Tag Archives: brussels

Thank you Jean !

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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

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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.

Tech Startups Mega Event in Brussels: Startups.be

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Next April 19th there will be a mega event for tech startups and starters at the Egg in Brussels. If you have a startup or want to start one, you can not miss it. 

The event starts at 2pm and will go on until the night, with some drinks after a Betagroup Pitch Slam. My experience tells me that it will end up even later with informal dinners going on until late. 

You do not have to attend the full event, just go to the parts that interest you or can attend. It is free and you just have to sign up here

I’m one of the organizers representing the Betagroup, as part of the 19 Belgian organizations supporting Tech Entrepreneurs that have decided to combine their efforts to accelerate our startup environment even more via Startups.be – Future Business Support.

Interview about the Founder Institute in Tech Brew Podcast [Audio]

Tech Brew Episode 004 ??? Ram??n Su??rez from the Founder Institute

In episode #4 of Tech Brew, we drink Chimay Bleu, one of the six Belgian Trappist beers, and Gilbert chats with Ram??n Su??rez about the Founder Institute.

The Founder Institute is an intensive 4 month program designed to help someone with a business idea turn it into a reality. The goal is to provide a ???network of startups and mentors that helps entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.??? This is not just a series of workshops, but is a hands-on, practical course which expects each participant to build their company. As Ramon says, it is a ???reality check??? for a lot of would-be entrepreneurs.

Helping the participants along the way are experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, brought in from all over the world to share their knowledge and provide guidance. Participants themselves are motivated to help each other through the program???s ???Bonus Pool???. In order to join the Founder Institute, each participant must give up a small percentage of their business which goes into this pool. As each new company succeeds, everyone gets a share of the success.

There are a lot of smart people with good ideas in Belgium, but turning an idea into a business is not a skill you learn in public school. Take some time, listen to our interview with Ramon, and then check out the Founder Institute. If you sign up before September 11th, the test fee (???40) will be waived.

http://www.founderinstitute.com/apply/brussels

Always a pleasure :)

Qu’est-ce que c’est le Founder Institute? Explication de Alain Baritault [Video]

Alain Baritault est un des collègues qui organisent le Founder Institute en Europe. Depuis Paris, il nous explique en quelques mots qu’est-ce que c’est le Founder Institute:

Si vous voulez plus connaître et faire connaissance d’un des mentors belges, on organise un Pitch Bootcamp avec Filip Tack jeudi prochain. Pour les convaincus, il est possible de passer l’examen d’entrée gratuitement avant le 11 septembre (€40 après).

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.