New online co-creation platform BRIDEE brings ideas to life

Bridging design and business

Are you brimming over with exciting and entrepreneurial plans – yet could also use some help with giving them concrete shape? Post your idea on BRIDEE and turn your dream into reality! BRIDEE stands for BRIDGING DESIGN, ENTREPRENEURSHIP and EDUCATION. This brand-new online co-creation platform puts creative, entrepreneurial innovators – both individuals and businesses – in touch with designers and management students. Together with the ‘idea owner’ they get down to work on the idea. The ultimate aim is to create a new venture.

BRIDEE is an initiative of woowoos NVAgentschap Ondernemen and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, supported by leading Belgian institutions and organisations that wish to foster the entrepreneurial spirit, such as Artesis, HowestFlanders DC and VOKA.

How does it actually work?

  • Post your idea on www.bridee.org. It can be anything from an idea still at the concept phase to a recent business start-up.
  • Ensure that you are included in the final selection. In September, all submissions will be evaluated for originality, creativity and commercial feasibility.
  • Turn your idea into a concrete project. A team of Vlerick MBA students will devise a comprehensive business plan with you (market study, competition analysis, financial plan, etc.). Where relevant, designers will be added to the team.

Regardless of the eventual result, the innovator will remain the owner of his/her idea, and all team members will sign a confidentiality agreement. What’s more, there’s absolutely no charge! It’s an opportunity you can’t pass by.

Who are the people behind BRIDEE?

Chris De Backer, founder of woowoos NV, was looking for a way of bridging the worlds of design and business: “There are so many creative people who have a really good idea, but don’t know how to take the next step. In most cases, the idea simply gets shelved. BRIDEE and Vlerick Management School want to do something about this. We are working to enable some of these 'lost' ideas to develop into ventures driven by business students.”

Vlerick professor Hans Crijns, a champion of enterprise, was immediately captivated by the idea: “At last, an initiative that offers a concrete response to students’ need to do something really concrete with their business plan. In BRIDEE, management students are fed with genuine ideas, and at the same time creative people are supported in the implementation of those ideas. That complementarity provides a boost to both creativity and talent.”

Vlerick professor Miguel Meuleman, who is an ardent supporter of design, was brought in to reinforce the team, and the BRIDEE concept was born. “With the BRIDEE project we are trying to get entrepreneurs, business students and design students to look at a problem through one another’s eyes. The synergies that result from this will hopefully lead to real value-creating businesses in close touch with the real world.”

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