Jeroen Vancraen and Lien Van Der Schueren (Masters in General Management, 2020) founded Aspyro in July 2020. Making customers happy through innovative healthcare solutions is their mission – and the company is already creating a lot of happiness with its first product: Oxy-glasses.
Unique in Europe, Oxy-glasses are 3D-printed eyewear designed especially for oxygen users. People using supplemental oxygen often experience discomfort with the current technology, especially with the plastic nasal cannula, which causes irritation on the ears, leaves red marks on the cheeks, and easily slips out of the nose.
The Oxy-glasses have a groove in the frame in which the nasal cannula can be inserted. And this makes oxygen therapy less visible, more comfortable, and more practical. The product enables Lien and Jeroen to realise their ambition to bring positive change to the healthcare sector, and, in this case, to have oxygen users live happier lives.
Lien Van Der Schueren: “My personal goal is to have both a social and an economic impact. That was our main drive in starting Aspyro. In fact, I never imagined I would become an entrepreneur. But every programme at Vlerick contains the seeds for entrepreneurship and fosters the potential entrepreneur inside you.”
“I come from an engineering background, and Vlerick pushed me out of my comfort zone with courses in finance, accounting and marketing, to name a few. Which were of course essential elements to starting my own business. Vlerick makes entrepreneurship live in every course at all levels. For example, the marketing course included contests in which you had to think as an entrepreneur.”
“Two especially important soft skills that Vlerick promotes are creativity and networking. I re-discovered what creativity is and also how to leverage it in terms of strategy as well as operations. As an entrepreneur, you need to be creative all the time. And the same is true for networking.”
“Vlerick showed me that everything is possible. You meet so many inspiring professors, and the alumni with their start-up successes… I started to see that I could actually be an entrepreneur – something I had never considered before. Another important factor is the Student Entrepreneurship Fund, which helps students bridge a financial gap. We were awarded €40,000 from the Fund, which gave us so much credibility towards so many stakeholders and allowed us to accelerate our business.”
“I really gained a lot of confidence at Vlerick. I was able to step out of my comfort zone – or even better: I was able to broaden my comfort zone! Vlerick makes the best version out of every participant.”