KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Bart De Pauw

Actor and Screenwriter

Bart started his television career as an extra in a Belgian sitcom in 1987. The years after he explored the world of television doing things both on screen and behind the scenes as an actor and screenwriter, until his real breakthrough came in 1995 with ‘Buiten de Zone’, a television series for youngsters for which he received several national and international prizes.

Jef Colruyt

CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Colruyt Group

Jozef or "Jef" Colruyt is a Belgian businessman. In 1994 he succeeded his father Jo Colruyt as head of Colruyt group, a company with more than 29,000 employees.

After his studies, Jef Colruyt became a representative at Dexion in 1985, a German company for logistic systems. In 1986 and 1987 he was a representative at Marchal Systems, a company for chemical pumps.

In 1987, Jef Colruyt started working in the family business.

When his father Jo Colruyt deceased unexpectedly in 1994, Jef Colruyt took over the operational management of the company at 36 years old. Under his leadership, the French market was entered into and new store formulas were developed, such as the local shop OKay, baby specialist DreamBaby, toys and gaming specialist DreamLand and the organic supermarket Bio-Planet. In 2003, Spar was also added to the list.
Under the leadership of Jef Colruyt, Colruyt Group also started to pay more attention to sustainable entrepreneurship and social responsibility projects. The Collibri foundation for education,the transport charter, the charter concerning child labour and working conditions are examples of this. Also the participation in the wind farm Northwind is testimony to this.

Gerald Goldstein

Co-founder & CTO Peak – tentative

Founded Peak, the #1 self-improvement company, helping people reaching their Peak Performance in an enjoyable way.

Engineer, PhD in Nuclear Physics, Tech Entrepreneur with experience working on large scale platforms and startup environment.

Specialties: Web/Mobile Development, Service-Oriented Architecture, Scalability, Numerical modeling, Being smart with data

Jannie Haek

CEO Nationale Loterij

Haek earned a degree in political sciences at the University of Ghent in 1988. In the early 90’s he became Inspector-General of Finance at the Treasury Department.
He became Deputy-Chief-of-Staff at the cabinet of Louis Tobback, minister for the home office, in 1992.
Between 1995 en 2005 he was the Chief-of-Staff for several Deputy-Prime-Ministers. In that period he was engaged in several socio-economical files of national importance as the creation of Brussels Airlines, the closing down of the “Regie voor Maritiem Transport”, the Public Offering of Belgacom, the privatization of “De Post”, the transformation from “Het Gemeentekrediet” into “Dexia”, … Under his presidency, the Board of Directors and the Government decided on the privatization of Brussels Airport.
In January 2005 he was appointed by the government as CEO of “NMBS-Holding”. In 2003 he became CEO of “Nationale Loterij” He was appointed by the Flemish Government as boardmember at “Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen”.

Lut Wyers

Founder of COCOMO and Identify.Me

Lut Wyers is an example of the impact of a growth mindset and where it could take you. After her studies in physiotherapy and a specialization in “Manual Therapy”, she learned how to apply the same holistic approach in the world of business. Throughout the years she kept reinventing herself and was always triggering herself to choose new paths and enter new markets. From Event Manager to CEO, from conceptual thinker to identity developer, from author to speaker… If her passion and enthusiasm alone won’t trigger you, her story without any doubt will!

Gert Bergen

Advisor Innovation & economic policy @ Cabinet Flemish Minister for Innovation Muyters

Building a culture & creating opportunities for bold entrepreneurship in Flanders.

Michèle Sioen

Entrepreneur and President VBO-FEB

Michèle Sioen holds a degree in Economics from Antwerp University and has attended several executive programs at Vlerick Management school.
She started in the IT company Atoll as a sales manager and afterwards she started to work in Sioen Industries, the textile firm founded in 1960 by her father. Sioen Industries is a Belgium-based group specializing in the production and processing of technical textiles. Michèle joined the Board of Directors of Sioen Industries in 1990, after two years in the IT sector. From 2000 to 2005 Michèle Sioen was General Manager of Sioen’s Coating Division, the largest of its three divisions. In 2005 she became CEO of Sioen Industries.
She was also a member of the board of directors in the sector organization Febeltex and has been President of Fedustria, the federation of textile industries, from 2001 till 2010.
She was a member of the Board of Directors of Belgacom (Proximus), is member of the board in several companies (among others D'Ieteren and ING Belgium) and is a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and board member at Guberna.
On April 24th 2014, she followed Pierre-Alain De Smedt as President of VBO-FEB, the Federation of Belgian Companies.

