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Peter Frans Pauwels

Co-founder, TomTom

I am an entrepreneur and a product guy.

Together with Pieter Geelen, Harold Goddijn and Corinne Vigreux I founded TomTom, straight out of University. I have always involved myself in software engineering, business development, digital strategy and product management. My focus and passion are consumer tech. I love creating great new products that make a difference and that are fun and easy to use.

Doing a product well is very difficult. Doing a product very well is extremely difficult. And that is the challenge I like – creating something new that is truly meaningful for many people, out of nothing. The very best products and features are those that in hindsight are completely obvious but no one thought of before. And at TomTom we’ve brought quite a few of those to the market and we continue to do so.

At TomTom we have an exciting range of technologies and content that provide a really fertile environment for innovations that matter, to mention a few:
• A real-time digital global map that gets updated from hundreds of millions of sources (such as vehicles and smartphones) continuously.
• Real big Big Data (maps, driving behaviour and fitness) and the tools & knowledge to make sense of it
• Algorithms, algorithms, algorithms – e.g. data analytics, routing and action analytics
• A deeply ingrained UX-driven approach to creating end-user experiences

And TomTom is the only European brand in the Consumer Electronics space to go from nothing to a global presence in the past two decades. Our R&D is mostly Europe based, but otherwise we are present around the globe and we are 5000 strong.

As one of the persons behind a company that has gone through all the phases of start-up, accelerated growth and successful internationalisation, I am keen to see young entrepreneurs in tech succeed too. That’s why I enjoy advising and acting as a sounding board to startups – in particular those that already generate revenue.