THE STARTUP MAGAZINE
Co-founder and CEO of SnapSwap, the first Electronic Money Institution in Europe authorized to work on crypto protocols
AT THE CORE
Popwork : TripAdvisor for Workspaces (p.22)
FinnoLux : The Digital Enablers (p.30)
Special Coverage of the Founders Club Initiative
10 Startups to Look Out for in Tallinn (p.34)
CybelAngel : DatIndexing Open Innovation the UnIndexing (p.27) with Goy Grosbusch (p.46) S ILIC ON LUXE MB O U RG. LU
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THE STRENGTH OF A BUSINESS CLUB For three and a half years Silicon Luxembourg has plunged you daily into the heart of the startup scene and presented to you those who make the Luxembourg digital scene vibrate – plus so much more! We’ve met daily with men and women who follow their passions and make every effort to realize their ideas and dreams. We have strived to build the largest startup community in the country and be active at events as frequently as possible. Recently, we have decided to go a step further and create the first business club for Luxembourg startups. Our ambition is to bring together entrepreneurs who innovate in the digital domain. We want to facilitate the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs in the framework of conferences, after-work events and workshops. The club will promote connections between startups, institutions, investors and private partners, as well as energize the ecosystem and make the tech scene more fun and accessible. In just a few days, news of the launch of the club has already seduced dozens of individuals, startups and large companies that have all realized that their best encounters and connections have been made within the framework of a network. Throughout the pages of this new issue of Silicon, you will find inspiring stories, brilliant ideas, passionate entrepreneurs and striking photos. Learn about the story of the SnapSwap startup and the Gloneta application, created by Denis Kiselev and Natalia Pavlova. Read about CybelAngel, the French-Luxemburg cybersecurity jewel, which won the last Slush contest in Helsinki. Get the scoop on the ten flagship startups from the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Meet Gosia Kramer, the shining founder of the co-working space The Office, as well as many other extraordinary people who have succeeded in building up their respective networks to embark on incredible adventures. For the entrepreneurs in our club’s sub-section called the Founders Club, which is dedicated exclusively to startup CEOs, we host organized events twice a year for all the members to meet up. Turn to this issue’s notebook to view photos of an after-work event organized on the premises of Tesla this past winter. We are currently working hard to bring you an event this summer at another equally special venue. We’ll let you know the secret location soon! Welcome to the club!
WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM
Alefiya Sana, Frederik Tibau, Gabriela Fernández, Itzel Lerma.
Anna Katina, Charles Caratini, Charles-Louis Machuron, Marion Dessard, Olivier Minaire, Sami Heiskanen
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SPEED DATING CENTER STAGE
BLOCKCHAIN AT THE CORE One-on-one interview with SnapSwap’s co-founder and CEO Denis Kiselev
POPWORK: TRIPADVISOR FOR WORKSPACES
SPECIAL COVERAGE OF THE FOUNDERS CLUB INITIATIVE
10 STARTUPS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN TALLINN
Management BUSINESS MENTORING
ADOPT A DEVELOPER GRADUATION CEREMONY WOMEN FOUNDERS
Open Innovation GOY GROSBUSCH
Classifieds JOB BOARD CAREER MOVES
Data WIZATA: GIVING MEANING TO DATA
3 Questions for… GOSIA KRAMER
Behavioral Finance NEUROPROFILER: THE RISK PROFILER FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS
LORnTECH 90TECH: OPTIMIZING THE MANAGEMENT OF EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD
Digitization FINNOLUX: THE DIGITAL ENABLERS
Breaking News 33
Corporate Meet Innovation EYNOVATION: THE STRENGTH OF A NETWORK
WELCOME TO THE LHOFT INNOHUB BLOWS OUT ITS FIRST CANDLE TECH STARTUP DAY 2017
CYBELANGEL: DATINDEXING THE UNINDEXING
THE STRENGTH OF A BUSINESS CLUB
A Coffee with… CRISTINA PARÍS GARCÍA
Around the World TRAVEL
(See more pictures on page 40.)
On January 26, forty entrepreneurs and developers met for the second edition of Adopt A Developer at Microsoft Luxembourgâ€™s offices.