Thomas Joos

Designer & Innovator

Thomas Joos is a Belgian designer & innovator. He is the creative director of Little Miss Robot and a frequent design lecturer. Over the years he and his team have been involved in the development of over 100 innovative products & services. Thomas is also a driving force behind Product Design Meetup, a design education initiative accelerating young designer talent.

Gemma Galdon Clavell

Founder and Director of Eticas Research and Consulting / PhD. Security, Technology & Society

Dr. Gemma Galdon-Clavell is a policy analyst working on the social, ethical and legal impact of data-intensive technologies. She is the Founder and Director of Eticas Research and Consulting, an organization currently employing over 50 social scientists, computer scientists and IT experts, and has ongoing research contracts and grants from the European Commission (FP7 and H2020 programs), the European Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Open Society Foundation, among others. Dr. Galdon-Clavell has led research as a Principal Investigator in more than 10 large projects. She is a scientific and ethics expert at the Directorate General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission and sits on the board of Privacy International and Data & Ethics.

LIFE PANELISTS

Robin Wauters

European technology journalist and founding editor of Tech.eu

European technology journalist and founding editor of Tech.eu


Robin is a seasoned European technology journalist and founding editor of Tech.eu, a new digital publication dedicated to covering the EU tech industry in depth.
He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch (acquired by AOL in 2010) and managing editor of Virtualization.com.
Robin started his career working as Internet marketing manager for IT company Hostbasket (acquired by Telenet) and later as online media manager for Belgian ICT publisher Datanews / VNUnet (acquired by Roularta). He went on to co-found social media agency Talking Heads in 2009 (the company became part of Web development agency Netlash in 2010).
Robin occasionally serve as a startup advisory board member – more specifically, he is currently a minor shareholder in / advisor to Belgian startups such as Checkthis (Frontback), Maily, Showpad, Argus Labs and ARTPLUS

Carmen Bermejo

Founder and vice president at Asociación Española de Startups. Vice president at Tetuan Valley.

Carmen Bermejo is specialized in pre-acceleration and early stage startups mentoring. She is CEO at Tetuan Valley since 2013 coordinating all the activities of the Association. She is the director of the Tetuan Valley Startup School in Madrid since the 8th edition (Spring 2013) and coordinated the program in Madrid and Barcelona. Within the Tetuan Valley activities she is working in various European projects with other accelerators and incubators around the EU. Most lately she has coordinated the creation of the Spanish Startup Manifesto, a document created with the collaboration of important member of the entrepreneurial community to try to foster innovation and economic growth in Spain.


Liam Boogar

Cofounder, CEO & Editor

Cofounder of the Rude Baguette, Liam Boogar is originally from the Silicon Valley. Since his move to Paris in 2010, Liam has become a thought leader on the European Startup Ecosystem, being interviewed in online, TV, and radio all over the world. He has spoken at Europe’s top technology events, and animates the Paris startup scene through the Rude Baguette blog and events.

Justine Harcourt de Tourville

Managing Partner at Morning Glory / Communication Strategist at Harcourt de Tourville

Justine is an American who helps Belgian companies & organizations position themselves and their brands to increase visibility, credibility and likability to meet revenue goals.

She works with a variety of methods that come directly from the social sciences (anthropology, psychology, behavioral economics, etc.) to examine the tangible and intangible aspects of an organization.The insights point to new growth opportunities.

Justine works with people to ensure their brand enjoys greater revenue using a mixture of tools acquired from many years in academia: research, applied anthropology, narrative writing and teaching.

Dream project: the rebranding of Belgium.

