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Twinkind went bankrupt : another startup in 3D printing has died
Mar03

Twinkind went bankrupt : another startup in 3D printing has died

A few years ago we discovered in Berlin a very hot startup : Twinkind. They specialized in 3D printed figurines in a quality never seen before. Their process was based was unique as we explained in this interview of its founder Timo Schaedel. Unfortunately Twinkind filled for bankruptcy in June 2016. The press realease (in German) doesn’t give much detail on the reasons of the failure but our guess is that the market was...

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Innovation at VRT : Appiness “Spott” keeps growing
May15

Innovation at VRT : Appiness “Spott” keeps growing

Last week I was invited by the innovation division of VRT (Belgium’s Dutch-speaking public television) for their creative circle III. It consisted in a series of presentations and testing from startups incubated in VRT’s “sandbox” department. Presentations and demos were given by 5 startups : Fisheye, Limecraft, Moovly, Appiness, Kiswe. Buy what you see on TV with the Spott mobile app The demo which very much impressed me was given by...

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Fatal errors for startups growth
Mar02

Fatal errors for startups growth

Fellow betacoworker Toon Vanagt made an impression when presenting on startups growth at Techstartup 2016. The least you can say is that Toon as vast experience in the field of startups (check his latest baby data.be) and a solid sense of humor. He was not afraid to tell the audience about his failures and I found one of them especially interesting : Casius.be. Toon explained how he burned 4m€ of VC cash to build a … 1.8m€ business....

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Sharing economy : revenues to be taxed in France
Feb15

Sharing economy : revenues to be taxed in France

The good thing with the sharing economy is that it has empowered individuals to make money. The bad thing is that governments haven’t been able to take much advantage of those new business models. In France the sharing economy represents a turnover of €2.5bn and a workforce estimated to 13000. Needless to say, it was more than enough to get the attention of governments in desperate need of money since the financial crisis has begun in...

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Highlights of one more year of blogging
Dec22

Highlights of one more year of blogging

It’s now been 6 years I’ve regularly posted articles on this blog (some 2100 articles in 3 languages). The design and technical changes we made in 2014 and 2015 were fruitful. The audience increases regularly and since we fixed a cache problem this summer, the French version of the blog is hitting almost systematically the 100k unique users mark on annual basis. The Dutch version of the blog is not doing so good ; despite all my...

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The paradox of entrepreneurship : whom do you create your startup for?
Oct19

The paradox of entrepreneurship : whom do you create your startup for?

Why are there so many startups failing in the first 3 to 5 years ? One of the recurrent explanation is that entrepreneurs don’t understand their market well. Some may suffer from the knowledge corridor, and what is sure is that market research may have helped to avoid failure. My point today is a more philosophical one. We’ll all agree that market research can indeed help find the right strategy and marketing approach. But why is it...

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A new way to finance the growth of startups : bonds ! (Part 2)
Sep14

A new way to finance the growth of startups : bonds ! (Part 2)

In part 1, Jean Carvajal explained the various types of crowdfunding available to companies seeking financing, including issuing stocks, bonds and taking out conventional loans. In his opinion, bond financing is a great method as it provides funding flexibility and customisable repayment options without diluting shares. He then explained what unique factors Investbook’s risk committee considers when selecting projects for its...

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A new way to finance the growth of startups : bonds ! (Part 1)
Sep11

A new way to finance the growth of startups : bonds ! (Part 1)

The topic of financing startups’ growth is a recurrent one on this blog; simply because it’s a problem that many entrepreneurs are faced with and that they don’t always solve. Today we’re interviewing  Jean Carvajal, President and Creator of Investbook. Investbook is the first crowdfunding platform approved by the AMF (French regulatory body) for bonds investments.   IntoTheMinds : Banks are cautious. This...

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TUZZit : 8 great online tools for your startup
May18

TUZZit : 8 great online tools for your startup

Many would-be entrepreneurs we meet strive to either look for or even make up the visual and creative collaborative tools that will ease their team thinking process. This difficulty further increases when those teams are decentralized. Business model canvas, 5 forces of Porter, Important / Urgent matrix … TUZZit offers a collection of visual models to work with creativity online. Initiated by a Belgian startup, TUZZit...

