Jaap Suermondt

About me and this site

As a Silicon Valley advisor and hands-on consultant, I help people from early-stage founders and independent entrepreneurs to experienced investors and executives, to entrepreneurial academics, to those looking to enter the US market or launch a new product/technology. I can help with anything from pitches, needs analysis, and business/strategic/GTM plans to due diligence, technology analysis and feedback, to turnarounds/pivots. I can also just help you analyze, clarify, and write something or get something done that is stalled.

Previously I was Executive in Residence at Plug and Play Technology Center (saw over 3,000 pitches, coached dozens of founders); Executive Director of Stanford Biomedical Informatics; advisor to Stanford's Center for Population Health Sciences; VP of Labs for HPE Software (a $3B+ SW business) and Lab Director at HP Labs where I ran groups in the US, Israel, India, Russia, and Mexico; and before that, researcher, inventor, and early-stage startup contributor (over 40 granted patents).

Domains with which I have the most experience: machine learning and analytics, enterprise software and IT, biomedical informatics / health tech, storage and data management, security and ops analytics, IOT, and optimization/logistics/operational efficiency. But I have been exposed to (and get by in a pinch in) many areas, and I learn quickly.


  • Startups

  • More about my work (including links to publications, patents, videos, open source projects, press, professional activities, talks, etc)

  • A few examples of personal interests

For more information feel free to check me out on LinkedIn or read my bio or about my research interests. I'm also a winemaker, a bit of a music freak (see a few spotify playlists here) and sports nut, and a big fan of solar even though I drive a gas-guzzling old SUV. So yeah, contradictions abound.

I'm @hjs on twitter (yes, that should tell you how long I have been on twitter, but I am not very active there and my handle constantly gets mis-tagged).

And if we know each other socially (and you want to know what I've been up to, let's get back in touch and catch up over a coffee or video call.

And in case you're confused about my name:

  • Jaap is a very common Dutch name, informal for Jakob (or Jacob), which is the Dutch version of my middle name, Jacques. So yeah. It's what I've gone by my whole life, except for the two years when I was either Henri or Henry or Suermondt or 2Tall or Stretch or Palm Tree or Tall Can (take your pick, but I have a fav myself)

  • I'm named after my grandpa (who was born in 1894) who was a career officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine)

  • My official first name is Henri (which most people in this country spell as Henry, and the barista at Philz spelled as Henery)

  • My Starbucks name is Jack, because nobody can spell either Henri or Jaap. I like it but use it only in certain settings/sites. Btw, the concept of a Starbucks name is something my friend Els is much more funny and eloquent about. Her Starbucks name is Amy, and she wrote a book about it which is VERY funny—like Sedaris funnybut I think it's only out in Dutch so that limits the audience I suppose. I came up with the notion of a Starbucks name independently but I guess so has everyone else who's tired of having their name mangled on paper coffee cups by every barista.

  • My official name is obviously French, most Suermondts are Dutch, and weirdly, there is a Suermondt-Ludwig Museum in Aachen, Germany. I'm Californian, but my closest relatives live in the Netherlands, the UK, and New Zealand.


P.S. This is a personal site and you can tell that it is pretty bare bones and I did not spend *any* time on how to make it pretty.