(Future) Entrepreneur


You have an innate pioneering spirit. You’re passionate about innovation. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business or you’ve just stumbled on the next big idea. And in any case, you already like the idea of being your own boss. So, where do you go from here? The tips below will answer a lot of your preliminary questions and point you in the direction of others.

  1. Find out what it takes to succeed
  2. Think about your business plan and funding
  3. Connect with others
  4. Keep on learning

Since these tips and resources are exclusive for you as a Vlerick alumnus, please make sure you’re logged in on our website so you can easily access every link in this article.

1. Find out what it takes to succeed

Bill Gross has founded a lot of start-ups and incubated many others. So when he started to inquire into why some succeeded and others failed, he had plenty of data to enrich his research. Discover the five key factors he identified, including one that surprised even him.

It’s only when you know your true potential that you will find meaningful ways to unleash it on the world. Ask yourself, “what are my strengths?”, “what really motivates me?”, “what am I good at?”, “what are my values?” and “what do I really want to achieve?”. You might find that your next big career move has been staring you in the face all along! 

Check out these interesting personality and career tests. They’ll help you find out what makes you, you… and what career paths will help turn those qualities into personal and professional success.

2. Think about your business plan and funding

Already have an idea that’s ready to implement?
Pitch at two initiatives organised by Vlerick to get seed funding in:

These handy Vlerick tools will help you find a foothold when embarking on your journey:

  • Take perhaps the most important first step and learn how to write and structure a convincing business plan. Professors Miguel Meuleman and Veroniek Collewaert discuss the do’s & don’ts of business planning while offering a workable blueprint, general guidelines and other tools to help you arrive at an accurate analysis.
  • Not sure how to calculate the equity split between co-founders? The Vlerick Equity Calculator does the trick for you.
  • Thinking of launching your company as a partnership? Use our Founding Teams Checklist to better understand some of the common dilemmas founding team face while learning sound team governance practices and creating your own personalised founding team map and checklist.

Looking to develop a thorough proof of concept within a community of mentors and other entrepreneurs? Vlerick has forged partnerships with a number accelerator programmes with an impressive track record of successful start-ups and scale-ups: 

  • http://wattfactory.be/: WATT Factory is a lively community of entrepreneurs and creatives focused on Smart Cities & Climate Change. Whether you are starting up, scaling up, organising an exciting event or just interested in a great coworking spot or private office, you're sure to find your second home at WATT Factory!
  • http://startit.be/: Start it @ KBC is a unique, mission-driven start-up accelerator that supports courageous and passionate entrepreneurs. They have dynamic hubs and co-working spaces in Antwerp, Brussels, Budapest, Ghent, Hasselt, Kortrijk, Leuven and New York.
  • https://www.voka.be/bryo: The Flemish enterprise network specifically targets starting entrepreneurs (website available only in Dutch)
  • https://www.gobirdhouse.com/: This intensive 6-month accelerator programme is based in Ghent and Antwerp (website available only in Dutch)

3. Connect with others

Part of being an entrepreneur means you are ‘always on’ and always have to be ‘out there’. Even more important than your business idea is the network that will help bring it to maturity and to market, while generating leads and new insights on the way.

4. Keep on learning

Entrepreneurship lies at the core of Vlerick. And as an alumnus, you have unique access to in-house expertise that can be invaluable when starting your own business, broadening your own knowledge base and moving your company forward.

  • Join our entrepreneurship network and share your story via Vlerick Venturing. This active and diverse community of current and former Vlerick students organises a number of events throughout the academic year.
  • Give your scale-up the boost it needs while tackling specific business challenges via Entrepreneurship 2.0. As the founder of a young, high-potential venture, this research centre will help guide you towards rapid growth through a combination of networking, dialogue and research.
  • Broaden your horizons by diving into our articles and white papers on entrepreneurship.
  • Discover Vlerick programmes specifically designed for entrepreneurs.

Define and reach your career goals

Become a Vlerick alumni member and get full access to our Career & Business Resources!
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