Inside ACELR8
April 4, 2020
August 16, 2021

Isabel’s First Month at ACELR8

Isabel Strijland

I just finished my first busy, crazy, nice, new month at ACELR8 in Berlin. Now I want to share my first thoughts on startups and the process of attracting talent. Startups come with innovative solutions that can make the world a better place. It is this mystic notion of startups that makes them so popular to start one: everybody can change the world, as everybody can be an entrepreneur and every entrepreneur can have a startup and every startup can become successful. We all know the stories about Airbnb and Uber, so the next unicorn might be just around the corner. Investors love this story being told, including the strong team and the big potential of the product. Which brings me to the next step of scaling. A lot of money is invested in young companies, which pressures them to accelerate within a short time frame. New departments grow and a lot of new talent needs to be attracted.


Wanting to be part of the latter, I have started working at ACELR8, which connects executive talent to those startups. Working with startups is super inspiring. New products and business ideas come up all the time, but the startups we work with actually acted on those ideas and created a business out of it. Most of them are at the stage of Rapid Scaling, due to the investment they received. That means that they are in high need of finding the right talent that fits their specific startup culture and brings the experience to grow. As the companies are young, the reputation is purely based on the potential of the product and the investment they received. Searching for talent can be anstrengend from time to time, for the simple reason that all there is a lot of demand and little supply. The recruitment tools all together would function as the perfect sourcing tool, but all separately can take a lot of time and it is easy to get lost in the woods of LinkedIn and Github. When you get lost in the woods, it is mostly because you missed a part of the track or took a wrong turn and don’t recognise the trees anymore. The same happens in my first searches: you miss some important knowledge and you end up in the wrong search. Dedicated to learning more and with some good guidance, I started mapping out the startup ecosystem in Berlin, learning where to find talents and following Stanford CS50. This gave me the confidence and knowledge to find connections to some amazing people.

Golden Triangle

You could say that we follow three different approaches at ACELR8. First of all, the American way, where investment and personal care is key. Finding good people starts with the effective sourcing and nurturing throughout the process. With the motto aiming for the moon, so when you miss you will still end up with the stars, is key in this approach. The second one is the French approach, where the ratio is important, using time and patience as a weapon for creating the best strategy of search and reach out. The last approach would be the British one, even with Brexit happening, this approach is focused on the use of a network. Referrals and first connections are key. These approaches some up to four strong points of ACELR8: personalisation, ratio, dedication and networking. Let’s see what the Dutch approach will add.


Before ending this blog, I want to share one more thing that I have learned: the work we do is changing people’s life. We do not only help the startups to grow and become successful, but we help talent to do the same. Starting a new job means beginning a new chapter. Making a difference. Which brings me to my own new chapter, of which I already love the introduction and cannot wait to write the next part on Recruitment, Project Management, Account Management, Business Development, Consulting, Research Analysis and Technical Learning.

Thank you!

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