Time for Recap Monday

Masters Blog

Recap Monday is a format where you read about inspiring events from the past week! I can assure you, it was incredibly busy: this time you can read the summary of no less than 6 events.

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E1: E’ship talk with Bram Vandeperre (founder of Scooty)

Bram told us to diversify, to communicate about ‘going all-in’ to peers & co-founders and said that CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is crucial, because the customer is always right.

Following quotes describe how Bram experienced founding Scooty:

“Being an entrepreneur is an emotional and financial rollercoaster with no personal life, where everyone is your boss, especially the end-customer. The opportunity costs are not to be neglected if you have your own business”.

“When you finally have investors and employees who are supposed to make your life easier, it turns out that they are in fact making it even more difficult”.

“But sacrifice will pay off (not speaking financially) in the long term, so it is worth it”! 

Thank you, Bram, for sharing your experience, and being honest about the not-so-easy-life of an entrepreneur.

E2: Startup Club

Andries Bruggeman & Thomas Jacob, Vlerick Alumni and founders of Hector shared their story in the first edition of the Startup Club.

Hector is an innovative & sustainable advertising startup that puts your brand directly in the costumers’ hand!

With your brand on Hector’s biodegradable cups, you create brand awareness, sensibilization, employer branding, and a phygital link (QR-code on cups) to connect your offline marketing campaign with an online touchpoint!

The time to consume one coffee is on average 13 minutes, so your brand is incredibly long visible, the reach is targeted, and the brand recall lays high! These are huge and unique advantages in comparison with traditional advertisement. Billboards have a 10 – 20 seconds exposure time, while the reach is non-targeted, it costs a fortune, and the brand recall is rather small.

Andries compared the life from an entrepreneur with that from an employee. As entrepreneur, you need to handle a lot of insecure circumstances, to sacrifice life freedom in order to have work freedom, to deal with a wide range of responsibilities and a hectic schedule.

Therefore, you best have a complementary team!

“No one can whistle a symphony alone”.

The Startup Club is an initiative from Vlerick MIE student Leon. Thank you for organizing such a cool event, and I am looking forward to the weekly stories from different entrepreneurs.

E3: Greenhill Capital, open student investment fund Leuven

A livestream with Stephan Desplancke, Head of Wealth & Retail, BlackRock

We learned more about portfolio management, which strategies and techniques there are & what the expectations are about the American elections.

Covid-19 caused a reshaping from the investment landscape and will change the society, economy and financial markets for years to come.

“Strategic allocation decisions should be reassessed to make portfolios resilient to this new landscape”

E4: Masters Open Day

Alexander and I were signed in as the Vlerick Brand Ambassadors of the MIE program. We answered a lot of questions from the prospective students, and we wish everyone the best with the admission test!

If there are questions, do not hesitate to send us a message. We are happy to help you out.

#LiveLearnLeap #VlerickMasters @VlerickBusinessSchool

E5: Elegnano

Katrien Herdewyn was a guest speaker for the Vlerick Business School students and talked about her experiences as a founder from Elegnano.

Her company stands for ELEGance and NANOtechnology. High Tech in High Heels!

Before you can put a brand successful in the market, you have to conquer a bumpy road! It all starts with purchasing raw materials and designing a prototype. Katrien assured us that you need a huge number of different parts and factories in order to create a markable product. When you have the final prototypes, you start selling B2B in order to know how much you have to produce. After that, the distribution & B2C sales can start, if Covid-19 does not blow everything up of course…

Therefore, it is crucial that you as entrepreneur are prepared:

  1. Diversification in revenue streams
  2. Remote working
  3. Diversification industries
  4. Online store
  5. No seasonal sale

While finalizing the prototype from the first season, you must start with designing and purchasing raw materials for the next season! I can imagine that you need a crazy amount of planning skills to work this through!

A lot depends on inner motivation:

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me, it’s who’s going to stop me”

Thank you Katrien for your inspirational words and motivation! Good luck in the future!

E6: EBBC, Launching the Leuven Chapter

Colleague students Julie, Ruben and Wim launched the Entrepreneurial Business Book Club (EBBC) in Leuven.

The purpose is that high potentials read the same book. Every last Thursday of the month, there is an (online) event to discuss and debate the content and gain different new insights. The participants try to activate their self-educated knowledge, learn from different perspectives, and share their own insights.

First, we listened to the Zero to One (Peter Thiel, founder Paypal) book pitch.

Key takeaway: Make something new!

Problem: A copy of a previous technology or business does not work and adds nothing. The reason why many start-ups fail, is because it is just more of the same (= Horizontal Innovation)!

Solution: Bet on a contrarian truth!

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

The answer shows a hidden truth to escape competition 

“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition”

Start by being a dominant in a niche (small) market

“Whoever is first to dominate the most important segment of a market with viral potential will be the last mover in the whole market”

Strive to be a monopoly, there are 4 possibilities to become the best in something:

  1. Branding: Apple
  2. Economy of scale: Amazon
  3. Network effect: Facebook and Instagram
  4. Technology: Google

In the second part, we went in depth through discussing several statements in online breakout rooms. The event closed with a free stage, here presented the founders from Hector their business.

I am already looking forward to the next EBBC Leuven event. We will discuss ‘The Book of Real-World Negotiations’ written by Joshua N. Weiss. If you don’t want to miss the next event, make sure you follow the EBBC page 😉

Thank you for reading my first blogpost, I hope you have found this useful – and do let me know if you have any tips. I have shared what I have picked up – I am sure there is more to learn!

Thijs Devos (current Masters student in Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

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Vlerick Masters programmes

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Sara Teuwen

Sara Teuwen

Senior Programme Advisor Masters