Who we are

We are a group of very experienced entrepreneurs. We founded dozens of companies, multiple with over 1000 employees and held senior management positions at Dutch Multinationals.

We believe the world can and should be a place where everybody has plenty and is fulfilled and that the solutions to get there are already distributed over the brains of all 7.6 billion people on this planet.

With The Idealists, we want to unlock and realize these solutions that would otherwise go to waste. We can’t achieve the SDG’s with the current 3%, we need the full 100%. We need your idea to become reality too.

Our Story

When he was only a child our Founder, Mareno de Kort, was constantly jotting down ideas on how everything around him could be improved. As organizing all these papers became a bit of a chore, he bought an empty book and started filling this ‘book of ideas’.

When this book got full, age 11, he realized that just jotting these ideas down didn’t real help anyone. This is when he thought up an ‘idea-factory’, a place of wonder where he together with the world’s most brilliant minds would turn all of these ideas into reality, for the world to profit from. This however would not run cheap, so how was he going to make the money required to build this ‘idea-factory’?

In the years after he co-founded over 500 hairsalons all over the world and a multitude of startups. Whilst travelling the world for all of these companies, he started noticing a pattern. Almost everyone he spoke had one or more brilliant ideas that they were extremely passionate about, but nevertheless weren’t realizing. Statistics even showed, that only 3% of all people ever realize their idea. This felt like the biggest possible waste to him. These ideas could improve lives today and were stuck in people’s minds. This is when he said to himself ‘if my idea-factory can work for my ideas, why not open it up for the ideas of everyone else as well?’.

That is when the idea of The Idealists was born.

Soon he was travelling all over world again, learning from the best in the fields of idea-selection, crowdsourcing and startups in order to be able to build The Idealists. This is when our team started forming. Nearly everyone Mareno met, whether it was in Silicon Valley or New Zealand, was excited about the prospect of building a system to finally unlock the potential of the other 97% and wanted to help. If everything man-made around us was made by only 3%, then what could the world be like if we finally used the full 100%.

Since then, we have built the system of The Idealists, which is based on a combination of collective intelligence and artificial intelligence which allows us to very accurately and quickly assess whether an idea is actually a good idea and to then pair it with the right founders, funders, mentors, coaches and employees. Truly IT for good and for our founder the start of his lifelong dream coming true.

Special thanks to our friends for their advice and guidance

Marc Nager Founder, Startup Weekend and Ex-CCO, Techstars - Herman Wijffels Ex-Chair of the Executive Board at Rabobank - Elizabeth Yin Ex-Partner, 500 startups - Ad van Berlo Founder, VanBerlo - Piet van der Wielen Brainport - Egbert-Jan Sol CTO, TNO - David Wyler Founder, The Kairos Society - Marielle Sleumer Brainport - Gijs van de Molengraft BOM - Hans Helsloot Senior IP Advisor, RVO - Scott Saslow Founder, One World - Anne Welsh McNulty Founder, John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation - Johan de Jong Ex-Stichting Idee - Ton van Tielraden, Ex-Senior Vice President & General Counsel Ahold - Rob van den Heuvel Founder, Sendcloud - Michael Hienkens, Head of Lending & Daily Banking, ABN AMRO - Francis Heyligen Director, Global Brain Institute at VUB