POWER MEETING MENTORS

Bert Van Wassenhove

Venture Producer and Digital Marketeer

Bert Van Wassenhove calls himself a venture producer. With significant experience in marketing and digital media – and by leveraging his network – Bert helps people take an original idea and turn it into a sustainable company.

As a co-founder at THINK with people, every year he coaches over 150 early stage entrepreneurs in fields the fields of smart entrepreneurship, developing a vision and setting up marketing and communication plans. In 2015 he founded The CoFoundry, a seed fund and accelerator for growth stage companies, where he acts as managing partner.

He is also a public speaker, podcaster and opinion leader in entrepreneurship through his initiative “De Vitesse”.
Author of the book: “Een Digitaal Marketing Plan in 100 Dagen”

Fred Colantonio

Professional speaker, consultant and published author

Fred Colantonio leads humans in brands, companies and entrepreneurs to create, grow and deal with their best business attitude and corporate brand.


Criminologist specialized in New Media and Technologies, Fred Colantonio used his habilities to understand the mindset and behavior of an individual as part of a group to serve growth in various business contexts. Nowadays, his approach encompasses a vision of human potential with "L’attitude des Héros" (www.lattitudedesheros.com and www.facebook.com/lattitudedesheros).

He gives inspirational talks in French and English mostly in Europe (so far: Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Croatia).

Arne Van Damme

Growth Strategist at INTUO

Arne likes to think about how both employees and companies can change for the better in this age of automation. Because for young professionals, this has a great implication on their career choice and how they work. For seasoned professionals, it's all about leading change and coaching right. And for organisations it's about becoming a network of innovation that excels at people management. Solving this last challenge for organisations of all sizes is what keeps us going at Intuo.
Rapid improvements in technology, disruptions and automatisation change the way we organise work completely. Companies are no longer viewed as machines, where each job fulfils it's own well-defined task. No, today, organisations should be looked at more like a shoal of fish moving in the same direction, with the same amount of flexibility to dodge disruptions.

Jeroen Jespers

Owner at De Tondeldoos - Co Founder Comics Station Antwerp

Jeroen Jespers started in 2009 ‘The Tondeldoos’. An energetic and creative company that develops media concepts and brands. Jespers manufactures these concepts and exploits them. He brings distinctive entertainment concepts to life. One example is Comics Station Antwerp, www.comicsstation.be. A theme and experience park around the popular Belgian cartoon characters. Before he started ‘The Tondeldoos’ Jespers was spokesman and commercial manager of internationally renowned tennis star Kim Clijsters (2003-2008), Director of VRT Line Extensions (2004-2006) and as commercial director he lay at the basis of the successful Studio 100 (1996-2003).

Leen Segers

COO Tech.eu, Co-founder EEYOU, Women in VR Europe

Leen Segers has been working with startups in the consumer media and tech space for almost ten years. In 2007, she set up the Marketing & Business Development department for the European startup Netlog (81 million registered members, backed by Index Ventures & Atomico). In 2011, she moved to London and went from evangelising Social Media to Online Video targeting media & entertainment companies in the UK and EMEA. She first worked for open source video platform Kaltura (short form video), followed by Saffron Digital (TV series & movies, mostly subscription based). In 2014, she returned to Brussels to lead the newly founded tech publication covering the European technology industry, tech.eu, as a COO alongside Robin Wauters. This challenge led in April 2016 up to her co-founding the startup EEYOU. In collaboration with Europe’s (public) broadcasters and most talented producers, EEYOU wants to provide easy access to curated, high quality VR content.

Together with Screen.Brussels, she has founded the "Women in VR Europe" initiative, aimed to empower European women in VR, AR and other future visual technologies. Screen.Brussels is a Brussels based Cluster who’s vision is to position the Brussels-Capital Region as a centre of excellence for audiovisual and related innovative technologies worldwide.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WomeninVREU/

Bart Becks

Co-Owner Hashting , Entrepreneur, Investor

Advising startups in funding, scaling up, business strategy and international partnerships

Sofie Verhalle

Social Media Strategist, Trainer & Consultant | Keynote Speaker

The past fifteen years I've acquired skills in the field of social media and digital communication & marketing, internal and external collaboration, community building and team training. Former jobs allowed me to lead teams (Telenet) and help build a social media agency (Talking Heads). I'm passionate about sharing knowledge and skills, the way in which networks.. well... work, about building communities, on the inside as well as on the outside of an organization or company. People make me tick. Passion is my driver.

