December 8, 2018

On international "Growth Camp" with Flanders Investment & Trade

"Stay curious": that's the red thread and the "attitude" of focus during the international "Growth Camp" with Netwerk Ondernemen and Flanders Investment & Trade. On the 6th and 7th of December we challenged around 15 Swedish entrepreneurs, together with 11 Belgian entrepreneurs, during a "pitching challenge", in the Google Digitalakademin in Stockholm. In front of a competent jury we got 3 minutes the time to link our 45"-pitch to a success or failure story that we faced on our journey. The challenge was moderated by WhaleShark.

Guess what? "The Oscar goes to Belgium!"

Nice performance of Gunther Ghysels from Get Driven, a Belgian scale-up that guides you through the traffic jams in an efficient way (while you can continue working on the backseat!) or that brings you home from a party: in your own car, with a private driver whom you'll find via a clever app, only at a fraction of the cost of a cab or even an Uber. He goes home with the Award "Most Promising Entrepreneur".

This two-day trip was the closing part of the "Boost Me"-trajectory of Netwerk Ondernemen, that already took us on a strategic weekend to Hubermont in Belgium.

For KWARTS this trajectory has led to a more clear commercial story with a lot more focus. "Boost Me" gave us useful input and in this way helped us to realize the acceleration we're making in the market. Special thanks to Netwerk Ondernemen and Kessels & Smit to facilitate this process.

In Stockholm we focused on "pitching for investors". Niclas Holmberg, Managing Director of Nasdaq First North, explained us why the Swedish eco-system is an ideal environment to test your market fit, and how successful scale-ups can already do an IPO at the start of their journey. Afterwards the bells rang en we were able to experience the feeling such an IPO can give to the entrepreneur and his or her environment.

On Hyper Island we discovered how education can be approach differently, in close contact with commercial companies. Their students immersed us in the world of Design Thinking and Collaborative Design. Communication is crucial in a team, as we experienced during the Lego Challenge. As from now, no post lunch dips anymore thanks to the Hyper Energizing Techniques with a hyper-energizing "Stone-Paper-Scissors"-exercise.

Overall we remember that you're never on your own as an entrepreneur. While every story is unique, everyone is facing a similar journey... what binds us is the "curiosity". During "Boost Me" we created connections for life. A big thanks to Jonathan from SmartEye, Gunther from Get Driven, Vincent from Edmire Design, Bart from Uulki, Filip from Lemon Companies, Nancy from Ultrazonic, Frederico from Cohousing Projects, Karl & Bart from Hashting, Ingrid from Datascouts and Michel from i-Beauty. You all rock!