Why I joined RocketX: Tom Doornik
January 31, 2022
Our Investment Manager spills all regarding his background, joining RocketX and what he loves about being a rocketeer.
As RocketX Investment Manager, Tom Doornik endeavours to make scale-ups’ ‘investor ready’ so that they have the best shot possible to secure funding and achieve their goals and aspirations. Overseeing everything from project development to financial modelling, he ensures scale-ups have a very strong and cohesive story. His role also includes guiding them through the entire fundraising process, from negotiating the best deal to closing it, and then making sure the fundraiser is disclosed in the best of ways.
But what brought Tom to us, and what advice would he give those looking to be future rocketeers? We find out all this and more during a quick sit down chat...
Tom’s professional journey began with a degree in International Business Administration, which he recalls was quite a broad study. “I was still quite young when I graduated; 19 or 20 I think, and I didn't really know what to do in terms of a master's degree,” he says. “The thing I did find interesting during this time, however, was the world of start-ups and scale-ups. So I decided to work for a company called The Talent Institute.”
Here, Tom worked for a year and a half specialising in sales and business development, a time in which he found himself speaking often to entrepreneurs, mostly in the Amsterdam region.
“I liked this side of the job a lot, but COVID happened, and so as countries went into lockdown and I had more free time, I started to look into investment in the broad sense of things and came across the field of venture capital,” he recalls. “I really enjoyed this, so started reading books and doing courses to learn more about it, which led me to moving into that industry.”
Naturally, his next job was at a VC fund in Amsterdam, which he worked at for six months as an intern. When this came to an end, Tom decided to broaden his knowledge, and explore another side of that industry. “I wanted to move to a company where you do not invest but actually help entrepreneurs and companies raise investment,” he explains, adding that’s why he found himself at RocketX, where he’s been since summer 2021.
“I already knew of RocketX; I followed them on LinkedIn, and before I knew it one of the recruiters pinged me a message to see if I was interested in having a digital coffee and three or four weeks later I was working there.”
It wasn't just one thing that attracted Tom to becoming a rocketeer. He likes the multi-faceted nature of the job. “On one hand you’re advising these companies like corporate finance officers, where it's still quite traditional, not very data driven, but also quite hierarchical,” he explains. “But then there’s also a data driven approach where we try to use as much automation and digital tools where possible.
“I'm in direct contact with the companies and their CEOs, which I like a lot.” The atmosphere of the company is also a big plus for Tom. “We’re based in the city centre of Amsterdam, we have an amazing office, and a very energetic team,” he says.
“And the company itself is growing. So we're now a 60 or 65-people company, which is expanding internationally with a lot of young and energised people. This is something I really appreciate about the working environment.”
Who and why should people work at RocketX?
As mentioned previously, the brilliant working environment is one of the most important things for Tom when it comes to working at RocketX. “At RocketX, you’re surrounding yourself with ambitious and talented people, which is always beneficial,” he says. “Whether you want to do recruitment or sales or data, it doesn't matter, you’ll be working with and learning from some of the best.”
As for what kinds of people will best fit the company, Tom notes that “entrepreneurial” is right up there; being a person that is not only able but willing to pick stuff up themselves.
“I think the right combination is having a good energy, drive, entrepreneurship and also being able to have fun and not take yourself too seriously,” he says. “It’s important to realise that you’re not only working for the company, but working on yourself and developing personally as much as possible.”