Great minds connect! Textkernel Innovation Week 2022 – “the best event of the year”

Annually for the past 9 years, Textkernel has dedicated a week to innovation and turned into an incubator for internal mini startups. This year, Innovation Week was bigger and better, 10 innovative projects were pitched and approved with almost 100 team members participating in a week full of ideation, cooperation and great entrepreneurial spirit. Great minds connecting! 

The concept of Innovation Week is simple: anyone across the company can pitch an idea during a pitch session. The company members then have several days to vote for their preferred ideas and to indicate their availability to participate. Finally, the team captains select the members of their  team and then set out to create a working proof of concept to present against all the other ideas.

It’s about diversity and disruption

“Innovation Week is about disruption,” says Mihai Rotaru, Head of R&D and co-organizer of the event. “It’s about looking at customer problems from a different point of view, it’s about exploring new technologies, it’s about going out of your comfort zone.” And he adds, “The mix of colleagues from different departments is the core of success in Innovation Week.” This is how teams bring together all the necessary skills and enough variety in perspectives for innovations.

Facilitating a bottom-up culture

Innovation Week has been held every year since 2013 (with a pandemic break in 2020) and it is firmly embedded in Textkernel’s corporate culture. “Innovation Week is important because it brings people together and it allows innovation bottom-up,” says Textkernel CEO Gerard Mulder. And that is felt throughout the entire company. “Knowing that the company cares about our ideas truly has a great impact,” says Hope Natell, Sales Manager North America.

Innovation Week brings people from various backgrounds and different departments together in order to work on a product prototype.

The grand finale 

It is at the end of the week that all ideas are shared with the company, in the form of a product pitch in front of all colleagues. This year, the jury and the Textkernel employees chose Umut Can Ozyar’s project “Journey” as the winner.

Umut describes his team’s winning product as an “AI assistant for more efficiency and a personalized candidate engagement throughout the recruitment process”. His team’s goal was to improve a recruiter’s life with the help of AI-based technology. “Our product can suggest targeted emails, messages, and interview questions unique for each job and candidate, accentuating their best qualities,” explains Umut. And who knows, maybe it will make its way onto the Textkernel roadmap soon.

Alicia Krebs, Doris Hoogeveen, Alexander Antipin, Rasheed Musa, Umut Can Özyar, Sebastiaan Pasterkamp, Panos Alexopoulos & Michael Burggraf won Innovation Week 2022 with their outstanding project “Journey”

After the presentations, Textkernel colleagues from offices around the world – the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States – celebrated the closing of the event. After all, it is not only about the projects but also about a lot of fun and team spirit within the company. Or, as Textkernel CEO Gerard Mulder puts it: “It’s the best event of the year.”

Textkernel at HR Tech 2022
Textkernel acquires US-based software company Sovren to become the global leader in AI-powered recruitment technology

Amsterdam, 30 November 2021 – Textkernel, backed by strategic software investor Main Capital Partners (“Main”), has further strengthened its position as a global leader of search and match technology through the add-on acquisition of US-based AI company Sovren. 

Sovren, which delivers a similar product suite, predominantly within the North American market, is based in Texas, USA. The combination of both companies creates a market leading player in the AI-based search and match technology space. This seamlessly fits into Textkernel’s mission to connect people and jobs, better.

With this strategic step, Textkernel continues its exciting growth trajectory and strengthens its North American and APAC footprint. Both Textkernel and Sovren have achieved impressive growth in recent years, both inside and outside the USA. After joining forces with Sovren, Textkernel serves over 2,500 clients including some of the largest staffing companies worldwide, working from offices in The Netherlands, USA, France and Germany.

Connecting People and Jobs, Better

“With the acquisition of Sovren, Textkernel enters into a very exciting next phase of its 20 year anniversary as a truly global AI technology leader for talent acquisition and management. Since our inception as an R&D-focused company 20 years ago, Textkernel has aspired to help people and jobs connect better.”

With the acquisition of Sovren, Textkernel is one step closer to creating an AI platform which makes all talent and labour market data meaningful, actionable and globally accessible for everyone.

Gerard Mulder, CEO of Textkernel

Robert Ruff, CEO of Sovren, added: ‘I am thrilled to have found the best possible company to join forces with Sovren. This acquisition ensures continuity for our employees, our customers, and our products. I believe the Sovren customers can immediately benefit from the strong knowledge and functionality of Textkernel around classifications on skills, professions and semantic enrichments for better search and match results.’

Pieter van Bodegraven, Managing Partner Benelux at Main Capital and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Textkernel, commented: ‘We expect to become more active in the United States in the short to medium term. This is a very exciting moment for Main as we see great potential for many of our European platforms to rollout operations in the USA through buy-and-build strategies.’

About us


Textkernel is the international leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Semantic Technology for matching people and jobs. Textkernel enables thousands of recruitment and staffing agencies, employers, job boards, HR software vendors and outplacement and  redeployment agencies worldwide to work smarter and more effectively by creating efficiencies in the HR and recruitment process. Textkernel is headquartered in Amsterdam, with operations in Germany, France, UK and USA. Including Sovren, the group employs ca.140 people. In November 2021, Textkernel took first place in the Main Software 50 ranking, for most successful software companies in the Netherlands.

Main Capital Partners

Main Capital Partners is a leading software investor in the Benelux, DACH and the Nordics. Main has almost 20 years of experience in strengthening software companies and works closely together with management teams of its portfolio companies as a strategic partner, in order to realise sustainable growth and build excellent software groups. Main counts over 45 employees and has offices in The Hague, Stockholm, and Düsseldorf. In October 2021 Main has over 2.2 billion euros under management and invested in more than 120 software companies. These companies create jobs for approximately 4,000 employees.


Sovren Inc. is a globally leading software developer of enterprise-grade resume/CV parsing and semantic matching / artificial intelligence matching (AIM) technology. Sovren serves a customer base that spans over 1,000 staffing and recruitment agencies, HR software vendors, job boards and large corporations. Sovren’s broad suite of intuitive, accurate and highly efficient recruitment solutions are used by customers across the globe in more than 70 countries. The company is led by its founder and President Robert Ruff and all employees operate out of the United States.