ÂŠ Silicon Luxembourg
As a Start-up, where do you want to end up? EYnovationTM helps innovative entrepreneurs grow from local to global.
ÂŠ 2017 Ernst & Young S.A. All Rights Reserved. ED none
(See more pictures on page 44-45.)
On March 2, Silicon Luxembourg and the Women In Digital Empowerment (WIDE) association organized the first Women Founders conference in Luxembourg, an event that attracted more than 100 entrepreneurs.
ÂŠ Marion Dessard
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Co-founder and CEO of SnapSwap
11 ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW
DENIS KISELEV IS THE CO-FOUNDER OF SNAPSWAP – A STARTUP BUILDING INNOVATIVE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS THAT ALLOW CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY BY BRINGING DOWN BARRIERS SUCH AS COST, COMPLEXITY AND PROCESSING DELAYS. LICENSED AS AN ELECTRONIC MONEY INSTITUTION, SNAPSWAP OFFERS ITS SERVICES TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMERS IN ALL MEMBER STATES OF THE EU. SOON AFTER LAUNCHING A MOBILE PAYMENT APPLICATION, GLONETA, SNAPSWAP BEGAN FOCUSING ON OFFERING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR BANKS AND OTHER BUSINESSES, INCLUDING SERVICES SUCH AS REMOTE ONBOARDING, PAYMENT INFRASTRUCTURE AND BLOCKCHAIN-BASED ISSUING OF ELECTRONIC MONEY INSTRUMENTS. BEING OPERATIONAL WITH AN EMI LICENCE FOR LESS THAN A YEAR, SNAPSWAP MANAGED TO BUILD PARTNERSHIPS WITH LEADING PLAYERS IN PAYMENTS AND TRUST SERVICES, SUCH AS WORLDLINE IN FRANCE, SIBS IN PORTUGAL AND LUXTRUST IN LUXEMBOURG. THE COMPANY HAS BEEN ADMITTED TO THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURS ACCELERATING PROGRAM OF ERNST & YOUNG AND TO FBSTART, A GLOBAL STARTUP ACCELERATION PROGRAM FROM FACEBOOK. PAUL HELMINGER, THE FORMER MAYOR OF LUXEMBOURG AND THE CHAIRMAN OF INTESA SANPAOLO BANK LUXEMBOURG, HAS JOINED SNAPSWAP AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD. GEORGE SCHMIT, FORMER CONSUL GENERAL OF LUXEMBOURG IN SAN FRANCISCO AND THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT THE LUXEMBOURG TRADE & INVESTMENT OFFICE, HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO THE SNAPSWAP ADVISORY BOARD. AFTER HAVING RELOCATED TO LUXEMBOURG FROM SAN FRANCISCO A YEAR AGO, DENIS KISELEV SHARED HIS THOUGHTS ON THE LOCAL TECH ECOSYSTEM AND FUTURE AMBITIONS OF THE STARTUP.
Blockchain at the Core Charles-Louis Machuron Olivier Minaire
DENIS, WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? My university degrees are in Computer Science and Economics. After graduating from Ohio State University, I worked as a researcher and then began my career in financial services at the World Bank in Washington (DC). While still in university, I worked part-time as a software developer, and ever since then kept my interest in technology. Pursuing my career in finance, I always dreamed of moving into the world of technology innovation. One sunny day, about 20 years after my first day at the World Bank, I left the world of established institutions to dedicate my time to the exciting universe of fintech startups.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH IDEAS?
HOW DID YOU LAND IN LUXEMBOURG?
What we are building is based on our own experiences and our knowledge of financial services. Take for example the issue of customer onboarding. As a customer, I hate the way banks and other businesses treat me when I want to open an account. I hate the user experience and the waste of time. Going to an office, waiting in line, filling out and signing tons of papers – come on, we are in the 21st century! What I want is a fast and reliable process that I can complete on my phone or tablet from the convenience of my home. This is how we came up with the idea of a remote automated onboarding solution for banks, the investment industry and other businesses. We realized that banks are losing customers. Over 50% of new customers drop out during onboarding. And they also lose money, because manual processes are so expensive and inefficient.
