Famous Belgians of the present and future
A group of successful entrepreneurs is offering their services to help the next generation of start-ups as part of the 'Starter!' programme.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Belgium. A group of successful entrepreneurs are offering their services to help the next generation of start-ups as part of the 'Starter!' programme.
Sébastien de HALLEUX is a Belgian entrepreneur who now lives in San Francisco. At just 34 years of age, he is a legend in the world of Belgian Internet. Just out of college, he started with some friends a start-up company specializing in games for mobile phones, at a time when there was no talk about the Smart phone. His company, Glu Mobile, entered the stock market a few years later with a valuation of $ 337 million. It has not rested on its laurels and is now launching a new start-up that this time is backing games on Facebook, Playfish. Bingo. Two years after its foundation, the company had 250 employees, a dozen games and 60 million users. He sold it in 2009 to the video games giant Electronic Arts for a mere $ 400 million. After making his fortune, he embarked on social enterprise projects. He is involved in Vittana, a company that makes microloans to finance the education of young people from developing countries. He is also an "angel investor", that is to say, he advises and invests in young companies around the world.
Bruno VENANZI (42) from Liège is married and has two children. After studying history held various sales and product management positions at Belgacom, MCI and then created Certipost Lampiris in 2003 (together with Bruno Vanderschueren). Lampiris, a supplier of green gas and electricity, has nearly 160 employees and over 600,000 customers and has been profitable since 2005. By opting for green energy and a low cost profile, Lampiris is well positioned in a sector dominated by large groups.
MENACHE Patrick (56 years) is the real estate expert par excellence! Macnash Associates is today a leader in residential real estate transactions in Brussels.
Frequently used by embassies, missions and foreign liaison offices, it welcomes and advises a large number of foreigners who come to live in Brussels and has helps in the search for a property and the purchase or rental.
It is also the only real estate expert from Belgium offering courses to general public on the what to avoid when buying or selling real estate!
Valerie VIATOUR studied civil engineering at the University of Liège and after gaining a Masters in Management (HEC), worked for several years in the IT sector. In 2003 she launched her solo business as a specialist in decision informatics.
In 2007, Valerie founded Chiveo (she is its main shareholder and managing director), a company specializing in the definition of performance indicators, the development of dashboards, implementation of business intelligence systems and specific applications development. The company continues to grow and now employs 12 people. Valerie received the "Equiwoma" award in 2011.
Entrepreneur Valerie, 43 years old and married with 3 children willingly engages in the pleasures of good food and a good dose of sport to balance everything.
Anne-Catherine TRINON is a passionate, hardworking lady who has management diploma in her handbag. An ambitious personality from Liège, she now runs a communications agency, ActStar, specializing in sales promotion and traffic building which employs 30 people.
After finding its first big customer ActStar very quickly employed a dozen people and the numbers are growing.
Since then, Anne-Catherine has managed the company's growth with intelligence. It is surrounded by experts who have allowed it to develop solidly. It must be said that with 30 employees and customers such as Belgacom, it is better to be a visionary.
Beyond its role as a business leader, she has responded to the Mentoring for Success programme. Anne-Catherine is therefore committing herself to support two start-up companies.
All five entrepreneurs are offering their support to Belgian TV's 'Starter!' programme which aims to find the next generation of entrepreneurs most likely to succeed, with the five success stories as the jury.
NG / Together Magazine / Expatica
Reprinted with permission of Together Magazine.