Well, this is going to be confusing.  One of our entrepreneurs is also named Neal.  Neal Oddens. He even spells his name the same way as I do.  Therefore, I have to choose a new name for him. Let’s call him Oddens for now to save confusion.

Oddens is CEO of IncreaseOnline, a company that uses analytics to help companies price and sell their digital media online. AdTech is something that is near and dear to my VC heart these days. I have several investments in AdTech companies, and it’s a space I think has tremendous potential.  That’s why I decided to bring Oddens to Neal’s Running Start.

I also like that this isn’t Oddens’ first rodeo.  He founded BandenConcurrent.nl, a Dutch e-commerce platform for tires. With growth of 1700% over 5 years, BandenConcurrent.nl has become a market leader and is now a popular household “go to website” for tires in the Netherlands.  I’m interested to see not only if he can do it again, but if he can take IncreaseOnline even further this time.

Oddens hails from Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities.  Lately, that city has been ripe with new internet talent, with the rise of incubators and communities like Appsterdam. I think there’s a lot of opportunities for IncreaseOnline and for entrepreneurship in Amsterdam. However, as progressive as the Dutch start-up scene is, there is still a largely conservative approach to company growth and investing in the Netherlands.  I’ve had a couple of angel investments there before, and I know the pros and the cons.  I hope we can give Oddens some real pointers for jumpstarting his company’s growth and taking back some of that wisdom to Amsterdam in May so he can pave an aggressive path to even greater success than he’s experienced in the past.

Oddens, like his namesake (me), agrees:

“While I’ve built a successful company before, I feel it’s time for the next level, ” said Oddens.  “I’m excited to spend time with Neal learning about how to build a company that reaches farther and grows bigger than I’ve ever managed before.  For that, I’m going to need a good mentor, and I’m so grateful Neal has chosen me to be part of this program.”

Welcome, Neal, or um, Oddens! Twitter: @nealoddens