With Hack Belgium 2019 only a couple of months away, now is the best time to convince your boss to send you and your colleagues to Belgium’s biggest, baddest innovation festival (28 > 29 > 30 March, Tour & Taxis, Brussels).
There is a ton of reasons for you to join, so here’s the list of the top five:
1. Become a better (intra)preneur
The only way to learn entrepreneurship is to experience it – and that takes time. Hack Belgium compresses 6 months of work into just three days: you will go from a very rough idea to a concrete project (including a paper prototype and a business model) – in other words, live through an entire life cycle of a startup.
However, experience alone is not enough – so dozens of experienced mentors will be there to share their knowledge and to guide you through the process. Skilled digital entrepreneurs will be there to support you: Denny Wong (Faqbot), Bart Van Loon (Zeropoint), Jonathan Berte (Robovision), Tom Caesar (AllThingsTalk), Bruno Delepierre (Happonomy), Augustin Van Rijckevolder (Barefoot & Co), Toon Vanagt. Hyper-connected investors will give you feedback on your projects like Diane Lejune (PMV).
2. Get inspired by the latest technology
As technology is transforming every sector of the economy, it’s critical to constantly integrate new technologies into every company’s core products and everyday work.
Hack Belgium will give an opportunity to learn directly from startups, experts and researchers in key emerging technologies: AI, drones and aerospace, AR and VR, Blockchain, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Energy, Digital Fabrication, and Robotics.
You can expect to see latest spin-offs from universities and to meet researchers working on bleeding-edge technology at Belgium’s top universities and research institutes: IMEC, VITO, VUB, KU Leuven, ULG, UGent, UNamur, UAntwerp, and UCL. Technology companies will help you understand how their technologies can be incorporated into your Hack Belgium projects (or into your current work): All Things Talk (IoT), SABCA (drones), Robovision (robots), and Blockchain (Hive), IMEC, VITO – more names to be announced soon!
Finally, to give you a taste of the even more distant future, there will be biohacking – GLIMPS Biodesign will show how biological materials will revolutionize industries from construction to fashion.
3. Make our business more sustainable
Sustainability is not a slogan any more – many companies have committed to creating new sustainable products and services. However, getting the ideas flowing is not straightforward.
Because Hack Belgium is created around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is the ideal environment for creating new ideas for sustainable business. With the 12 Societal Themes that you will “hack”, there’s no industry left out: Water, Energy, Finance, Food, Health, Media, Education, Circular Economy, Cities, Mobility, Work, and Oceans. Each of these Societal Themes will have 3 dedicated workshops, so you will come up with future-proof ideas for your company.
And, because you will interact with over 1000 people and ideas from outside of your industry, you will have an entirely different perspective on your business.
4. Learn new tools and tricks
Hack Belgium is packed with over 200 hands-on workshops on business, design, and technology. So if you need a crash course on design thinking or blockchain, you’ll have it right there.
There’ll be workshops on newest business methodologies: growth hacking with Jean-Christophe Cuvelier (Mad Kings), Business Model Workshop with Tom Verrept, Pitching & Networking with Bart Van Loon, Zero to one with Sebastian Matoso – MION, Value Creation, with Maxim Korotkov – OpenWay, High performing teams with Gaëtane Lenain, Value Proposition Design with Rico Trevisan, Pitching to Investors with Bart Van Loon, Fail Fast, Learn Faster – Sebastian Matoso practical advice from a hackathon pro – Valentin Calan, Building strong teams with Olivier Caeymaex and many more.
There will be design workshops: Living Labs with Imec, Biomimicry with Dominique Adriaens, A winning hackathon team with Maxim Korotkov, Prototyping: coding without coding with Rico Trevisan etc.
And, there will be technology workshops: VR-AR with Juan Bossicard, Urban Farming with Vasileios Vallas – PlantHive, Bio as Tech with Winnie Poncelet – ReaGent, Drones Tech with Jean-Brieuc Feron – SABCA, IoT – with Tom Caesar – AllThingsTalk, Smart Cities with Pieter-Jan Pauwels – Digipolis Ghent, Blockchain with Guillaume Veldekens – HIVE, AI – with Jonathan Berte – Robovision.
Warning: Hack Belgium is not one of those events where you can sit back in a chair and let the learning wash over you. You’ll practice, practice, and practice some more – brainstorming, designing, interviewing consumers and experts, prototyping, and pitching. So, expect new things to happen the Monday after the event.
5. Make lasting connections outside my usual network
Chatting with someone at a conference doesn’t establish a lifelong connection. Sharing a glass of bubbly doesn’t mean you are ready to work with someone. Spending three days with someone, sharing the stress and the thrill of building something real with someone… now THAT is special.
Hack Belgium brings together over a thousand people from every industry, from every part of the country, from every walk of life. It’s not just diversity, it’s diversity in action.
Beyond this intimate connection, you’ll also meet hundreds of experts form startups, corporate, universities , from over 80 organizations that support Hack Belgium in various ways. research organizations (WELL Labs), governmental institutions, top corporate, industry federations, and NGOs.
Last but not least, Davy Kestens – Founder of Dino (stealth fintech startup) will also be here on Day 1 as an expert and on Day 3 as a Pitch Coach. Considering his experience, that’s not to be missed!
Bonus reason: the price!
With less than EUR 420/day for an Enterprise Ticket (a small-company ticket is at ridiculously low € 100/day – how crazy good deal is that?!?), Hack Belgium is way more value for money than any other training. And that includes food and drinks for the three days. And extra support (if your company sends 5 people or more). Did we mention it’s an amazing team building opportunity? Not yet, huh?
So yeah, amazing value for money. Don’t believe us? Ask David Baetens (De Watergroep) or Jean-Marc Conrad (Elia) or Joke Van Bommel (VDAB) – their interviews will be published here in a few days.
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