I'm interested in change management, social government, social business, convgov, public speaking, social media strategy, Toastmasters, leadership, open gov, collaboration, digital workplace, tourism, digital marketing, NWOW, travel, cycling and having a positive impact.

Nick Boucart

Principa technology advisor at Sirris.

Nick Boucart is principa technology advisor at Sirris.

His main goal is to help software entrepreneurs grow, by working on the crossroads of technology, business and engineering. Brainstorming about new concepts, products and services, searching for ways to validate and implement these ideas, finding public funding and research opportunities, these are just a few of the things Nick does for his clients.

He is especially interested in helping software entrepreneurs transform their current business models into SaaS format, whilst taking into account the latest in agile, lean startup and developer tools and practices.

His background as a developer helps him understand the technical implications of putting a software product to the market. He is an interim CTO for startups that lack in-house technical skills. He’s a junior growth hacker especially interested in engineered, automated and data-driven growth engines.

Muriel Uytterhaegen

Principal at Gimv / Board member at Nomadesk / Board member at CoScale

Muriel Uytterhaegen holds a master's degree in Business Economics from the University of Ghent and an MBA from the Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School. Muriel is currently responsible for the Arkiv fund of Gimv. Gimv Arkiv Tech Fund II has an investment focus on innovative early stage companies active in ICT and Cleantech.
Throughout her career, Muriel Uytterhaegen has developed, analyzed or challenged dozens of business plans and closed multiple deals. Currently Muriel is a board member at Nomadesk and Coscale, she is an observer in the board of Real Impact Analytics.
Muriel has over 15 years of experience in innovation management, technology transfer, venture capital and the growth of high-tech startups. She started her career as a consultant for BDO before joining the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School in 1997. There she was responsible for several projects related to innovation and financing spin-offs and one of the initiators of Vlerick Venture Coaching, an initiative to coach young start-ups. In 2000 she was involved in the creation of Octalis, a spin-off from the UCL, active in Security and Audio-Visual Data Traffic Management. Before joining Gimv in 2013 she worked for the Flemish Innovation Fund (VINNOF), a seed capital fund that invests in young innovative companies in Flanders.  As Senior Investment Manager she was responsible for ICT and board member of the portfolio companies in that sector (Caliopa, CMOSIS, Dacentec, NMDG, Oxynade, ...).

Filip Vandamme

Managing Partner Volta Ventures

Previously Filip was VP corporate business development and M&A at Barco, playing a key role in the company’s growth strategy, venturing, and structuring and negotiation of its acquisitions, investments and divestments.
 
Before joining Barco Filip was active in venture capital (at FLV Fund) and strategic consulting, both in Belgium and internationally. Filip started his career at Alcatel, where he held several senior positions, including global strategy, marketing and product management of its 500 million EUR corporate network business.
 
As an expat, Filip lived and worked in Paris, Tokyo and Singapore. He obtained Master in Electrical Engineering (Leuven, Belgium), Business Administration (Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium) and MBA (Cornell, USA) degrees.

Raphaël Abou

Chief funding officer at Serious Funding

Raphaël Abou is the Founder of Serious Funding and the Chief Funding Officer. His role is to make your startup funding a success. Raphael is also CEO of Allyum, a European Corporate Finance Boutique specialized in Tech Funding.
Finance professional since more than 15 years Raphael advices startups and major companies in different fields: Mergers, Acquisitions, Sale and of course funding.
Entrepreneur, he founded own company 10 years ago to help companies in their finance issues.

Raphael is a board member of several companies and participates regularly as a juror in startups contests: Solvay entrepreneur, MIT under 35 innovators contests etc.

