SCHIJF JE IN   voor 01/08/2015

SXSW as experienced by Belgian startups (part I)

  • On March 21, 2017
  • accelerator programme, business incubator, fifteen24, foodpairing, jack, look, startup accelerator, startup incubator, SXSW, tech startup, tech startup programme, tech startups, Telenet Kickstart, yondr

SXSW as experienced by Belgian startups (part I)

Last week, a delegation of Belgian startups attended South by Southwest (SXSW), the ultimate media and music festival in the US. Their goal? To expand their network with interesting contacts and gain some useful insights. How did the startups experience their trip abroad and which tips did they take home? Telenet Kickstart asked 5 of the 10 businesses who participated! (No worries, part II of this series will dive into the other startups’ experiences as well.)

Foodpairing

Foodpairing

Foodpairing is a startup that developed what are potentially the world’s largest ingredient and taste databases. Using unique algorithms, the databases suggest deliciously innovative culinary combinations. Founder Bernard Lahousse was not only a member of the delegation, he was also offered a seat in the panel on ‘How AI/Machine Learning Will Change the Way We Eat’. “This was the perfect chance to get acquainted with other food tech companies, including Hampton Creek”, says Lahousse. “When it comes to networking opportunities, nothing beats multidisciplinary events like SXSW. The fact that I was invited to speak on a panel helped a lot as well, of course.”   

Look 

look

Look, the Belgian startup behind the on-demand live streaming app that’s also called ‘Look’, agrees with Lahousse. “We have had plenty of interesting conversations with media companies”, CMO Ludwig Dumont adds. “Clearly, there is much interest in user-generated live streaming, which we are developing as we speak.” “Whereas other conferences such as TechCrunch Disrupt focus primarily on technology, SXSW revolves around creativity”, founder of Look Donald Staar continues. “In that sense alone, there is a strong match between our startup and this event.”   

Jack

Jack

Well aware of the scale of SXSW, startup Jack made sure to come prepared. The messaging app which carries their name focuses on slow messaging, enabling senders to choose when recipients receive their messages. ‘Content above speed’ is Jack’s credo. “Having tested our app in Belgium and other European countries, we are now preparing ourselves to go global”, founder Michel Tombroff explains. “Of all the global business events we’ve attended, this is by far the best. Especially since there’s such a close connection with the entertainment industry here.”   

Fifteen24

fifteen24

For Fifteen24, a brand-new company founded by former managing director of Invisible Puppy Mathieu Lanssens and project manager Florence Brusselmans, SXSW was buzzing with opportunity as well. Located in New York, Fifteen 24 is an agency devoted to helping Belgian companies grow across the pond. “Since we are still in the startup phase, we attach great importance to gathering critical feedback wherever and whenever we can”, says Mathieu. “SXSW”, he continues, “is ideal in this respect, because it attracts numerous experts from various sectors. At the same time, it is the perfect occasion to generate useful leads.”   

Yondr

Yondr

VR agency Yondr saw SXSW as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get first-hand information on all the latest trends. Founder Pieter Van Leugenhagen tells us how he gained numerous interesting insights. “The workshops and speakers at SXSW were top-notch”, he says enthusiastically. “One striking finding was that most B2C companies who want to implement VR inevitably face tough times. That goes to show that Yondr made the right decision focusing on B2B.” In addition to attending numerous keynotes and panel discussions on VR, the company managed to set up some promising meetings as well. “It was an eventful week filled with wonderful opportunities”, Van Leugenhagen concludes.    Want to find out more about our Belgian startups’ experiences at SXSW? Keep an eye on our blog for updates!

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