Alumni achievement award recipient
When Niels went on a study exchange programme in Singapore in 2008, he wanted to rent out his student room in Rotterdam. This gave the idea for a website where students can rent, or rent out, rooms temporarily during their exchanges or internships worldwide. HousingAnywhere is now a big international student accommodation marketplace, active in more than 80 countries and 900 cities.
Niels founded HousingAnywhere with no money nor IT knowledge. The company now consists of 90 employees whose common goal is to help students expand their boundaries and make money for shareholders. Hundreds of students each month find safe and affordable housing anywhere in the world, and are also protected from scammers and landlords trying to take advantage of them.
Niels says he enjoys seeing people take his ideas and turn them into reality and even pushing them to the next level. That’s why he celebrates each successful project together with his employees. Niels also shares his experiences and tips and tricks through presentations and blogs to students and young entrepreneurs to help them get started too.
Alumnus Maarten de Smit (MSc Marketing Management 2012) was on RSM’s student association STAR’ board with Niels in 2010-2011. Maarten says that in addition to Niels’ business achievement, he nominated him because ‘Niels a very valuable coach and advisor for many entrepreneurs and students with entrepreneurial ambitions’.