From Biology to App Development

Alexander's journey began with a background in biology, where he pursued a PhD at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. His passion for computers and technology was always present and during his PhD, he started building apps for scientists, which gained significant popularity and later led him to make a life-changing decision.

Pioneering the iTunes for Scientists
While pursuing his academic career, Alexander realized the need for an app that could simplify the management of scientific articles. Inspired by iTunes, he developed an app called Papers, which allowed researchers to organize and search for their research articles effortlessly. This innovative idea quickly gained traction within the scientific community and became a game-changer for researchers worldwide.

Transitioning from Science to Entrepreneurship
With a growing success of Papers, Alexander realised his passion for app development surpassed his academic pursuits. He made the brave decision to leave his scientific career behind and embrace entrepreneurship full-time. He started working from home, created and expanded his team, and built a thriving software development company. Papers achieved a significant dimension and Alexander became a successful manager to the point he decided to sell the business. It was time to recover the entrepreneur spirit and to create a new venture from scratch!

The Birth of Agenda and Embracing Mentorship
After the success of Papers, Alexander sought new challenges and opportunities. He embarked on developing a note-taking app called Agenda developed by momenta, which he co-created with a friend. This project allowed him to revisit the initial phase of building something from scratch and truly connect with the development process.

While focusing on his own projects, Alexander also found joy in mentoring other entrepreneurs
He recognises the importance of sharing his experiences and expertise to support and guide young entrepreneurs along their journey. He believes in helping others succeed and has been actively involved in mentorship programs, such as Beta-i, to make a positive impact on the startup ecosystem.

The Role of Angel Investment and Core Angels
Alexander's success as an entrepreneur and app developer led him to explore the world of angel investment. He became part of COREAngels, to further expand his involvement in the startup ecosystem. Alexander emphasises the value of being part of a group like COREangels, which provides a network of contacts, diverse perspectives, and continuous learning opportunities.

Key Factors in Identifying Successful Startups
While acknowledging that there are no foolproof methods to predict startup success, Alexander highlights the significance of the founder's attitude and personality. He believes that a founder's determination, adaptability, and ability to overcome challenges play a vital role in a startup's trajectory. A founder who can effectively implement his or her ideas and pivot when necessary increases the chances of success.

Preferred Sectors and Roles in COREangels
Alexander's passion lies in the biology, science, and technology sectors. His background in biology and experience in developing scientific apps fuels his interest in supporting startups within these domains. Within COREangels, Alexander serves as an angel investor, a member of the selection committee, and a supporter of invested companies. He values the continuous exposure to new ideas and the opportunity to contribute to startups growth. Enjoying the ride, Alexander also joined  COREangels Climate as an investor, reinforcing the network's power.

Advice for Aspiring Angel Investors
Alexander advises aspiring angel investors to join angel investment groups like COREangels. By learning from peers, individuals can gradually prepare themselves to invest in startups effectively. Joining a group offers several advantages, including reduced financial risks, access to a supportive community, and the opportunity to learn from experienced investors. It enables a more constructive and enjoyable experience while increasing the chances of success.

The Fulfillment of Angel Investing
For Alexander, the most fulfilling aspect of being an angel investor lies in contributing to the success of entrepreneurs and startups. Seeing a startup grow and prosper, while knowing that his support played a role in their journey, fills him with pride. The ability to make a lasting impact on a future successful venture is what truly drives his passion for angel investing.

A final note
Alexander is an active COREangels Lisbon angel investor and is always interested in learning from entrepreneurs and helping them achieve their goals. His journey from scientist to app developer and angel investor serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and angel investors, showcasing the power of pursuing dreams and supporting others along the way.

We hope you enjoyed this interview! Stay tuned for more interviews with angel investors.