Michel Duchateau

Founder & Innovation coach at CreaDelta / Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend Europe / Co Founder & Co Author at ParticipAgile

Michel founded CreaDelta in 2011, a consulting and training company for entrepreneurs and companies to spread best practices of innovative project management and entrepreneurship.
Passionate about startups & innovation, Michel has been a Startup Weekend organizer in Belgium and a Startup Digest Curator for Brussels. He is now Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend Europe. Michel helps as an expert, speaker, coach and jury member more than 15 coaching structures for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs associations. He helps them spread best practices and serendipity. Civil engineer, Michel worked during several years as a project manager on large ICT projects for companies like Electrabel or Orange before creating his own startups. 
Today Michel shares best practices from the startup world with large companies & European institutions, organizing hackathons, workshops and conferences

Damian Nicell

Independent service provider

Over 30 years bringing international marketing, sales and business start solutions to a variety of private and public sector organisations. Based in Brussels Damien applies an entrepreneurial approach to projects which require strategic balance, commercial focus and imagination.

Jolien Coenraets

Lean Launchpad educator - (Student) Entrepreneurship coach - Computer Science teaching assistant

Jolien graduated in 2012 as a Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering at Ghent University, Belgium. During her first master year, she started her own company G-flux, a smartphone GPS application company, together with some friends. That's when she realized (technology) entrepreneurship was a passion that she always had in her but that had been waiting to reveal itself until the right moment was there.
Jolien now works as a teaching assistant at Ghent University where she transfers her entrepreneurship passion to students. She teaches the Lean Launchpad course and is an assistant for the computer science project course Design Project. She also helps professors to add entrepreneurship to their courses and is a business coach for student entrepreneurs at Ghent University.
Her passions are coaching (student) start-ups, teaching Lean Launchpad and all things related to it (customer discovery, business model canvas, etc) and combining technology, education and entrepreneurship.

Bie Boudolf

Account Manager financing at Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen / Project Coordinator at FINMIX

Bie Boudolf is working as ‘accountmanager financing’ with Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (in Dutch: Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen), a government agency, charged with implementing the economic, innovation and enterprise policy in Flanders.
You can contact her for any information about the Flemish government support to SME’s, especially financing solutions to all companies that operate in Flanders.
Since 5 years she's one of the project coordinators of FINMIX (www.finmix.be), i.e. panels bringing together financing experts who give corporate and financing advice to entrepreneurs, for whom risk capital is inevitable as bank loans alone can’t fund their whole project. Within those panels experts advise on the best possible mix of funding.

Philippe Verhoeven

Partner at EY Accountants

As an accounting Partner at EY Philppe has a broad comprehensive accounting and tax experience, serving local SME's and large multinational corporations in manufacturing, industrial, retail, wholesale and services business. He has an in-depth experience in national and international companies, both in the profit and non-profit sector.

Béatrice De Mahieu

Entrepreneur, Investor, CEO Pimentomap.com and Virtuology-Academy.com

Béatrice de Mahieu is a Belgian entrepreneur and strategy consultant. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to participate in the development and growth strategy of major telecommunication and media companies.
She has an almost 15 years long experience in the digital marketing services, with a 360° communication knowledge in campaign strategy, definition, launch and roll-out.
With a major experience at launching the residential content portals at Telenet, and leading the B2C Integrated Marcomm team et Microsoft Belux (marketing and PR), she worked as a freelance as from end of 2009, focusing on:
-Digital marketing strategies: mainly in media companies (evolution from print to digital)
-Change management, process optimisation and team support in digital strategy roll-out
-Global project management, both with physical and virtual teams.
In the recent years, she decided to focus her career on coaching and mentoring start-ups in their investment, growth and strategy, and also joined one of the major investment partners and funds in Belgium as an investment expert and member of the board.
She co-launched Virtuology Academy in collaboration with Cédric Donck, and is co-founder of the Pimento Map tool.

