The Helloprint group chose Valencia as its main European city to develop its innovative services and grow its tech companies eight years ago. Since then, it has collaborated to boost the ecosystem and promote entrepreneurship, and has consequently witnessed its growth and expansion.

The CEO and Founder, Hans Scheffer, is an admirer of the region’s entrepreneurial environment and how its ecosystem has consolidated over time. He is firmly committed to giving back to this environment all the richness it has brought him.


You are currently CEO and Founder of Helloprint, but this is not your first business venture. Tell us about your background in the industry. 

I have been an entrepreneur for my whole life. Started when I was 17, I was organising parties in my hometown, and this quickly evolved into a national event organisation with +100 events per year. For all those events, we needed printed materials, in a time that there was no social media. I came up with an idea to design all the flyers for 3 months for all the parties and then try to combine them on the biggest print sheet I could find. This turned out to be much more efficient than before, and we decided to start a business model with it: and

It was at a time that Google was introducing Google Adwords and we were there at the right moment. It was our first “e-commerce model” and we grew on the rhythm of an organically changing world. We became market leaders in The Netherlands and expanded to Belgium. In 2010, we got an offer to sell the company to a listed company in the UK, called, and we decided to do so. I joined the Executive Board of the company, but soon I realised that I was too much of an entrepreneur to work in a listed company. I decided to leave, worked for a year as a teacher at the University of Applied Science before I decided to go back to the industry. I brought “the band back together”, and with the four of us, we started Helloprint.


Why did you decide to embark on a project like Helloprint? 

The print industry is one of the most interesting industries there is. It is bigger than automotive, almost twice the size of the music industry. Besides that, it is a very complicated business with challenges in the supply chain, challenges in sustainability and much more. I generally like complex business models with high intensity on products and supply chains where you can truly make a difference. Printing is one of them.


What role does a marketplace for customised print products play within the tech and innovation ecosystem?

I firmly believe in the power of ecosystems. If we are talking about innovation and tech ecosystems, it all comes down to three pillars: Entrepreneurship, Talent and Capital. Only if the three pillars are heavily developed and are interacting with each other, can an ecosystem thrive.

With Helloprint, we try to always evangelise the ecosystem we are in. We facilitate jobs, but also are drivers for talent. We work intensively with the educational system, provide internships, thesis assignments and many more. And, we have created our own small ecosystem of entrepreneurship, where young aspiring entrepreneurs can become entrepreneurs themselves. This is something that fulfils me with joy.


In what ways does Helloprint incorporate innovation into its development?

Innovation is what thrives us day in and day out. We encourage innovation in every sense. We encourage people to take risks, because without risk, there is no innovation happening. And, we encourage failure and we are proud if we fail in something. I believe that culture is the most important here; Real innovation is only being established when the people feel that there is room for experimentation and failure.


You currently operate in 32 different countries with a team of over 200 people. What milestones have you achieved to date and which ones have you set your sights on for the future?

We are active in 13 countries and the team is +200 (correction). We are 10 years old, but we are just getting started. We are a company with 70 million euro in revenue, but we have the vast ambition to grow our company in a resilient way to become a leader in our space. Currently, we are in a process to redefine our strategy and to make the company ready for the future. We want to grow the number of categories and countries, but only when we can do this in a sustainable and future proof way.


The Valencia office provides customer service to its clients in 20 different languages. Why is it important for Helloprint to have a presence in Valencia?

8 years ago, our entrepreneurial character brought us to this amazing Spanish city. We instantly fell in love with the culture, the climate but also the entrepreneurial vibe. I think we were one of the first – maybe the first – Dutch companies that started activities in the city on a large scale. In 8 years, a lot changed. Where Valencia first was our “side office”, it can now be considered the heart of Helloprint. With its growing ecosystem and the great presence of international universities, Valencia is a great basis for us. Therefore, it is also great to see how the ecosystem is growing. Where it was non-existing a couple of years ago, it now truly flourishes. It reminds me a lot of how we did it in Rotterdam; just pulling up the sleeves with like minded entrepreneurs, the city and educational system and start building. I love that entrepreneurial vibe of the city.


How is your relationship with the Valencian innovation ecosystem, and what synergies have arisen since joining Startup Valencia?

Over the past few years, we have integrated much more into the Valencian ecosystem. By joining Startup Valencia as a sponsor, many doors opened, and that is great to experience. But we are not here to “take”, but primarily to “give back”. We are true believers of that concept, and every entrepreneur, institute or educational system is always welcome at one of our companies.


You participated in the fifth edition of Valencia Digital Summit in 2022. What was your experience like, and how do you anticipate the development of this tech event in the coming years?

It is great to see VDS grow so quickly into the event it currently is. It is honest, open, welcoming and professional. I would encourage further growth, but I would also say: don’t scale too much. The power of events like this is not in the size only; it is the participants who make the event. I hope we can enjoy VDS for a very long time, so I hope it will keep its leading position with the current approach they have: ground up, open and fun.



Working together
makes us stronger

Working together
makes us stronger