Pieter Martens

2022 40 Under Forty Awards
Pieter Martens, 39

Co-founder and CEO, TimeZone

How has COVID-19 changed your industry? Completely. In March 2020, we had to stop TimeZone construction because nobody knew what would happen. R1 Indoor Karting [Inc.] lost over 60% of its revenue that year. Luckily, we were able to open TimeZone in 2021, and since then it has been strong. I think the next two decades will be fascinating for my industry. Of course, there will be some macroeconomic effects that we cannot control, but people will always be seeking entertainment.

What is the best advice you have ever received? “In the end, everything will be all right.”

Where do you see yourself in five years? We are opening our second TimeZone location in New York later this year. By 2027, there should be at least 30 locations. We will also move into a building in Cranston this summer that will be the TimeZone headquarters where we can work on the creation of new games and room concepts. I look forward to that because it will allow us to start projects with all kinds of creative people.

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What was your first job? Software sales in the entertainment industry. I traveled all over the world.

What advice would you give your 22-year-old self? Start your own company!

What moment changed your life more than any other? Being fired from my first job.

What led you to pursuing a career in your current industry? From being a child, I always liked to entertain. But my stage skills are lacking, so I started to be the one behind the scenes.