Employee Testimonial

Meet Nathália Simone, Junior Research and Development Chemist

AkzoNobel chemist Nathália Simone from São Paulo, Brazil won our Paint the Future social media employee contest. We get to know her before she travels to Amsterdam with her backstage pass for the finals event in May.

  • Junior Research and Development Chemist
  • At Business Area DP Latin America Brazil
  • Works in Brazil
  • At AkzoNobel since 2018

"I see how R&D is taken seriously here – from our highly qualified people to how we’re organized."


The employee contest encouraged people working at AkzoNobel to spread the word about Paint the Future, our startup challenge. Nathália Simone, Junior Research and Development Chemist and newly-discovered social media superstar, recently joined the company in November. Little did she know, she’d soon be invited to visit AkzoNobel headquarters to meet some of the world’s most exciting innovators and our senior company leaders.

Surprises in store

Having completed her PhD in Chemistry, which she’d had in mind for herself since the age of 13, Nathália didn’t initially anticipate landing a job at AkzoNobel.

With overseas experience working in South Korea as a researcher, she also knows what it’s like to manage nine multifunctional teams across South America for a chemicals company. But as it turns out, working with decorative paints is a great new challenge: “I notice how people are passionate about what they do. I never expected to feel part of this big family as quickly as I felt.”

“I see how R&D is taken seriously here – from our highly qualified people to how we’re organized,” Nathália continues. “Our regional market strategies are very clear, giving us focus in our work.”

Asking the right questions

Nathália’s passion for science has only been confirmed by many years in laboratories. And, as a scientist and self-described “critical and communicative” person, she’s able to ask the right questions at just the right time. In fact, that’s how she ended up joining the social contest.

Soon after Nathália joined AkzoNobel, she attended the R&D annual meeting, in which senior leaders spoke about the company and its approach to innovation. She recalls personally asking the president of AkzoNobel in South America, Daniel Geiger Rocha Campos, a question: whether the company had developed any projects with startups, and if not, would we?

“I was very surprised when, some weeks later, I heard of the Paint the Future startup challenge, which was exactly the kind of thing I had asked him about,” Nathália says. “It was a big coincidence. I felt I had to join the social media ambassador contest immediately!”

Finals event VIP access

Now having raised the most awareness for the startup challenge on social media, Nathália looks forward to joining colleagues, senior leaders and, of course, finalists in Amsterdam for the Paint the Future finals event May 14 to 16. She will have backstage access to the “by-invitation-only” event.

“I’m personally very curious to know the out-of-the-box solutions the contestants will provide us, and I hope to get inspired by them, maybe even bring them to Brazil,” she says. “I hope to learn and share as much as possible about the company. I believe it will be a priceless professional experience.”

Worth sharing

Nathália was motivated to share about the startup challenge with her online networks, because she truly believes Paint the Future is a great all-around opportunity for everyone involved.

“For AkzoNobel, we’ll find better and faster solutions to our challenges than we could find on our own without expertise in certain areas,” she says. “It’s smarter to use solutions provided for a specific case, designed by specialists than trying to build all the structure needed to develop it internally. And this way, we are stimulating entrepreneurs and accelerating startups in a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s fantastic.”

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