In 2012 we established a company in Seattle, Washington. It was called SnapSwap and that’s how we started to gather a team of engineers working with new technologies in financial services. Our goal wasn’t to create a new technology. At that time, there were a lot of developments around bitcoin and other cryptographic algorithms; the idea of distributed ledgers for financial transactions had just begun to gain traction in various implementations. Everybody was creating some kind of cryptocoin and putting them in along with algorithms and protocols. So we decided to take the existing technologies and see how we could implement them to build useful services for customers that were compliant with regulations. In the area of financial services, compliance is a very important component! Now this area is known as RegTech, Regulatory Technology. And in this business “Reg” is as important as “Tech”, or even more important.
12 ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW
We decided that we wanted to get the license and establish a regulatory relationship in Europe where the legal framework for financial innovations is well defined and rapidly developing.
Society expects providers of financial services to be reliable, regulated, trusted and to be compliant with the government requirements of knowing their customers and preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. Since the early 2000s, the general consensus is that financial transactions should be transparent and financial institutions should hold the role in preventing the usage of financial networks for illegal activities. For us, in order to reach out to a product audience and offer our services outside the closed community of people deeply entangled in cryptocurrencies, we had to become a regulated financial institution. We decided that we wanted to get the license and establish a regulatory relationship in Europe where the legal framework for financial innovations is well defined and rapidly developing. For example, in the U.S., if you are not a bank and want to provide financial services, you have to get a license in every single State that you wish to service. To serve one country you need to get 46 licenses and establish 46 relationships with 46 different regulators. In Europe, with the European directive on payment services (PSD), a company can establish a relationship with one regulator, get a license, and passport it to all the other countries in the European Union. That’s why we decided to come to Europe. Back in 2014, I undertook a tour around Europe meeting regulators in the UK, the Baltic states, Cyprus, Malta and other EU member states, because I wanted to be sure that our regulator partner would not be intimidated by our innovation and provide the demanded support. On my shortlist were London and Luxembourg. We decided on Luxembourg and so far we think it’s the right decision. The regulator, the CSSF, is very supportive of upcoming innovative technologies. It’s still time consuming to explain what we are doing, to prepare all the necessary documents and to go through the meetings, but we have good established cooperation and support. Then we needed to establish a physical presence in Luxembourg and that was our intention from the beginning. I moved to Luxembourg in February 2016 with my family. My CTO, Natalia, moved from Amsterdam to Luxembourg later that year. We hired new people in Luxembourg in areas such as compliance, business development, marketing and customer support. The focus of our attention now is bringing our core developers to Luxembourg as well in order to have our R&D facility here in Luxembourg.
ARE YOU ENJOYING LUXEMBOURG SO FAR? We find the environment and the startup ecosystem very lively here. We have our office at the Lux Future Lab incubator in the city-center of Luxembourg. First of all, the incubator is supported by BGL BNP Paribas, one of the leading banks in Luxembourg. Being a part of the startup incubation program allows us to access the bank’s expertise and services that are not available for an outsider. The cooperation that we have established with the bank is mutually beneficial, we are offering new business ideas and new solutions to improve the bank’s services and add value to its’ customers. Lux Future Lab provides us with a nice and flexible office space. We had the chance to meet a wide range of partners supporting us in accounting, consultancy and HR management. In that sense, the Lux Future Lab is solidly structured and enables us to keep concentrated on our core activities such as developing the products and promoting them to our prospective clients, without distraction. The incubator is growing at a fast pace with a very interesting community of startups and we’ve had good interactions with our colleagues and are supporting each other.
13 ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW
If a project requires a blockchain solution, we issue electronic money instruments on a blockchain to facilitate settlements and transactions.
14 ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW
HOW TO BOOST THE LOCAL ECOSYSTEM AND FINTECH IN PARTICULAR? We also had a chance to participate in a series of events organized by Silicon Luxembourg and other major players in the startup ecosystem. We have been admitted to the EYnovation program of Ernst & Young Luxembourg, which has helped us to accelerate our business. Thanks to it, we now have access to expertise when questions arise regarding taxation and the legal framework. We are enjoying Luxembourg and its ecosystem helps bring new opportunities to us daily. Due to Luxembourg’s geographical position in Europe, we now have the opportunity to reach out to key business hubs such as London, Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels. As a Luxembourg startup, we have great access to Benelux discussions and initiatives in the area of payments. Being connected with Luxembourg startups allowed us to meet interesting entrepreneurs with smart projects here. There is never a lack of passion or ideas.
