he was one of the most promising entrepreneurs in the Netherlands (MT/Sprout 25-under-25). Over the years, he has built several companies and has also made a strong international impression by being active commercially and in the non-profit sector in India, resulting in a mention in the Dutch Sustainable Young 100. In the years that followed, Mennes sold two companies: an internet agency (15 FTE) and a startup. Nowadays he invests in promising tech companies with startup studio StartupFabriek.

As a business administration graduate, Mennes investigated for his doctoral thesis the extent to which Software-as-a-Service makes organizations more flexible. In 2011 – before SaaS became a hype – he completed the master’s degree in Strategic Management (Tilburg University) with his thesis Software-as-a-Service: stepping stone towards organizational flexibility?

His first official steps as an entrepreneur were accompanied by the start of his studies. After endless side hustles that he had as a teenager, Mennes registered with the Chamber of Commerce after graduating from high school. In the two decades that followed, he and his international team of designers and developers developed countless innovative web applications, mobile apps and innovative websites. Previously mainly commissioned by prominent clients; nowadays only for his own companies and initiatives in which he invests.

As a professional speaker, Sebastian Mennes gives lectures and master classes, mainly around the themes of Work-life Balance and Business ↔ ICT. He trains and coaches managers, employees and entrepreneurs, in various sectors and various disciplines.

⛈️ Embracing Adversity & Vulnerability

But his success also had its downsides. In his twenties, Mennes suffered a burnout at home and in his thirties he fell into depression. Due to emotional and emotional wounds, self-sabotage and living on the edge were often lurking. In contrast to financially interesting exits in the last years of his entrepreneurship, he often teetered on the edge of the abyss in the early days and barely managed to avert bankruptcy on a number of occasions.

When Mennes thought he had finally gotten his life back on track, his brother died, the most intense thing he ever experienced. Although his daughter’s cerebral infarction just before her birth came awfully close to that…

Sebastien Mennes speaker

💼 As an Entrepreneur, Employer and Employee, knowing what you’re talking about

Working for a boss is something he would never do again, as Sebastian Mennes always told himself as an ambitious entrepreneur. Until a divorce threw a spanner in the works. In order to provide the necessary stability for his new role as a single father, Mr. the entrepreneur through and through, started looking for a job… After 20 years of being on his own two feet, starting to work as an employee meant, in addition to a solid lesson in humility, that he had to put his BVs on the back burner in order to adequately fulfill a demanding job. Most of all, this new reality forced him to put his ego aside and also let go of his personal beliefs. Ultimately, this provided Mennes with several interesting senior positions, a wealth of experience and a unique insight into the ins and outs of internationally operating growth companies. Working agile within a DevOps organization and subsequently being active in self-managing teams within a Holacracy have contributed to in-depth insights into innovative organizational forms and the dynamics of permanent employment. In addition to his knowledge and experience as an entrepreneur and employer, Mennes now also knows the ins and outs first-hand as an employee.

Mennes has provided numerous keynotes and masterclasses in recent years for companies such as PWC, Douwe Egberts and Movir, but also various municipalities, non-profits and at various events – including TEDx, TNW Conference and EventSummit. Mainly about Work-life Balance, Dealing with Setbacks and Conscious Entrepreneurship, but also Innovation in times of crisis, Inspiring Leadership, Remote Teams and Agile/Scrum are part of his repertoire. He made his debut as a speaker in 2016 during Inspiration360 (the predecessor of Business Boost Live), where he told his vulnerable story in a packed Ziggo Dome for 14,000 people, on the same stage as Al Gore and Richard Branson.

🗣No-nonsense, frank and straightforward

With a wealth of life experience, Sebastian Mennes knows how to captivate his audience from different angles and perspectives with fresh insights, entertaining anecdotes and concrete tips. He tells his story with passion and enthusiasm, in a way that fascinates and lingers. His style is no-nonsense, frank and straightforward.

Thanks to his university education, Mennes also brings with him the necessary knowledge, foundation and depth, while at the same time he does not take himself too seriously. His motto: Cut The Crap – also the title of his online platform, publishing company and video podcast. Armed with sharp questions, he searches for the real story behind special people, inspiring leaders and successful entrepreneurs. He also shares these lessons in his keynotes and master classes.


Sebastian touched me more than Al Gore – what an inspiration, I enjoyed it!
–Marijke de Cort

In addition to Al Gore & Richard Branson, speaking in front of thousands of people in the Ziggodome, Sebastian did so at Inspiration360. I coached him on the way there, both with his inspiring story and the mental preparation to stand firmly there in front of thousands of people. Sebastian learns very quickly, can tell inspiring stories for a large audience and does not shy away from making it vulnerable. Hats off to you for standing so firmly next to such greats!
-Joni Bais, Speakers Coach @ Great Communicators & TEDx

Sebastian has a purpose! He stands confidently on stage and looks at the audience with an open and fresh look. Sebastian tells a personal and inspiring story about burn out, uncertainty and how he wants and dares to break these taboos. A real entrepreneur who acts and lives from his heart!
– Rebecca Roggeveen, Purpose Recruitment

Read more about his Masterclass Work-Life Balance


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