We’re an entrepreneurial start up. We just happen to also be a global organization with a long history.

Stèphan Potgieter, Business Development Manager, Philips Research

Born and raised until 8 in South Africa before moving with his family to Belgium, seeing and understanding the world must be in Stephan’s DNA. He has taken this exploratory nature coupled with a strategic, anything’s possible mindset to grow his career at Philips.

Here he explains how, after graduating in Mechanical Engineering and Bio mechatronics – he initially wanted to work in a startup but found the same mentality - but with even more opportunities – at Philips.
The opportunities are endless. Since joining, I’ve had 4 roles in 3 years and that’s just the start.
I joined as a Management Trainee in Benelux, initially working in Lighting. I built a tool to test software reliability. After 1 year in that role, I got the opportunity to move to Hong Kong for a placement. I worked there as a Product Manager for Kitchen Appliances before coming back to Eindhoven to take up a role in Philips Research. This role led to my current Business Development role.”

I initially thought I wanted to work in a highly tech start up. The reality is even better as I’m doing it within a big global company.
“You’re encouraged to create your own destiny here. I wanted to work in a startup so I’ve been doing start up things within Philips.

In my first year in Eindhoven, I organized a workshop for entrepreneurship. We learned how to pitch, work with incubators, venture building etc. I made some great connections that led to my getting involved with some of our ventures in Africa. We researched how to enable social entrepreneurship and help set up micro engineers using Philips products. I also have just been part of our 3 month Breakthrough Acceleration Program. That was a really cool experience.”
Colleagues are generous with their experience so you can learn and benefit.
“If I was working in a start up, I might not have the opportunities to travel and learn from seeing. People are generous at sharing their knowledge too. I was asked to set up some focus groups for one of our health center projects in Nairobi, Kenya and went out there for 2 weeks. We took motorcycles, tuk tuk; everything we could to get to meet people to talk and learn face to face.”
It’s great that we get to think up new business. Innovations are 3 to 5 years out and we have to make them viable.
“My current role is in Business Development. I look at the innovations we’re creating and problem solve how we can make them commercially viable but also how can we make them meaningful and impact the greater good.”
Next step – venture management in Philips. That’s the ambition.

"At the moment I’m building out my skills and generalism. I’ve enjoyed being catapulted from one experience to the next and since finding out that we have venture management roles within Philips, that’s what I’m working towards in the biggest entrepreneurial healthcare technology company there is.

Make a career switch.
Amaze yourself at Philips.