Behind the Entrepreneur: An interview with Artist and Network & Deal-flow director for DSIF.

Josua Geerman

Josua Geerman

Josua is an International Finance & Accounting student at Saxion University of Applied Sciences and DSIF Brand Director 2023-2024. He is responsible for online/offline marketing and is one of the decision-makers when it comes to investing.

As many of you know our main goal here at DSIF is not only to help student entrepreneurs in the Twente region in acquiring funding but, here at DSIF, we also aim to provide them with the support they need to successfully run their businesses in the long term. Behind the Entrepreneur, our newest blog series is where we set out to interview student entrepreneurs in the Twente region with the intention to put a face to the student founders and entrepreneurs behind many successful businesses and startups in Twente. By doing so, we aim to inspire students in the Twente area, whether at Saxion or the University of Twente, to come up with their own startups and build their businesses.

By demonstrating that building a business is achievable here in Twente and that guidance and assistance are within their reach. DSIF can provide them with both funding and developing their businesses.

Meet Ade.

For our second edition of behind the entrepreneur we have the honor to introduce our Network and Deal flow Director Ade! We sat down for an exclusive interview with Ade to shine a light on the missions driving he’s endeavors here at DSIF and his entrepreneurial journey with his career as an artist. Adeoluwa Adeniji (21), is fourth-year physiotherapy student is better known as Ade: his artists name. Four years ago he came to the Netherlands from Nigeria and while studying found an old passion: drawing. In June he exhibit his drawings at Saxion. In doing so, he wants to inspire everyone to get the best out of themselves. “I am constantly asking myself what I want to communicate to the outside world,” he says. Since joining the board last year in September 2023, he is on a mission to bridge the gap between dreams and reality with DSIF. In his own words, ”I joined DSIF for a few reasons like making a difference but to put it this way; Our world is filled with people full of potential and dreams. I have learned it takes process, and resources to bridge the gap to these dreams. With DSIF, I plan to help bridge that gap.” -Ade

Why he chose the role for Network & Deal-flow Director.

Ade explains that he chose the role of Network and Deal-flow Director because of his experience gained in bulding an international network over the years living in Enschede and hosting art shows and attending multiple events around campus. “I believed these  expertise alongside a streamlined deal-flow process would add value to the DSIF”. Ade brings a global perspective and a passion for unlocking potential in student entrepreneurs in Twente

Balancing a Bachelor's Degree, DSIF and Art shows.

Balancing a Bachelor’s Degree, working in  a startup, being the Network & Deal-flow Director at DSIF and hosting art shows is a lot of work. Ade says that the best answer to how to manage and balance this is by creating systems; Having reminders set up on your phone and having people to delegate tasks to that you don’t need to do yourself, freeing up more time to focus on the important more profitable things. Having systems and focusing on what is required is something that helps him in the balancing his work and life.What I have learned in this process of balancing a lot is that it is not easy, but if you are willing to put in the work, it is very possible.” – Ade.

Dealing with challenges and achieving success

Every journey has its challenges and successes, for Ade challenges are important for growth. “Before joining DSIF, I wasn't acquainted with angel investing, banks using financial tools like loans and others, as tools for funding a business. So, navigating this sphere of business financing has posed some challenges when it comes to navigating, and adding as much value as I can while being consistent with the criteria for VC investing.” These challenges nudge Ade to learn more, and read more. Funny how responsibilities expose your ignorance of many things. For Ade he sees this as an opportunity to improve where he's lacking in his entrepreneurial and business journey. After some time he's not only managed to pick up VC but is thriving in this area being able to add value to student entrepreneurs during and deal-flow prospects.

Ade’s experiences within his time at DSIF.

Ade joined DSIF in September as has been serving for almost half a year already. He shares his insights about the experiences he has gained in the VC industry “I have realized the VC industry is a very innovative sector in how it approaches multiplying their invested resources. Usually only a small number of companies in the portfolio make the return necessary to meet ROI goals, so it becomes a very risky and painstaking process to choose said companies.”  He further elaborates that if you are looking for funding, you should learn about the specific VC company’s portfolio requirements, so you don’t think your business is not viable when you are not funded, meanwhile the criteria for their particular VC investment is simply different.

Looking ahead, Ade shares his vision for DSIF, and how he sees the organization evolving while contributing as Network and Deal-Flow Director. My vision for DSIF is very simple; “To build an establishment that provides resources (network, knowledge, and funding) it takes to bridge the gap to making student ideas reality & growing ideas already in reality to a greater scale that are consistent with the criteria for VCs.” -Ade.

Ade’s advice for student entrepreneurs and start-ups

Ade concluded the interview with an advice for the student Entrepreneurs of Twente stating what he’s learned in preparing himself for undertaking roles such as, relations development, business development manager and Network & Deal-Flow Director. In his words; “I think properly educating yourself is essential to competently handling a responsibility you are undertaking. For me, I strongly encourage people to read books that teach you to build capacity and also books specific to an area, in this case venture capital investing. My professional experience in these areas have equipped me with transferrable skills such as ability to clearly communicate ideas to others, identify and solve problems, work well in a team, and building a network. “ - Ade.

Contact us and get funding for your business idea today!

If you're a student with a passion for entrepreneurship, innovative ideas, and a drive to make a real impact, DSIF is your gateway to success. Connect with people like Ade and unlock a world of possibilities for your startup!

Why Join DSIF?

  1. Mentorship from Seasoned Entrepreneurs: DSIF brings together a diverse group of professionals, including entrepreneurs like Ade, who are ready to share their insights and guide you on your entrepreneurial journey.
  2. Financial Support and Investment Opportunities: DSIF doesn’t just provide funds; it invests in your success. Access financial support and investment opportunities that align with your business goals.
  3. A Network Beyond Borders: Connect with a community of like-minded individuals, opening doors to collaboration, partnerships, and a network that extends far beyond the academic realm.
  4. Strategic Guidance in Finance and Accounting: Leverage the expertise of professionals who understand both the business world and the nuances of finance and accounting. DSIF offers more than just monetary support; it provides strategic guidance to ensure your business thrives.


How to Get Involved?

Ready to take the next step in your entrepreneurial journey? Join DSIF and be a part of a community that believes in turning dreams into reality.

  1. Visit our Website: to learn more about DSIF’s mission, values, and the support it offers to student entrepreneurs.
  2. Connect with Ade: Reach out to Ade or fellow DSIF board members who have experience to help get your business started and funded. Learn firsthand how DSIF can elevate your startup.
  3. Apply Today: Submit your application on our website and obtain funding through DSIF.

The future of entrepreneurship is bright, and DSIF is here to illuminate your path. Join us, and together, let’s turn your visionary ideas into impactful ventures.

Need funding for your startup? Apply now!

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