Jaap van Tilburg: Online Businesses Ideas

Bea Stanford, the founder of Insego blog, talked with the Jaap van Tilburg, the Programme manager of VentureLab International about his own start-ups.

Don’t put all eggs in one basket is a well-known strategy that many entrepreneurs keep in mind. This is also a Jaap van Tilburg’s motto, who, apart from having a successful career as a board member of VentureLab Twente, he has a number of websites and online businesses.
As I always advocate creating a passive and residual supplemental income stream on the side, I took the chance to learn about Jaap’s approach.

First, why would anybody want to have a small business on the side if you have a good job?

There are many reasons:

  • Job security is a huge issue. Globalization, outsourcing, downsizing and economic woes, in general, are worrying people. Many desire something to fall back on; a safety blanket underneath them to catch them if and when they fall.
  • You might want to learn something new and challenge yourself
  • You have brilliant ideas that your work doesn’t allow you to realize, because you want to have the financial benefits for yourself or because you want to do things your own way.

Jaap has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years. When he accepted a job at the university he liked to continue some entrepreneurial activities. Anyway, having a small business on the side is getting more and more popular. There are many factors that decide how successful that will be, depending on business model and expectations. Jaap van Tilburg says some of his 6 websites are more successful than others.

For example. www.spocnet.net , dedicated to spreading information about doing business in Curacao, is a great support for the offline business. This website is a driving vehicle to offline meetings that van Tilburg organizes regularly. To attract traffic, van Tilburg uses a social media strategy including YouTube movies. The business monetization model is based on public sponsoring and the earning model via the website is in preparation.

One of his sites, innomeet.com,  is the other story. He was very optimistic about this website. It should match innovators with potential buyers and help them create long-term partnerships. Visitors have reached via the traditional PPC (pay per click) method as well as by SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Unfortunately, the idea wasn’t as popular as Jaap predicted and the website is now waiting for new inspiration.

Jaap also has 4 other businesses that deliver him a steady stream of work, help him build relationships and also enhance his credibility as an expert in the field. Furthermore, he says that having businesses online is a need to be recognized, brings in new clients out of his existing network and helps him to stay on top of the game.

Jaap is an avid YouTube user and has his own popular hits. This can be another way of creating passive income. I like Jaap’s contagious attitude of being open to trying new things, whatever it is, social media or a new business. I agree when he says that, if you want to succeed, you have to change your mindset first and foremost. There are so many possibilities around all of us.

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We have received great support from VentureLab in the form of network meetings and training sessions. Each networking opportunity offers a chance to establish contact with other entrepreneurs to share ideas.

Elisa Gielen and Paul Jenkins



VentureLab brought all of this together for me in one environment. I acquired new knowledge, learned from best practises, and met a variety of inspiring professionals from various fields and levels of experience.

Jos Koenders

Thermo Comb


I realized that I would need more than my technical background alone in order to succeed in business. With the support of VentureLab Twente, I was able to fine tune the business concept for Trade-Base from marketing and strategy perspective.

Dennis Doubovski

Social Mining