About me

I started my first company in the summer of 2003.

The journey of 20 years of entrepreneurship that followed was a constant roller coaster ride. I have hired and fired. I have acquired and exited. I have invested and lost it all. I had to accept failure and had to shut down multiple products or even close companies. Sometimes, when giving up wasn’t an option, I worked tirelessly to avoid bankruptcy. More than once.

Currently, I run PIRATE.global, a family of small companies. Also, I work as sparring partner for entrepreneurs. I help them to gain clarity in their vision, confidence in their actions, and calmness in their mind. It’s some of the most fulfilling work that I do.

Thanks for reading 🏴‍☠️ Making Business More Human! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Why subscribe?

With these Notes, I share some of my observations, experiences and learnings. From my own experience running multiple businesses, but also from working with others that do. 

My main focus will be on those things that often go unnoticed or are neglected. Those human skills that help make businesses run more smoothly and facilitate relationships and connection.

All originating from the same idea that has been a driving factor behind PIRATE Summit from the start:

To make business more human.

“Not another newsletter in my inbox.”

I get it. I don’t like getting a lot of mails either. That’s actually not precise, so let me rephrase that:

I only like mails that give me useful information or valuable insights. I write these PIRATE Notes with the intention of being one of these mails you look forward to rather than dread.

What (not) to expect

  1. This is not one of those newsletter trying to continuously sell something. I want to focus on valuable content for you the reader. A lot of signal, little noise. A nice side effect is that I am forced to structure my thoughts. So a win-win. ;)

  2. This is not a space where I tell others about what is right or wrong. This is an exploration. A mosaic of perspectives based on my experiences.

  3. This is not a “one man show”. I would love to use this space to give the mic to others as well.

  4. I won’t spam. You can unsubscribe anytime. No hard feelings. You won’t be unsubscribed from the general PIRATE Summit Updates.

  5. There will not be a determined frequency. I have a certain vision how this can develop, but it really depends on how you, the reader - and the community at large - is going to respond. I will share when I feel I have something valuable to contribute.

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Subscribe to 🏴‍☠️ Making Business More Human

Observations, experiences and learnings on making business more human. From my own experience running multiple businesses, but also from working with others that do.


Manuel Koelman 🏴‍☠️

PIRATE @ 🖤 I am an entrepreneur, investor, and leadership whisperer.


Sustainable PIRATE.