Bert Van Wassenhove

Speaker
Creative entrepreneur and startup coach
You can learn to become an entrepreneur!

Bert Van Wassenhove (1968) is a digital expert and a genuine start-up coach. He defines himself as a 'Venture Producer'. As entrepreneur, blogger, publicist, speaker and start-up mentor he focuses on the question: How can startups safeguard our economic future?

He was one of the creators of ‘THINK with people’, an initiative to assist entrepreneurs,'The CoFoundry' a seed fund for growing enterprises and 'Heaven Can Wait' an incubator for creative talent.

His passion for innovation and digital media has taken him through a rich career in the agency world. But his know how is also appreciated more broadly as at the Ehsal Management School, where he inspires the youngest generation of business leaders. His clear vision on digital communication resulted in December 2012 in a first book: “Een Digitaal Marketing Plan in 100 Dagen”, that was republished in 2014,in a totally new edition.

Samsonite

Bert was destined to be an entrepreneur. But he first went around to a number of big companies as an employee. With a master in applied economics at the Ghent University and a traineeship at Oakite Mexicana in his pocket, he started as a junior marketing manager at Philips. He moved on to become a regional marketing manager at the components company in Brussels, before he made a switch to the luggage brand Samsonite in 1995.

One year later he proves he’s totally in tune with the latest trends, when he realizes his first online project with the European Samsonite website, even before the American colleagues went digital.

“Bert is the man I always wanted to be: smart, witty, charming and modest. His one of the rock stars of the Belgian agency world and at the same he is the incarnation of everything a cliché agency guy is not.” The praise by competitor/colleague Tom De Bruyne (ex-Boondoggle, now partner Sue Amsterdam) for Bert Van Wassenhove leaves no doubt.

A “visual spatial thinker

His name starts popping more and more in the media: amongst other De Morgen, Knack, De Standaard, De Tijd and VRT contact him on a regular base as a digital marketing specialist and technology trendwatcher. A “visual spatial thinker” Van Wassenhove calls himself. That for sure explains part of his success. And probably also his passion for European comic strips, as he is a major fan of Hugo Pratt. Rather than continuing to work for others he decides in 2011 to go completely independent.

Around the world as a Chief – Biker

As a digital pundit he is active at no less than three companies at the same time. One of those is rather a hobby. As an avid motorcycle rider, who likes to get on the beaten track every now and then amongst other cruising through Morocco, being chief biker at mototravel.be is not really hard work. Travelling is also a way to learn from other cultures.

Start-up coach

Since august 2011 his is co-founder of Heaven Can Wait, an incubator for creative companies. Van Wassenhove has his roots in different generations of entrepreneurship. And tis instinct came back when he got interested in the world of start-uppers. On behalf of his agencies he facilitated the working and growth of a number of technological enterprises. With his experience at 'Heaven Can Wait' and the help of Cronos Group, he launches 'Think With People'. From this level he and his colleagues stimulate entrepreneurs and help creative people in executing ans monitoring their projects. He also lies on the base of the seed fund 'The CoFoundry' that helps the growing start-uppers to scale up their business in the easiest and fastest way.

You can learn to become an entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs, Leadership, Strategy, Marketing, Topmanagers

It is too easy to suppose that the entrepreneur has a specific DNA, and that’s the simple answer to the tough question: How comes that successful people are successful? The easy way out is to refer to birth and DNA. In his keynote Bert Van Wassenhove argues the contrary with scientific and practical facts.

Enterprise is about limiting risks, not taking them

Marketing, Communication, Public Relations, Creativity, Innovation, Trends, Inspiring, Social Media & Networking

It seems to be a general rule, a premise you can't doubt about, it even became the definition of enterprise: to Take Risks. The risk of business seems to be the essential of it. And of course , entrepreneurs have to take risks. But the key to success is to limit and monitor those risks at a maximum.

Incubators, accelerators, hackatons and other stuff from Silicon Valley

Marketing, Communication, Public Relations, Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology, Inspiring, Social Media & Networking

Should we import Silicon Valley to Flanders? Can you grow without hackatons, or does innovation suppose some hip incubators? Start-ups become de normal and can't wait to inverse your business model. But Belgian people think different than who lives in San Francisco or California. Van Wassenhove brings the success-stories of start-ups and new entrepreneurship, with the necessary annotations.

The essential of digital marketing

Creativity, Innovation, Trends, ICT & Technology, Inspiring

Where goes digital marketing, with all that people carrying super soft- and hardware in their pocket? Consumers behave and communicate in a fundamentally different way, and one should know that within your organisation.

In his keynote Bert Van Wassenhove learns you step by step how to handle with digital media. By his efficient and clear way of teaching, he maximizes your changes to cope with the modern world of communication and marketing.

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Languages of the keynote
English, Dutch