Tag Archives: betagroup

Startups.be the one stop shop for Belgian startups looking for support

Startups.be logo

If you follow me on Twitter or any other social media account, I’m one of the founders and board members of Startups.be. It is an initiative I’ve been involved in for over a year, but only recently have we created the non profit organization. (Yes, I know it is hard to follow up on all the things I do, but you can always check my LinkedIn to have an idea.)

The purpose of Startups.be is twofold:

  • To help tech starters in Belgium to find help according to their needs, stage of growth and geographic location. It will be the one stop shop to find help and be redirected toward the right organizations.
  • To bring together all the entities that are working to help tech entrepreneurs in the country. There’s already 40 and we are working on bringing more people in.

The role of Startups.be is that of a facilitator, not a substitute.

We are currently working on the website, but you can already signup with your startup to be included in the online directory of Belgian startups and to access more services as they are implemented.

My colleague and driving force behind Startups.be, Karen Boers, was recently interviewed in Trends Tendances to present the project:

Both the Betagroup and Betacowork are members of Startups.be, and so are westartup, idealabs, Webmission, iMinds, ABE, AWT, and many others. The list is growing, and as you can see there are a lot of different sizes, types of organizations, private & public… Some, don’t even exist as an organization! If you want to join, just get in touch with Karen.

The board of directors is composed of entrepreneurs from the three regions: Peter Hinssen, Alain Heureux, Antoine Perdaens, Jurgen Ingels, Sylvie Irzi, and myself. Karen Boers is the Managing Director.

I was driven to the very first meeting of the project by Leo Exter, one of the main pillars of tech entrepreneurship in Belgium,  founder of westartup.eu, and my partner in bringing Startup Weekend to Brussels.

What I’ve liked from the begining is the willingness to work together, to overcome the regional compartmentalization of the country.

Some of the first actions where the Startups.be day, with a lot of organizations giving workshops and value to the starters, and the stand at LeWeb. Both were awesome :)

We are currently working on organizing the next events, so keep an eye on the Startups.be calendar.

Facebook pages you should like

BetaGroup Coworking

Promote Your Page Too BetaGroup

Promote Your Page Too ICourses

Promote Your Page Too Open Coffee Club Brussels

Promote Your Page Too Coworking Visa

Promote Your Page Too Comer, hablar, amar: vivir al fin y al cabo

Promote Your Page Too Startup Weekend Brussels

Promote Your Page Too CampChart

Promote Your Page Too Operacion Bikini, César Lucas

Promote Your Page Too

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.

Seniority of the Betagroup Linkedin Group Members: Owners Rule

Very interesting statistics about the Betagroup in Linkedin. Over 2425 members, 832 are owners of their business, 495 are senior, and 276 have manager positions. It should open the eyes of a lot of people that think that Internet business is just a thing for youngsters.

Thanks to Mehdi El Fadil for the heads up.

How Do I Become a Member of the Betagroup [Sign-Up]

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Some people have asked me what do they have to do to sign-up to the Betagroup and become a member. Easy! It is free and simple: you just have to signup to one of the events, to the Linkedin group or to the newsletter box in the Betagroup’s website. That way you will be updated of all the events coming up and you can take advantage of the special offers for its members.

Looking forward to the next Betagroup Pitch-Slam

Venue:

ULB Campus Solbosh

Bulding U, Room UB2-252 (Room Name: LAMEERE)

-> http://www.ulb.ac.be/campus/solbosch/plan-U.html

 

Agenda:

6:30PM – Welcome drink

7:00PM – Demos of 5 Belgian Web startups :

1) OpenGraphy.com

2) clickyourcar.be

3) streetpage.com

4) Automated Sport’s Games Reviews

5) GossipZone.be

8:00 PM – “Live Tweets”: everyone is welcome on stage to “tweet” their announcements (partnerships, promote an event, offering a job or any other non-commercial proposals relevant to the group).

8:30 PM – Networking: drinks and snacks are offered by our sponsors. 

Betagroup Presentation Template to Pitch to Investors

Tomorrow is the preselection for the Betapitch, a special Betagroup event hosted at the Betacowork where startups will pitch to a panel of investors that can invest from €20.000 to €5.000.000 . 
This is the template for the presentation that Jean has sent, which may also help you if you are pitching to investors at any other moment: 
Timing: 5 minutes sharp (there will be a countdown and an alarm after 5 minutes) + Q&A
 
Slides template: all the participants will present the same 10 slides (inspired by Guy Kawasaki)
Slide 1 – Team
Slide 2 – Problem that you are tackling
Slide 3 – Your solution
Slide 4 – Business model
Slide 5 – Underlying magic/technology
Slide 6 – Marketing and sales
Slide 7 – Competition
Slide 8 -Projections and milestones
Slide 9 -Pre-invest value + money needed (only 2 figures for this important slide)
Slide 10 – How do you plan to spend the money that you raise

There will be a workshop to help the teams with their presentations hosted by Gilbert West.