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‘RolePoint’ UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture: Kes Thygesen, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Rolepoint

14 February 2012

Kes Thygesen

UCL Born and Bred

Kes Thygesen is “born and bred UCL”, where he studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate. After his Master in Entrepreneurship, he launched the start-up OVIAhr.com along with a partner in 2002.

In his own words, he “kept persevering, changing the plan slightly”: he founded Rolepoint, another recruitment tech start-up, his biggest business at the moment.


RolePoint is where “talent knows talent”. It is a social platform, which connects people to jobs: an employer posts a job, qualified candidates get referred and either apply for the jobs or refer other candidates. The aim is to “capture the massive potential”, “capture the quality” of recent graduates, skilled students and workers. RolePoint employers often rely on other social networks, such as Linkedin and Facebook: candidates for a job will sometimes be looked up, as the competition on RolePoint is fierce. The markets the tech recruitment industry targets are in the Media, IT, accountancy and legal field.

The team has four components: Kes, Chris, Roger, Rick. “It is cliché advice, but to get the team together is super important”: Kes’ team has two technical guys and two business guys, and it works well. Kes believes university is a great context where to find co-founders and where one can “mix technical and business” and build a great team from there. Once the team is set up, it needs to sell its idea and create questions, in order to prove the genuine value of the product it offers.


This week’s entrepreneurship lecture ended in an interesting way. After stressing the importance of execution, of putting a business idea into practice in little time rather than spending time researching and analysing plans, Kes suggested three books all entrepreneurs should read. The titles: “The lean start-up”, by Ries; “The four steps to the epiphany”, by Blank; “Agile product management with scrum”, by Pichler.

Kes concluded his talk with a quote by D. Houston: “don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once”. RolePoint may be summarised by saying this: talent is hard to find, a risk which RolePoint takes.

The UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lectures are organised by UCL Advances which is affiliated to UCL Enterprise.