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3D printing : the story of the Moimee 3D figurines
Mar11

3D printing : the story of the Moimee 3D figurines

3D printing is one of the trends that we follow very carefully. It may be a new revolution and some applications are just amazing. We published a couple of weeks ago a post on the market of 3D printed figurines and visited one of the companies that invested in that segment : Moimee. The technology used by Moimee is pretty much the same as the one used by Twinkind. They use 48 digital cameras to take 48 different views of the subject...

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Financing Startups : the emerging role of crowdfunding
Mar09

Financing Startups : the emerging role of crowdfunding

We were very pleased to learn that our long beloved startup “Brussels Beer Project” got funded … by a bank! It was –at least for us- a very nice surprise to learn this good news. We were very critical of banks last year: we explained how difficult it was to get a loan, the criteria used by banks to give or refuse a loan, the consequences of this money drain for startups, discussed the role of crowdfunding and we also gave published...

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Alain Milliat: interview of a successful entrepreneur
Mar06

Alain Milliat: interview of a successful entrepreneur

Today we inaugurate a new article format. We wanted to give a voice to people that we hear too little in our opinion: successful entrepreneurs who have managed to master the difficulties of entrepreneurship and have grown their businesses. Besides interviewing experienced entrepreneurs we will also report on individual would-be entrepreneurs who have just started their business. Our guess is that comparing the two viewpoint will prove...

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1/3 of hospitality firms could die. So what ?
Dec10

1/3 of hospitality firms could die. So what ?

A press conference was recently organized by the union of independents to denounce the expected negative effects of the black boxes in the so-called Horeca (HOtels – REstaurant – Coffee shops) sector (in other words the sector of hospitality). As a short reminder, these black boxes are devices to be implemented in the cash register of stores to eradicate the possibility to make black money. Jean-François DONDELET, the president of the...

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Delta Lloyd : qualitative methods used to reveal business opportunity
Nov14

Delta Lloyd : qualitative methods used to reveal business opportunity

After the remarkable marketing campaign “The billable Talk” launched by Delta Lloyd to help independent workers get insured for revenue losses, we come back today with Karlien Kelgtermans, Marketing Communication Project Leader at Delta Lloyd Life, on the development of this project and its first results. IntoTheMinds: There are more than 1m independent workers in Belgium. Yet, only half of them are insured against revenue...

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Gumelo lets you grow your own food
Nov10

Gumelo lets you grow your own food

We met the entrepreneurial guys of Gumelo, a Portuguese startup in the food sector, at the SIAL 2014 fair in Paris. We just loved what they do and thought it would be good for them to get some exposure beyond the borders of Portugal. Grow mushrooms in your apartment As we explained in a previous article, the concept behind Gumelo is simple : wherever you live, you should be able to grow your own food. Gumelo’s concept stands for...

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SIAL 2014 : and the winner of the innovation award is …
Nov07

SIAL 2014 : and the winner of the innovation award is …

You don’t need to present a new drink or a new food product to win the first prize of innovation at SIAL. The innovation is also about everything what revolves about consumers and new ways to consumer food. We already dealt with the nomadic market trend in an earlier article and this year’s innovation prize fits perfectly into this trend. This award rewards an individual who has understood what marketers call the “customers’ pains”...

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Produce your own food : the new trend
Nov03

Produce your own food : the new trend

There is one weak signal that emerged this year at SIAL that we think may be interesting to follow : “grow your own food”. We detected at least 3 products that fall into this category and we’d like to present them to you. Don’t buy : make it on your own The concept behind the “grown your food” trend is simple. You can produce what your eat and it’s not limited to vegetables or fruits. Any basic product you find in the supermarket, any...

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Essential business tools for startups : 99€ training in Brussels on 29 November
Oct27

Essential business tools for startups : 99€ training in Brussels on 29 November

Would-be entrepreneurs will be delighted : a 1-day training session will be organized on November 29th 2014 in Brussels to teach, refresh, train essential skills to successfully start or develop your venture. If you want to register, just follow this link and fill in the online form. Practical details on the workshops Price : 99€ early bid (if you register before November 15), 199€ otherwise Price includes lunch and coffee Venue :...