There are several issues that need to be addressed. The first one is the access to funding and the availability of capital. If you compare the European Union with the United States, the EU economy is bigger both in GDP and in market size. However, venture capital investments in the U.S. in 2015, for example, accounted for 72.4 billion USD, while in Europe it was only 13.5 billion USD — five times less. Luxembourg has an outstanding track record in creating the legal and operational framework for the traditional investment funds industry. Over last twenty years it has become a world’s fund capital attracting capital and human resources from all over the world. Now there is a great opportunity to boost the venture capital ecosystem and to achieve leadership in this area. The availability of talent and fundamental research for innovative technologies are also important components. Stanford University, with its active role, has been an essential ingredient in the development of Silicon Valley. Hence, it is essential to boost the involvement of the University of Luxembourg, its academic staff and students with the startup ecosystem. For example, we regularly welcome interns from UNI and other universities to join us for learning and working with us. An encouraging trend is the growing involvement of established businesses with the startup community. Acceleration programs like Lux Future Lab by BGL BNP Paribas allow for interconnection and cross-fertilization between startups and “grown-ups.”
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS ABOUT? As a financial institution, we develop innovative solutions that we first offer to our customers and then to other businesses. We are focused on the B2B market, where B2B means bankto-bank or bank-to-business. Take, as an example, our Remote Onboarding Solution. First developed for our own online banking app, it is now in great demand by banks and other industries. Remote Onboarding is a unique fully automated solution for onboarding customers in compliance with anti-money laundering and the “know your customer” requirements remotely via a personal mobile device (a phone or a tablet) or on a personal computer. Integrated in a mobile app or an internet site, Remote Onboarding allows the verification of the customer’s identity, collection of KYC data, performance of due diligence and the obtaining of a legally binding electronic signature. The service is fully automated endto-end and it is available 24/7 at a fraction of the cost of manual onboarding. Many industries in Europe and abroad are required to comply with anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing and “know your customer” requirements. Remote Onboarding provides banks, insurance companies, investment industry, telecoms and other businesses with an advanced solution that satisfies customers’ expectations of seamless modern user experience and is compliant with current and upcoming regulations – PSD2, the new AML directive, data privacy rules and others.
15 ENTREPRENEUR INTERVIEW
Remote Onboarding is an automated solution that replaces manual processes with precise technologies satisfying the highest standards of security. Due to full automation, banks and other businesses can now stay open for new customers 24/7 and allow new customers to complete initial onboarding in less than six minutes from their homes or even on the go. Together with the Onboarding Solution, we offer payments as a service, with online opening of current accounts with individual IBAN numbers, processing SEPA, wire, cards and other forms of payments. If a project requires a blockchain solution, we issue electronic money instruments on a blockchain to facilitate settlements and transactions. We do it in full compliance with European regulations; our blockchain assets are fully backed by liquid reserves in the most reliable Luxembourgish banks. We can provide this service since SnapSwap is the first EMI in Europe that is authorized to work on crypto protocols. Our established cooperation with research teams at the University of Luxembourg allows us to be on top of the development in this fast growing, promising sector of financial and regulatory technologies.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN? Blockchain technology is now used with a wide range of terms. Sometimes when people talk about blockchain, they think about some new databases and technologies that allow you to manage all kinds of documents and information in a distributed manner. In that sense, I would say that it’s kind of a good headline for the innovations that are coming to financial technologies and, in general, business technologies. Broadly speaking, blockchain refers to a database management technology that stores and updates the data on a distributed rather than centralized ledger. Every participant of a blockchain has a copy of the database, and this copy is always updated. The update procedure is decentralized. In traditional database management, it is the central administrator who updates the data. He is also responsible for the consistency of the data. The blockchain process is defined by an algorithm that allows any participant of the blockchain to introduce an update to the database. There is a consensus algorithm that guarantees the agreement between all participants or the majority that the updates are legitimate and not malicious.
