March 24, 2014


Startle was founded in 2010 and has assembled an exceptional team comprising of founders Andrew Tanswell and Adriaan Mol. Together they shared a belief in social entrepreneurship and bring complimentary backgrounds including business development, management consulting & finance, international aid and development, bamboo & plantation management, carbonisation technology, carbon trading, social-enterprise, sales & marketing and BoP markets.

Andrew and Adriaan bring a track record of successfully growing enterprises in western and emerging markets, having worked together first in 1992 in Somalia before founding and growing a number of businesses including BushProof, CarboCo, and ToughStuff – all focused on social and environmental impact in sub-Saharan Africa through enterprise.

The team have proven success of building a business from concept to international organisation, raising growth funds, recruiting high calibre teams and delivering positive financial, social and environmental outcomes in frontier markets.

Andrew-90x90Andrew Tanswell (UK) is a proven business leader and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Startle and has founded several social enterprises including ToughStuff an award-winning and rapidly scaled social-enterprise. Andrew graduated with honours from Imperial College, London, he worked in the manufacturing industry, becoming a Chartered Mechanical Engineer. Over his 28 year career, while pursuing a professional career in the UK, Andrew has also led multi-disciplinary, multi-national professional teams on large scale emergency aid programmes in Somalia and Iraq. He has been a Director and Trustee of several companies and charities. Andrew was a winner of the Global Social Benefit Incubator 2009.

Adriaan-90x90Adriaan Mol (Netherlands) is the Operations Director for Startle and was also a Founder of ToughStuff as well as BushProof in Madagascar, an enterprise which creates markets and provides affordable clean water to low-income people. He has a unique and keen understanding of the needs and motivations of low-income people having lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa for most of his life.  He has demonstrated experience in combining appropriate technology with business models, and has established several successful micro enterprises that deliver sustainable health impact for the poor while making profit. Adriaan was a winner of the Global Social Benefit Incubator 2006.