Coming from a university spin-off environment, with no start-up experience whatsoever but a warm heart for young entrepreneurs and keen interest in business modelling, taking up a position as coordinator and mentor for VOKA’s Bright & Young Potentials program was an exciting challenge. BRYO is a network of ambitious pre-starters and early starters till the age of 35, with projects not confined to a particular domain or sector, being offered support both through peer-to-peer/expert learning and one-to-one coaching/matchmaking.
This project was the perfect horizon-widener, each startup providing a new, cutting-edge window to the world with projects ranging from 3D-printing to augmented reality applications to online marketplaces to innovations in interior textile. Opening up to the startup and innovation network in Flanders has also given me a broader perspective on the disruptive impact of technology on every possible sector and domain, including the one of my primary interest: life sciences.
I think it’s fair to say that I left my mark at the BRYO program in my region, both quantitatively and qualitatively. On the side, I became one of the 1st-hour supporters and advocates of the #BeTech brand, an active and respected member of the Flemish startup scene, and co-founder of the local, grassroots startup community Leuven Startups. An exceptionally energising time.