Tag Archives: belgianstartups

Thank you Jean !

Half-attendees-betagroup-37-ka

Yesterday was a bitter-sweet night for all of us. On one part we had the first demo day of the Betagroup, with almost 1200 signups and over 700 attendees. The place was packed and the startups doing the demos where very busy pitching.

At the same time Leo Exter was running a Betainvest event upstairs, with 30 investors an 10 startups pitching for funds.

And then Jean dropped the bomb

Jean Derely got on an improvised stage to thank the sponsors and go through all the things that have happened in the last 4 years, and then proceeded to drop the bomb: Jean will no longer run the Betagroup.

I cannot say it was a surprise for me or the other members of the Betagroup team (we had been working on his decision for about a month), but it was still a sad moment for me.

The impact of Jean Derely and the Betagroup

Heart-and-sould-of-the-belgian

Without Jean and the Betagroup I would have never become who I am in Brussels and the startup ecosystem. I don’t think I would even be the same person, nor have reached my current level of happiness. If I’ve ended up organizing so many events and opening a coworking space in Brussels it is part thanks to Jean, to his motivation and to the vibe he’s managed to transmit. He’s sparked the will to organize things and to make them happen in a lot of us; he’s promoted and helped numerous events and groups to get going, to launch and to do what they love; he’s shown the example to follow, doing what we love, working hard, making it happen.

Jean is the heart and soul of our tech startup ecosystem. He’s not the only one that has created or is running events to promote tech entrepreneurship in Belgium, but he’s had the biggest impact of all. Jean has always focused on bringing value to the startups and obsessed about making things happen, with his own money and with his work to raise funding for the Betagroup, to provide for all those free events for entrepreneurs and professionals.

I still remember when I discovered the Betagroup and before attended my first event (number 3 of 37 so far, without counting all the seminars, workshops and conferences) I contacted Juanito who was running a Hispanic social network in the USA and had moved back to Belgium. He wanted to have an American style event to shake things a little and meet other like minded people. With the help of some of his friends he started setting up a dinner to discuss it and then moved to the ULB to host a growing community. I think that back then we were 80 or so, but for the next event it was already 100 and it has kept on growing. Today there are over 5500 people in our community of tech startup lovers. Thanks to Jean we are changing the world, starting with Brussels.

Why Jean is stepping down

The Betagroup has always strived to help startups grow, and one of its successes is Woorank, Jean’s own startup. In the last two years Boris Demaria and have grown Woorank into a profitable business, without external capital and to a 13 person strong team. He’s managed to turn his own dream into a reality. Woorank is growing fast and Jean needs to concentrate on this opportunity. 

What changes for you

Nothing.

The Betagroup will continue on operating just like it does now. I’ve taken over most of Jean’s role running the Betagroup and will be working with two great people that have already proven their value, namely Julie Foulon and Leo Exter

Julie will continue organizing the big events of the Betagroups, our pitch slams and demo days.

Leo will continue running the Betainvest, our investor club where we try to help investors and startups meet each other and heat up the market.

I will continue running the coworking space and will be more involved in the running of the Betagroup together with the other founders of the non-profit: Olivier Belenger and Julien Meganck

Jean has made sure that his parting did not hinder the Betagroup.

What you should do

Send Jean a message, by email, Twitter, blog, sms, through the Betagroup’s contact form, by post, in person when you see him… No matter how, but tell him about the positive impact he’s had on you, your company, your community. Thank him for this 4 years of hard work and support. It is the least we can do.

Organize your own event or join the organization of an existing event. We build the ecosystem together. The more you participate the better, bigger and useful it gets. Let’s make sure that no matter who moves along with life the ecosystem keeps on growing and growing faster all the time.

Thank you Jean !

With all my heart.

Smarter than Siri: Jini, a proactive personal assistant on your smartphone

Jini is an application for smartphones that proactively sugests you things to do based on other applications usage (like RunKeeper) and the sensor information from your phone (location, speed, light…)

Filip Maertens is the founder of this Belgian startup that can really change our mobile world. A good example of what Jini does: when he arrived to Paris to present at the Startup competition at LeWeb, Jini sugested a route to go jogging close to his hotel.

They are also building an API and SDK so that other developers can tap on Jini’s intelligence to offer even more useful services.

 

They are my favourite startup to win the competition at LeWeb.

Subscribe to my channel for more tech startup videos.

TUZZit: the CheckThis of online project management

TUZZit is a very promising online project management tool that focuses in ease of use and visual appeal. There are no save buttons and it allows to present ideas and task just like we would do in a whiteboard, with a visual organization instead of a date or alphabet based presentation.

When Christophe Fruyter showed it to me at the Belgian Startups stand at LeWeb, I inmediately thought of CheckThis, the online tool to publish your internet posters. Both are very product oriented and focused on the user experience. They want to make their use easy and appealing.

Christophe is launching his startup from the south of Belgium, and has a developing global ambition.

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Belgian Startups at #LeWeb12 (aka #beleweb)

For the second year on a row there will be a unified Belgian startups stand at LeWeb. On this occassion there will be 15 startups participating from the three Belgian regions: 14 as part of the Startups.be #beleweb delegation and one in the startup competition (Jini). I will also be there as an official blogger, writing mostly for the Spanish internet business blog Loogic.

87seconds

87seconds from Startups.be on Vimeo.

8thColor

8thcolor from Startups.be on Vimeo.

Carambla

Nicolas Kint – Carambla (selected company to join us @LeWeb12) from Startups.be on Vimeo.

CleverPhone

cleverphone from Startups.be on Vimeo.

EarlyTracks

EarlyTracks from awtbe on Vimeo.

Freedelity

Freedelity from awtbe on Vimeo.

Jini

Mobilosoft

mobilosoft from Startups.be on Vimeo.

MyMicroInvest

MyMicroInvest from awtbe on Vimeo.

Small Town Heroes

Hendrik Dacquin – Small Town Heroes (selected company to join us @LeWeb12) from Startups.be on Vimeo.

TagTagCity

tagcity from Startups.be on Vimeo.

Tuzzit

TUZZit from awtbe on Vimeo.

Twipe Mobile

Danny Lein – Twipe (selected company to join us @LeWeb12) from Startups.be on Vimeo.

Uniwan

Uniwan from awtbe on Vimeo.

WeePee

Lisa Derycke – Weepee (selected company to join us @LeWeb12) from Startups.be on Vimeo.