Fred van der Werff of Oliva Energy

After working at Dun & Bradstreet for 18 years, Fred changed course. At a time when the energy transition and reducing CO2 emissions are becoming increasingly important, he and his partners came up with a solution: Oliva Energy. The company offers unique software that helps people make the world greener.

“The solution is to better coordinate the production of sustainable energy and consumption.”

Oliva Energy as a driver of the energy transition

“Oliva Energy’s mission is to accelerate the energy transition and reduce CO2 emissions by offering software that makes every energy system flexible,” says Fred. The company focuses on offering software solutions for smart Energy Management Systems. By monitoring and controlling solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and other devices, Oliva Energy strives for optimal coordination of sustainable energy production and consumption. “As a result, our customers benefit from the lowest possible energy costs, reduce the load on the energy grid and they can even trade in energy.”

How it started

Fred founded the company with a team of partners, each of whom contributed their own piece of knowledge and expertise. Professor Ronald Huisman played an important role in initiating and developing the idea. “Ronald was at the origin of the idea and developed it further with me and the other partners.” The joint pursuit of accelerating the energy transition was the driving force behind the start of the company. The company decided to focus on quality over quantity, “We stand for delivering high quality, doing fair business and not going for the quick money.” Setting up a company with multiple partners also has some challenges. In another collaboration, he already learned to deal with possible frustration, “Sometimes I wanted to move faster than the rest,” says Fred. However, he sees it as a lesson, “I learned that not everyone always has the same priorities.”

“I have “trained” myself quite well to maintain the work-life balance.”

Entrepreneur gives freedom

After a long career at Dun & Bradstreet, Fred was ready for a new challenge, he chose entrepreneurship, “I just took the plunge and started my own company.” He is involved in various projects and ensures that there is always bread on the table, “the combination of the various initiatives always means I have income somewhere and it is also nice that my wife also works.” He also enjoys the freedom that entrepreneurship brings, “I can choose my own priorities and organize my time even more flexibly.” With this classification, he ensures that a good balance is maintained. “I also don’t believe in working more than 40 hours because then your effectiveness decreases.”

“Work does give meaning and it is nice if you receive normal compensation for it, but it is even nicer to get something done together with others.”

Solving social problems

They would like to grow nationally and internationally with Oliva Energy in the long term, but he certainly wants to continue to work on solving social problems. Whether it concerns sharing knowledge through teaching or starting new companies that contribute to society. He is already involved in various projects for this purpose. “For the time being, I would rather have too many initiatives than too few, but I am always open to something new so I never rule out joining or starting more companies/projects.”

A tip for entrepreneurs

If Fred could give one tip to his fellow entrepreneurs, he says: “Believe in yourself and do something that you believe in and get energy from.” This way you are most effective and you prevent money from becoming a goal in itself. “Work does give meaning and it is nice if you receive normal compensation for it, but it is even nicer to get something done together with others.” So follow your passion.

Knowing more?

Do you want to set up your own company like Fred, or would you like advice from one of our specialists about steps you can take with your company? Then schedule a free check-in with us and we will explain all the options to you.


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