We, as a group of engineers and specialists, looking at particular technologies, see how we can use them to deliver better services – for example, would it be possible to have customer identification available, not only for us, but other interested institutions, or can we use a kind of blockchain solution to make this information available to and controlled by the users? These are the kind of things we are working on and explain why it is important for us to be part of the blockchain initiative in Luxembourg – Infrachain Consortium. We think that with our experience we can deliver practical use cases and instruments at a very early stage to make sure that all this technological development and accumulation of knowledge creates a tangible and practical network.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STARTUPS AND ESTABLISHED INSTITUTIONS? Being in B2B business makes it critical for us to build relationships and deliver value to established businesses. Though it’s a challenging proposition, we work with more than 30 banks and other businesses with multi-billion euro balance sheets and tens of millions of customers. We have to be adaptable and reliable as a partner. Our deep knowledge of financial services helps us understand the issues that our clients are facing in their operations and to design and deliver the best possible solutions at lower costs and with easy integration into existing systems. What we see are very capable teams overloaded with legacy issues. Usually they can design outstanding products. However, when we come with a solution that is “plug-and-play” with full compliance support on current and upcoming regulations, we see a very enthusiastic response. In our solutions, a regulatory compliance component is essential. Since we are subject to the same AML and KYC requirements and the same data privacy protection rules, we always speak the same language with our clients. This allows our clients to conduct integrations in a very efficient manner and introduce innovative technologies into their products and services much faster.
NUMBER OF TEAM MEMBERS
SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE IN 28 MEMBER STATES OF EU
NUMBER OF CLIENTS IN DEVELOPMENT (INCLUDING 7 BANKS AND 11 NON-BANK)
REGIONAL DISTRIBUTORS: BENELUX, FRANCE, PORTUGAL
16 BREAKING NEWS
THE LHOFT AT A GLANCE THE LHOFT (LUXEMBOURG HOUSE OF FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY) FOUNDATION IS A PUBLIC - PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATIVE THAT DRIVES TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION FOR LUXEMBOURGâ€™S FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CONNECTING THE DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL FINTECH COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP SOLUTIONS THAT SHAPE THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. Offering start-up incubation, co-working spaces including a soft-landing platform, the LHoFT connects and creates value for the entire Luxembourg FinTech ecosystem: financial institutions, FinTech trailblazers, IT industry, research and academia as well as regulatory and public authorities.
The LHoFT WOMEN IN FINTECH AWARD AT THE FINTECH AWARDS LUXEMBOURG FinTech Awards Luxembourg powered by KPMG Luxembourg and the LHoFT have opened applications for the 2017 edition of the competition. The FinTech Awards aim to reward outstanding Fintech startups as well as presenting them with real and tangible opportunities to acquire new clients by building their network and credibility with senior decision makers and CEOs from the Luxembourg financial services community. Applications for the awards opened on 1 March and will close on 1 May. Fifteen startups will then be selected to go through to Competition Day on June 28, 2017. At this event, the fifteen startups will be whittled down to seven finalists who will compete to be FinTech Startup of the Year. Prizes will also go to the Runner-up: FinTech Startup of the Year, the Second Runner-up: FinTech and the Women in Fintech Award sponsored by the LHoFT consisting of free-of-charge LHoFT membership including six months of hosting at the LHOFT FinTech hub.
“After the award everything went into fast forward: clients, funding, publicity, hiring... We could not have asked for more!” Bert Boerman, Governance.io’s co-founder, 2016 winner
Apply at fintechawards.lu Applications close 1 May, 2017
In partnership with
18 BREAKING NEWS
What’s hot in
TRAVELSIFY RAISED €2M The world’s first Hotel DNA™ content platform announced that it raised €2 million in seed funding led by Luxembourg-based business angels and the support of Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy
JOB TODAY RAISED $35M Europe’s leading mobile jobs marketplace, JOB TODAY, announced a $35 million gross media deal with Europe’s major broadcasters represented by RTL Germany, German Media Pool and Atresmedia.