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What are the main reasons to create a company?
Oct27

What are the main reasons to create a company?

After the post we published 2 weeks ago on why companies fail, another interesting piece of statistics published by the French National Institute for Statistics (INSEE) regards the motivations of people to start their company and how these motivations have evolved since 2006. You’ll find the complete table below (we did the translations ourselves given that those interesting statistics are unfortunately only available in French)....

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Future idea ? Coaching videos on market research
Oct22

Future idea ? Coaching videos on market research

Let me reveal you a private part of my life : on Sunday evening I usually iron my shirts while watching videos in streaming. I usually watch French broadcasts like Envoye Special (on France 2) or Capital (on M6). I chose the first one to accompany my ironing session last Sunday and watch the video below. The first part of it is dedicated to a French entrepreneur who became of professional real-estate investor. However he didn’t chose...

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Entrepreneurship in Belgium : is the situation really so worrying ?
Oct15

Entrepreneurship in Belgium : is the situation really so worrying ?

Recent articles in newspapers pointed the decrease of firm creation in Belgium, especially in the Southern part of the country when the creation rate was said to have decreased 11.2% We downloaded the figures from BeStat, the official repository of statistical figures for Belgium, and the reality looks slightly different. To evaluate the number of new firms, we used as proxy the application for VAT numbers. Contradicting articles :...

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Impossible to manage an HORECA profitably in Belgium ? Not true!
Jun25

Impossible to manage an HORECA profitably in Belgium ? Not true!

In a recent interview Diane Delen, president of the FedCaf (Federation of Coffee Shops and bars), complained about tax rates, monitored cash registers mandatory as from January 2015, too high employer’s contributions. Il all makes it impossible for an entrepreneur to be profitable, she said. She went a step further and explained that it lead to 4000 bankruptcies last year. Cash register at the heart of the debate Monitored cash...

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Uber banned, AirBNB in troubles. What’s the future of the sharing economy?
Jun18

Uber banned, AirBNB in troubles. What’s the future of the sharing economy?

It seems that lobbies are wining some battles against newcomers in mature industries : UberPOP was banned from several countries or cities in the last months (Belgium, France, Italy, Germany) and we were wondering in a previous post whether AirBNB would be the next victim of the authorities. Unfortunately we predicted it right and AirBnb got in troubles. The Flanders region in Belgium threatened people using AirBnb to rent their house...

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Greatest 3D printing quality on earth? Interview of TwinKind’s founder
Jun11

Greatest 3D printing quality on earth? Interview of TwinKind’s founder

We litteraly fell in love with TwinKind, a 3D printing startup located in Berlin that we visited in April. After the teasers of last week, here comes the time to go more in depth with an interview of Timo Schaedel, Twinkind’s founder IntoTheMinds: Timo, you’re the founder of Twinkind. Who are you and what have you done before Twinkind ? Timo Schaedel: I have been developing and directing international commercials for clients such as...

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Mystery solved: here’s how this picture was taken
Jun10

Mystery solved: here’s how this picture was taken

For those of you who were eager to know where this picture was taken, here the answer … It was actually not me, but a 3D-printed figurine of myself. The 3D-printing technology used to realize this figurine has been developed by Twinkind, a Berlin-based startup I met in early April 2014 and which just blew my mind. The guys at Twinkind are just amazingly passionate about what they do and what they deliver is mind-blowing. I had never...

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Financing SME’s: the advices of Patrick Hannedouche
Jun04

Financing SME’s: the advices of Patrick Hannedouche

Today we’ll be talking with Patrick Hannedouche who runs Business Angel France, a website dealing with startup financing and growth. Patrick has a very direct writing style which helped him attract a strong online audience. We interviewed Patrick about his blog and ask him his viewpoint about the current market situation regarding startups’ financing. IntoTheMinds : Patrick , can you tell us about Business Angel France in a few words...

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Interview of Dirk Steiger, a CFO who became baker and entrepreneur
May28

Interview of Dirk Steiger, a CFO who became baker and entrepreneur

One of the cool and well-known shops of Berlin is Zeit Für Brot, an organic bakery located near Alexanderplatz. We went there and loved the place, its atmosphere, its design and of course its products. We are pleased to publish today an interview of Dirk Steiger, the entrepreneur who developed the Berlin store. He has an unusual entrepreneurial path that deserves to be discovered. For the fellow readers among you you may make some...

