Meet Michael, Founder & Managing Director

Michael van Lier is a MD and founded Builders in 2015. His specialities include fundraising, venture building and product strategy.


Michael is an entrepreneur, innovator, and tech evangelist dedicated to empowering the next wave of tech entrepreneurship. He has been founding tech companies for two decades. Michael started his first online company in 2000, at 16 years old. Later, he founded and exited multiple software and cloud-oriented companies which he grew by acquisition and organic growth. Michael spent his career at the intersection of cloud hosting, tech startups, software consulting, and early-stage investing.

IPS team photo


A comprehensive marketplace platform that connects some of the biggest brands in Benelux with content creators or ‘influencers’ who collaboratively create authentic social media campaigns.

Areas of expertise

Michael can talk about company building, the ins and outs of startup studios, finding perfect founder-fits and the numbers behind startups.

Company-building cheatsheet

The significance of breaking down the venture building process into stages, and utilising the stage-gate model as an indicator of progress and success.

The math behind a startup studio

The nitty-gritty’s of a startup studio - how is venture building planned, the numbers, the learnings, the tools, the expectations and the realities.

How to identify premature scaling and how to stop it

All growth is not good growth - some insights into identifying alarmingly fast expansion without resources to back it, and how you can reign it in to ascertain continued success for your start up.

How to hire your first Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Learnings on the qualities, skillsets, reg flags and green flags to detect when in conversation with your first business co-founder as a venture builder.

Startup studio 101: the hows and the whats

The practical introduction to startup studios; how they work, what to keep in mind, and what to expect from this form on venture building.

Who needs an entrepreneur in residence anyway

A venture founder IS essentially its identity. At a studio, we are particular about the perfect founder-opportunity fit for this very reason. Early validating ideas with future founders is key to developing these necessary ties, along with the novel, but a much-needed alternative to conventional entrepreneurship with the empowering support of a studio or corporate.

Startup Studios: An entrepreneur’s good cop, bad cop, and everything in between

The goal-centric stage-gate model is our cornerstone for impactful and sustainable company-building. It gives necessary space for an entrepreneur's creativity, drive and ambition to shine through while creating a ‘semi-permeable’ wall that can prevent them from spiralling down the ideation path into vagueness and overspending. BUT, it's not the bad cop of our story. True partners (i.e. us) are behind keeping things is check, helping discover solutions and celebrating every possible milestone of new ventures.

Stage gates. The gates to entrepreneurial heaven or hell?

It's good to have a plan; great even. But what happens when things don’t go according to your tried-and-tested methods? While our stage-gates are as airtight as humanely possible, the dynamic nature of the venture-building processes means that stumbling blocks are bound to come by. What are the failures we’ve encountered? How did we divide solutions? How did we translate this into a learning experience to prevent repeated errors? Learn how any founder in their early days can set up a stage-gate model for themselves so they can pace themselves and keep spending in check.

Contact details

Michael loves to connect with founders and investors inside the startup ecosystem. Feel free to reach out to Michael!


Obeyo makes residential communities come to life by enabling residents to build genuine connections, streamlining all communications, making shared services accessible, and connecting them to smart building features.


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