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.

Sihame El Kaouakibi

Founder of LET'S GO URBAN and CEO of A WOMAN'S VIEW.

Sihame is a social entrepreneur, innovator and inspiring lecturer. Known as founder of LET'S GO URBAN and CEO of A WOMAN'S VIEW.
After teacher training, she graduated as a Master in the educational science at the University of Brussels with great distinction.
Her unparalleled drive has also led her to create her own company, A Woman’s View, which offers consultancy to and develops concepts for governmental and other organizations involving youths, talent development, urban development, urbanization, urban culture, social innovation, entrepreneurship etc.

Let’s Go Urban was born from Sihame’s personal response to Belgium’s demographic rejuvenation. Leading by example, she aims to convince various stakeholders to invest in young people at all times, especially rough times.
She not only reaches a cross section of Belgium’s highly diverse population, she also gets her point across to a broader audience through lectures and a strong presence in a number of sectors, addressing governmental and other partners in their own language, so to speak.

With Let’s Go Urban, Sihame nurtures not only artistic talent but also general skills and attitudes useful in daily life at school, on the job, in society. She makes young people live up to their personal and civic responsibilities.

Sihame goes to great lengths to offer urban youths more perspective.

She is on several boards: as a member of the General Council and the Advisory Council of the Sociale Innovatiefabriek, and as president of Antwerp’s Provinciale Adviescommissie Cultuur and De Schoolbrug vzw. She also was chosen for the Individual Leadership Program in the US, by the Department of State and de US Embassy in Brussels.

She is a hardworking entrepreneur that knows how to invest today in the people of tomorrow! Headhunters and recruiters are contacting her to match her with business opportunities across different countries and help entrepreneurs to start up their dream.

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”.

Thomas Joos

Founder Little Miss Robot

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.

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.

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

Sihame El Kaouakibi

Founder of LET'S GO URBAN and CEO of A WOMAN'S VIEW.

Sihame is a social entrepreneur, innovator and inspiring lecturer. Known as founder of LET'S GO URBAN and CEO of A WOMAN'S VIEW.
After teacher training, she graduated as a Master in the educational science at the University of Brussels with great distinction.
Her unparalleled drive has also led her to create her own company, A Woman’s View, which offers consultancy to and develops concepts for governmental and other organizations involving youths, talent development, urban development, urbanization, urban culture, social innovation, entrepreneurship etc.

Let’s Go Urban was born from Sihame’s personal response to Belgium’s demographic rejuvenation. Leading by example, she aims to convince various stakeholders to invest in young people at all times, especially rough times.
She not only reaches a cross section of Belgium’s highly diverse population, she also gets her point across to a broader audience through lectures and a strong presence in a number of sectors, addressing governmental and other partners in their own language, so to speak.

With Let’s Go Urban, Sihame nurtures not only artistic talent but also general skills and attitudes useful in daily life at school, on the job, in society. She makes young people live up to their personal and civic responsibilities.

Sihame goes to great lengths to offer urban youths more perspective.

She is on several boards: as a member of the General Council and the Advisory Council of the Sociale Innovatiefabriek, and as president of Antwerp’s Provinciale Adviescommissie Cultuur and De Schoolbrug vzw. She also was chosen for the Individual Leadership Program in the US, by the Department of State and de US Embassy in Brussels.

She is a hardworking entrepreneur that knows how to invest today in the people of tomorrow! Headhunters and recruiters are contacting her to match her with business opportunities across different countries and help entrepreneurs to start up their dream.

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.

Dmitri Sarle

CEO of ArcticStartup

Dmitri Sarle is currently the CEO of ArcticStartup. He is the force that drives a team of professionals to work hard and enjoy themselves at the same time.

Having founded over five companies in the past, he now used his ambition and unique vision to change the mission of ArcticStartup to support the entrepreneurial community in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Covering news and trends, sharing tips, working with the startup community and creating networking events relevant to the ecosystem are all close to his heart.

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.

POWER MEETING MENTORS

Bert Van Wassenhove

Digital age marketing maven with a strategic view, a feel for analytics and a result driven mindset.

– Driven by innovation and digital media.
– Enough grey hair to think strategy.
– Enjoys public speaking
– Strong relational skills, experienced in leading and motivating teams.
– Loves coaching startup entrepreneurs
– Involved in multiple online communities (@ibert) and blogger (www.ibert.be)
– Wrote a book: www.digitaalmarketingplan.be
Areas of Expertise:
• Digital strategies
• Entrepreneurship
• Internet
• Social media
• Conversion marketing
• Communication strategy
• Integrated business approaches
• Online communication
• Training & speaking

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).

Jürgen De Smet

Agile & Lean (Executive) Coach, Trainer and Collaboration Architect

Jurgen De Smet was a guiding hand in one of the largest Agile transitions in EU Healthcare. A master of game techniques for serious enterprise, he has taken companies in some of the most risk-averse, regulated industries and made them rock star achievers of sustainable innovation.

His Belgium-based company Co-Learning supports senior and middle management and entrepreneurs in building and sustaining learning organizations.

Known as tough, knowledgeable, persistent and energizing, he is a driver of Gamestorming across Europe, a Innovation Games Qualified Instructor, and the first to implement Luke Hohmann’s concepts for citizen participation in Budget Games outside the United States.

Jurgen is a Certified LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) Trainer, Licensed Management 3.0 trainer, the author of "The Effective Use of Gamification Techniques in the Practical World"​, author of "Budgetspelen: Inwoners bepalen het beleid!"​, co-author of "Personal Kanban in a nutshell: The practical guide to personal happiness" and a leader in regional and global communities of practice that keep him freestyling with the best.

Specialties: Large-Scale Agile Adoptions, Lean Product Development, Agile Management, Collaboration, Engagement, Co-Creation, Gamification, Innovation, Creativity, BMGen, Cust.Dev., Design Thinking...

A digital native!

Jeroen Jespers

Owner at De Tondeldoos - Co Founder Comics Station Antwerp

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/

Rob Visser

Serial entrepreneur and Angel investor

Founder of Vitayo, co-owner of Hashting, founder of xss consult (advising startups in capital rounds, scaling up , business strategy and international partnerships). Business angel in other companies.

Strong in consultative selling and building partnerships. Excellent business/ financial acumen.

Strong investment management skills over multiple strategies and universes. In depth valuation knowledge from cash flow based and multiple models to LBO and M&A valuation sheets. Good knowledge of mezzanine financing
Broad business development experience in B2B environments. Strong presentation skills to various audiences
Large experience in analysing sector dynamics, business models and strategies using a structured approach. Great interest in Fintech and more in general the opportunities and threats created by new technology and social media.
Strong analytical thinking – capable of analysing numbers critically and drawing out relevant conclusions
Ability to explain complex conceptual items in simple messages
Experience to build and steer teams – positive mind-set and motivator
Excellent inter-personal and communication skills
Hands-on, entrepreneurial mentality - capable of driving initiative, willingness to take ownership and stress resistant

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.