Wouter Desmet

Partner at EY Subsidia

Wouter is leading the Subsidia Grants and Incentives service line of EY. He is also responsible for the EYnovation program, a service offering focused on startups and scale-ups. He is specialized in defining and implementing short to long term strategies for local and European subsidies. He was involved in more than 300 projects with companies and research institutions from various sectors, both in a national and international context.

Wouter founded in 2003 Subsideaal, a consultancy company specialized in Grants and Incentives for R&D-projects. Subsideaal merged in 2015 with EY Subsidia and together they became market leader in subsidy consultancy with establishments in Ghent, Brussels, Antwerp, Hasselt, Bruges en Tournai.
He was founder and director of Dag1 (from 2012 to 2015), a non-profit organization focusing on startups.
Since 2015 he is responsible for the EYnovation program which offers startups and scale-ups help with all the strategic, legal and financial issues they’re likely to face.
He was able to established in a partnership with Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) with the objective to have more start-ups who can grow and become successful stayers in the economic landscape.

Ignace Van Oortegem

Manager IVO Consult

Ignace studied at the University of Leuven and got master degrees in Law (1983) and Economics (1985).
After a long career in the banking industry (at KBC Group, Brussels) he turned to the SME industry. He regularly takes missions from Unizo and other parties in order to help specific SME’s to exploit opportunities or counter their problems.
Ignace is passionate about helping companies to grow. A growing entity is a great environment. It drives people’s performance to higher levels and creates opportunities for the companies and the people they employ. Unfortunately, it also brings “growing pains”. The capacity and the structure of a company should be aligned with the strategic goals, the activity level and the market environment. Helping SME’s to anticipate and solve these problems is Ignace’s personal ambition.

WORKSHOPS EXPERT FACILITATORS

Kurt Wellens

Director at EY Belgium

Kurt Wellens is Director at Ernst & Young Belgium where he is a member of the Cleantech and Sustainability Services department. Kurt has more than 15 years’ experience in executing and leading compliance, governance, risk, extended producer responsibility, circular economy and performance improvement projects.
Kurt has acted as trainer and facilitator on several occasions and has been or is part of expert panel discussion groups on marketing, communication, finance and legal. He has also been appointed as the expert on the new ISO norm on compliance to provide training for the Belgian rules and standards organisation (NBN).
Kurt has initiated the development of the EY Strategic Value Management methodology: an integrated, systematic and practical approach to capture and respond to internal and external challenges and opportunities with the aim to safeguard and maximise (long term) organisational value.
From a private point of view, Kurt is married and father of 2 sons, loves reading, dinning and wining and has a passion for cycling.

Céline De Waele

Senior manager Cleantech and Sustainability at EY Belgium

Céline is senior manager Cleantech and Sustainability at EY Belgium. She is an expert in the integration of sustainability principles and practices in the strategy, the processes and the reporting of an organisation. She coordinates change projects directed at the set-up of business models build on the principles of circular economy (re-use of materials, product as a service, etc.). Stakeholder management is a key element in her service solutions towards the market.
During her career, Céline has built a broad project- and management experience in as well the private sector, as the non-profit and public sector. She is familiar with the challenges start-ups face through her work as policy advisor (youth) entrepreneurship for a former Flemish minister of economy.

    Els Van den Bossche

    Head of Retail Mass Clients at ING Belgium, responsible for the Sales staff in the ING Branches

    Ever since Els completed her education she devoted her career to the support & advice of clients at ING through various Sales functions. First as Relationship Manager for Business clients and then she switched to the segment of Retail clients where she first fulfilled the role of Region Director and she then took up a central role of Program Director in which she was instrumental to define the new distribution architecture for ING Belgium including a roadmap for implementation. Along the roll out of this program Els also managed the daily ‘Run’ activities within the different channels of the ‘Face’ domain which include branches, self’bank machines, sales staff tooling, branch procedures and communication to the branch sales staff. She identified and implemented various improvements in processes and services to better serve the end-user, whether this were internal users of external users / clients.
    Today Els continues to lead the successful roll out of the new branch concept in Belgium and she has end-2-end responsibility for the Retail mass clients segment in Belgium.
    Els holds a Master in Political and Social Sciences and a Master in Business Administration.