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photo of patrick Biography - Patrick van der Valk  
(Forty five years in ten paragraphs)

van der Valk weapon (1549) Born in 1964 in The Hague, The Netherlands, Patrick grew up as any other Dutch boy. Playing soccer in the streets, learning to speak several languages in school, and eating french fries with mayonnaise ;-)

At an early age Patrick showed his capability of taking initiatives. He was only 8 years old when he raised money for a bird asylum he was working for at the time. Later he led an Ultimate Frisbee team and organized several championships in Holland.

After Patrick finished his Honors Degree at the University in Delft he moved to Toronto, Canada. At York University he successfully completed his Master Degree while starting his first company: BioMimic - a molecular modeling company. He simultaneously worked for another start-up: Dalton Chemicals. Dalton was his first client for a second company that Patrick started: BetaCyte - a website creation and Internet consultancy (in 1994!)

The move to Portugal in 1995 brought some big changes. BetaCyte was acquired by John Beasley and Jay Hall and the three continued as founders of ChemConnect - an online chemical marketplace. While Patrick spent most of his time working on the success of ChemConnect, his wife, Sofia, was holding a Post-doc position at Hospital Santa Maria in Lisbon.

When their first child Sara was born, ChemConnect just started to take off. Within 6 months of her birth ChemConnect secured its first of three rounds of funding totaling more than $100 million USD. Patrick moved to the US and visited Portugal as much as he could. In February 2000 the rest of the family finally moved to San Francisco as well.

At the heart of the new economy Patrick turned into a highly effective marketer and 'evangelic' salesman. Considering the continuing success of ChemConnect it comes as no real surprise that its story resulted in several case-studies and an article in the Wall Street Journal of 12 January 2004: "Top Online Chemical Exchange Is Unlikely Success Story".

Nevertheless, shortly after their second child (Tomas) was born, Patrick decided to take a well deserved sabbatical and the family moved back to Portugal. He used this time to spend with the family and became the Executive Director of a non-profit International Ultimate Frisbee federation. He also did some consulting just because he likes work :-)

Early 2002 Patrick started to work as head of marketing and sales for a promising Portuguese (later-stage) start-up: YDreams - a mobile solution provider. He also started the Portuguese Founders Dinner Club for individuals that started one or more companies. After his work at YDreams was done Patrick looked for new opportunities. After several months of refining an exciting concept, he launched Digital Memories Portugal in September 2003. The idea: the creation of shareable memories that can be used as low-cost, high-impact marketing channels, or simply capture an exciting moment in time...

The economic recession in Portugal froze most marketing spending. Digital Memories Portugal was put on hold until the the time is right to move forward with the initiative. Patrick started working as VP of Operations for Inoveno; a company that supplied content (ringtones, games, etc...) for mobile phones. Competition was tough, the company closed its doors, and Patrick moved on to other projects.

Quickly Patrick found a new challenge: writing the marketing and business plans for the most promising biotech startup in Portugal (StabVida). After this was successfully completed he joined 2020, a digital agency, where Patrick worked as Director of Planning (and big ideas:-). After one year at 2020 he was recruited by Innovation Capital. Patrick was asked to write a business and marketing plan for a GPS b2c company. Unfortunately the amount of investment needed was not in the realm of the group's budget

Patrick decided that his forward and mid/long-term strategic planning skills were of more use in the US and in 2007 he joined a very promising start-up that created a mathematical model of human physiology and the US health care system. Archimedes Inc., located in San Francisco, has great potential and hired Patrick as an Executive Consultant to the CEO.

After helping set up Archimedes Inc. and defining its strategy he is currently focusing on the (online) marketing and branding efforts, spending 25% his time in San Francisco while Sofia holds up the fort in Portugal.


  • Patrick's CV:
  • Archimedes:
  • WIRED about Archimedes
  • Innovation Capital:
  • StabVida:
  • The story of ChemConnect:
  • WSJ Article: Top Online Chemical Exchange Is Unlikely Success Story
  • Patrick's Ultimate Frisbee page:
  • Sofia's Webpage:
  • Sara's Webpage:
  • Tomas' Webpage:

  • Last Update: 28 December 2012 © 1998 - 2013 Patrick van der Valk
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