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Faces of Invesdor: Jakoba van der Mei 


"I love working internationally!"  

May we introduce you? Jakoba van der Mei is an investment manager at StartGreen Capital, the company behind the crowdfunding platform OnePlanetCrowd. Now OnePlanetCrowd is part of Invesdor.  

Jakoba is involved in managing various funds in the renewable energy and sustainability field. She brings a wealth of experience in financing wind power projects. She has gained this experience in her home country, the Netherlands, and in numerous professional and private positions worldwide.  

Jakoba, how did you get into green investments?  

My family runs a taxi business in the north of the Netherlands. When I was young, alternative fuels came on the market, and we were one of the first companies to invest in them. At that time, the fuels were plant-based, and the cars smelled like a potato chip factory – but it was the first step towards sustainable mobility. We tested different fuels and tried to continue our business professionally despite the changes and challenges. It wasn't easy because the plant-based fuels clogged the diesel filters. The cars broke down after a few hundred kilometres, and the filters had to be cleaned or replaced. But this is how it started. Today, my brothers and I are the shareholders of the family business, and a director runs it.   

So that was the beginning. What came next? 

After my economics degree and master's in finance, I started investment banking at JP Morgan in London. I started looking for deals in renewable energy at a time when the whole energy sector was all about gas and oil. Significantly few companies were even involved in renewable energy. I then found a Finnish corporate finance boutique in London dedicated to paper packaging, energy, and forestry.  

I have accompanied many transactions with connections to the Nordic countries. I love working internationally! After my time in London, I went to India to travel and work. There I came into contact with incubators and impact investing, among others. It was a great time. After a year, I went back to the Netherlands and decided to combine finance and renewable energy. I helped finance onshore and offshore wind farms for three years for a Japanese bank. 

Before joining StartGreen, you cycled through North and Central America for a year. How did that come about?   

After working for the Japanese bank, we went on our honeymoon for a year. My husband and I wanted to make the trip meaningful, so we travelled across America, visiting various renewable energy projects along the way.  

We wanted to make the trip as eco-friendly as possible, so we travelled from Alaska to Panama with a wind-powered bicycle, Whike. It combines cycling and sailing. During our trip, the altitude differences were sometimes enormous, but the many places we visited and the friendly people who helped us get to know the country better were worth the effort. 

Then you started working at StartGreen Capital? 

When we returned from our trip, I looked for a finance and sustainable development job. I came across StartGreen Capital, and my bike trip to America was no problem for them – quite the opposite. It showed them that I was very committed to environmental issues. 

How do you bring your know-how to StartGreen and OnePlanetCrowd? 

I divide my time between the funds and the crowdfunding platform. We have been doing crowdfunding for ten years and want to expand it further in the renewable energy sector; my background in banking and financing onshore and offshore wind energy projects is as helpful here as it is in fund management.  

How would you describe your daily work?

After a morning team meeting, most of the day consists of having meetings with entrepreneurs, among others. An exchange with a lot of inspiration. It can be about acquisitions, about new structures for new deals. This also helps my colleagues at Invesdor in Finland, Austria, and Germany, who ask me for an assessment of potential projects: whether something is financeable, whether it is suitable for OnePlanetCrowd, whether it is not too risky, where the revenue should come from and much more. I might also participate in our campaigns, hold a presentation in front of the investment committee to get a project on the platform or invest in a project from one of StartGreen's funds.  

What I like about my work is that every day is different. And now I can work internationally again. That's really where my heart lies. I am happy with different cultures, people with different backgrounds, and learning about new markets.

What are the highlights of your job?  

My favourite days are when I can talk to entrepreneurs about their innovative ideas for the energy transition and think together about how we can solve the financing problems. I also like to make new markets accessible where private investors can invest into future-proof projects to contribute to the energy transition.

I deliberately chose the venture capital industry because now I can make a difference as a financing partner; I can pave the way for entrepreneurs and make projects fundable that banks see as too challenging.   

What is your idea on how StartGreen, OnePlanetCrowd and Invesdor will develop?  

With the opportunities presented by the merger of Invesdor and OnePlanetCrowd, we can now spread our wings to build Europe's largest impact investing platform. A platform that helps to ensure that we don't overstep the boundaries of our planet – that is a vision worth fighting for.  

What do you do in your private life to save the planet?  

We are currently renewing the taxi company's fleet with electric cars and using electricity from our own solar roof. Beyond that, of course, I do everything I can. We are modernising our house to make it more sustainable and energy efficient, for example, with a heat pump and solar panels on the roof. I usually travel by bike or public transport; when I drive, it's electric or via car sharing. I also often ride road bikes and like to go sailing – Fortunately, these are pretty sustainable hobbies.   



The information contained herein is not meant to be, and it shall not be interpreted as investment advice or a recommendation and investors must neither accept any offer for, nor acquire, any securities unless they do so on the basis of the information contained in the applicable investment material of a target company. Investing in securities of unlisted companies is associated with high risk.

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