I help Leaders set the right direction and reach their destination.

My name is Manuel Koelman [kuːlman]. I am an entrepreneur, investor and leadership whisperer.

Leaders get direct access to me, my know-how and experience of 15+ years building, running and investing in companies, as well as to the PIRATE network.

In the last years I have been sparringspartner to more than 100 Leaders from corporates, startups and organizations.

Currently, I spend 50% of my time with the Leaders of my portfolio companies. The other 50% I spend with ambitious Leaders that are on the journey to build and grow meaningful businesses.


Every now and again leading a company becomes overwhelming. Are we working on the right things? Did I choose the right strategy? How can we beat the competition? What can we do to transform faster? How to motivate the team?

It can be a lonely journey. As a Leader it is hard to find somebody to trust and to speak with openly. And yet there is hardly anything more effective than taking moments of reflection, structure the challenges and prioritize well.

My job is to help you see clearly, navigate the ups and downs and find the best way forward. I am your sparringspartner, not a consultant. So rather than selling fish, I will help make sure that you know how to catch fish and become the best fisherman you can possibly be. 


  • Leaders that want to grow and become the best leader they can possibly be
  • Leaders that have to lead through a digital transformation
  • Leaders that want to find the best digital strategy and innovate faster
  • Leaders that have extremely ambitious growth targets and need to scale fast


  • A structured and practice-oriented approach to reach your objectives
  • Unfiltered feedback and sparring on the topics that matter most to you
  • Somebody that holds you accountable to your objectives
  • Access to a super strong network of startups, investors and entrepreneurs

I work on a fixed monthly fee basis. You can cancel anytime.


I am an entrepreneur at heart, and that is deeply reflected in how I work. To me results and outcomes are more important than pretty slides or the amount of time spent. Therefore, my focus will be on what is feasible and effective. Usually, that means to reduce complexity, prioritize and focus.

My feedbacks and reflections are straight-forward, clear and direct. But always from the heart. My aim is not to be right, but to create better outcomes.

Every company is unique and I always work context-specific and consider the individual company setup and market. Wherever you are, there is always a next step on the way forward. I work with you to find that path and start walking.

Moving forward means change. And it’s often a painful process. I consider organizations to be complex social systems that cannot be deterministically formed but purposefully changed. It requires a leader that strives for results yet doesn’t forget the process, thoughtful yet determined. I will help you balance well.

COVID-19 Office Hours

It’s devastating to see the number of companies that are currently struggling. Crisis always means tough decisions. And tough decisions are most often lonely decisions. If you need a sparrings partner right now to talk through strategic options, cost-cutting, hard pivots, a communication plan, etc. please feel free to reach out.

I am used to crisis mode. I know how it feels. I have been through the playbook several times before: Extend run rate when revenue plummets, motivate the team when the outlook is dim and build a sound strategic plan when uncertainty peaks. I launched a recruiting company in January 2009. Then too, the world was falling apart. Selling recruiting services during a crisis is tough.

Of course, this is entirely free and 100% confidential.

Max 4 per day and no longer than 25 mins each

Do you want your work to be more focused and meaningful?

Get in contact.