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3D printing: interview of Le Fabshop’s founder
May21

3D printing: interview of Le Fabshop’s founder

In a previous post we dealt with the superb initiative of Le Fabshop to install a 3D printing popup sture in the middle of Paris, at the BHV Le Marais. We wanted to know more about the entrepreneur behind Le Fabshop and have interviewed the founder of the company : Bertier Luyt. IntoTheMinds : What were your top three motivations for starting your business? Bertier Luyt : I’ve always been an entrepreneur; I also have another activity...

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This video will show you that you lack observation skills
May16

This video will show you that you lack observation skills

Usually I’m not a big fan of videos “making the buzz” on YouTube (not to say that I actually hate the mere expression “to make the buzz”). This being said I was recently deeply interested (and touched) by one of them. The video in itself has emotional ingredients to make it viral and is very well done. But what I found actually interesting was the very methodology that was used. Because I the end, what you’ll see on this video, is an...

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What does it cost to be a franchisee ?
May12

What does it cost to be a franchisee ?

The questions and myths around franchising are very present in the heads of entrepreneurs. Would-be entrepreneurs dream of creating a brand with the potential of launching a franchise, while others are interested in becoming franchisees. The question of the costs attached to the franchising concepts are however difficult to answer. Except if you take the time to do some market research and compare a 13 brands as we did below.  13...

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Lessons learned from launching a creative leisure store in Brussels
May09

Lessons learned from launching a creative leisure store in Brussels

After we announced in a previous post that Myriam and Nathalie opened their store in Brussels, we interviewed them to give you a more thorough overview of their entrepreneurial venture, what they learned out of it, and which advices they’d give to would-be entrepreneurs. If you’d like to start your own business too, read more about our coaching offer which starts as low as 1750€. IntoTheMinds: What were your three main...

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Interview : trials and tribulations of an entrepreneur in the food sector
May02

Interview : trials and tribulations of an entrepreneur in the food sector

Steve Gravy started Ethnik, a quality food-over-the-counter shop, near the European Commission in Brussels a few month ago. He was accompanied by IntoTheMinds for the realization of his project. We come back with him today on his project, its joys and difficulties, and the lessons he learned from it. A good starting point for any would-be entrepreneur in the HORECA sector. IntoTheMinds:  What were the three main motivations for...

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Best-concept marketing award for The Kase
Apr23

Best-concept marketing award for The Kase

At the franchising fair that took place in Paris, one of the concepts that we noticed immediately was The Kase, a store for tablet and smartphone covers. We noticed it not because of the product but because of its marketing and its customer experience. It’s actually the only store we saw on the fair that put forward something else than the products: the process.   A unique machine to customize your phone or tablet cover The star...

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Crowdsourcing: three examples of concrete results
Apr14

Crowdsourcing: three examples of concrete results

On his blog Yann Gourvennec, with whom we share ideas and exchange posts regularly, has just published an excellent article about the actual goals of crowdsourcing. Yann has rightly focused its effort to synthesize the concrete results reached through crowdsourcing. All too often this technique using a more or less broad community results in relatively poor results. You probably remember the post we published on the...

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Successful market research and yet another store opened in Brussels
Apr11

Successful market research and yet another store opened in Brussels

After last week’s announcement that a new store was opened in Brussels after a successful market research, we are also proud to report (with some delay however) that yet another store (this time in the HORECA sector) was opened by one of our clients near the European Commission in Brussels. Ethnik was opened by Steve Gravy on 5 Avenue d’Auderghem to serve customers’ needs for fresh, tasty and healthy food on the go. We coached Steve...

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Franchise Expo Paris : what’s new and what we liked
Apr07

Franchise Expo Paris : what’s new and what we liked

The professional fair “Franchise Expo” has been organized for 30 years in Paris. The 2014 edition took place from March 23rd until March 26th and more than 500 companies were presenting their franchising concept. Several sectors were represented : services, hotels and restaurants, minimarkets and supermarkets, specialist outlets, fashion, real estate, …. As you can see the list is very long but some categories or sectors were...

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