DOCTENA TAKES OVER TERMINLAND Medical booking platform Doctena took over the health sector customer base of Terminland. With 5,000 registered doctors, the startup is now the undisputed number one medical booking platform in Germany.
LAUNCH OF WELLBEING BOOKING PLATFORM SALONKEE Book an appointment 24/7 with a hairdresser, barber or masseur. Wellbeing booking platform Salonkee launched its services in Luxembourg in March.
TOMORROW STREET ANNOUNCED AT MWC 2017 Vodafone officially announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the brand new name of its innovation center headquartered in Luxembourg: Tomorrow Street.
NEXVIA LAUNCHED MY|GAIN The innovative company in the field of real estate developed a tool that makes calculating the taxable capital gain on the sale of property easy.
READ MORE NEWS ON SILICONLUXEMBOURG.LU.
Warrick Cramer (CEO of Tomorrow Street), Ninian Wilson (CEO of Vodafone Procurement), Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister of Luxembourg) and Diego De Biasio (CEO of Technoport) at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
19 BREAKING NEWS
InnoHub Blows Out
its First Candle Charles-Louis Machuron Olivier Minaire
On April 22, InnoHub, the acceleration platform for late-stage startups, will celebrate its first anniversary. We had the opportunity to speak to Pol Goetzinger, managing director, to take stock of the latest developments. Positioned as a private soft landing platform for late-stage startups, InnoHub has been running as a startup from day one, applying the recipe of learning by doing.
“InnoHub is always targeting, abroad, startups known as late-stage or even spinoffs of foreign groups that want to open an innovation center in Luxembourg and internationalize their activities there,”
says Goetzinger. The platform offers its customers sustainable support, which spans from three to five years and includes three major cycles of support, as described by Goetzinger: “review of the economic
model, support for fundraising, and support for the startups in their efforts for traction and growth.”
“What changes is the weighting of these accompanying cycles: if, at the start, the emphasis was on identifying innovative projects and raising funds, our model is increasingly oriented towards sales support and strategic marketing activities.”
IMPROVING THE DEAL FLOW Logically, in its first year of existence, InnoHub teams have focused their efforts on identifying innovative projects and getting startups to sign on – 25 have to date. Today, deal flow generated by the platform is recognized as a quality deal flow. “Our goal is not to double or triple the number of signed companies, but to strengthen the process of evaluating the companies we select, using the Vianeo methodology as well as a network of sector-specific experts,” Goetzinger adds. “Right from the start, we have targeted the EcoTech, FinTech, RegTech, ICT / Media and e-commerce sectors, but we are opening up to BioHealth and HealthIT more specifically. We signed our first startup and should sign two more this year, at a minimum,” said the managing director. To select such projects, InnoHub works in partnership with experts who are responsible for due diligence, both in terms of evaluating the economic model and the potential for innovation of the projects. This sectorial diversification is also made possible by the foreign partners of the platform who filter projects. “We want to continue in this direction and confirm our initiative and impact on the Luxembourg market, namely the ability to attract highly innovative projects, with a very high entrepreneurial quality and close to market entry,” said Goetzinger.
EXPANDING THE NETWORK OF INVESTORS The diversification of potential investors is InnoHub’s second strategic development axis. The platform has been working from the beginning with VCs in and around Luxembourg. It can also boast of working from its inception with the Foster Institut, the largest German family network based in Frankfurt, and more recently with the Keiretsu Forum, an American private organization with more than 2,500
investors worldwide. “I met with the leaders of the Keiretsu Forum two years ago in San Francisco. At the time, the ticket was $10 million, which we did not have! Since then, they have opened branches in North America, Asia and Europe, including London and Paris. Recently, they decided to select five accelerators in Europe to develop their deal flow and offer more investment opportunities to their wealthy members. We are fortunate today to be included in these five European partners,” explains Goetzinger. Through this partnership with the Keiretsu Forum, InnoHub has access to the files of startups interested in coming to Luxembourg and also can put forth the files of its startups to investors of the network and thereby obtain additional visibility for them. InnoHub is always building lasting relationships with its investors network and offers them a catalog of innovative projects in which to invest every three to six months. “We are almost getting into the business of proactive scouting for investors given the quality of the first deals we brought to Luxembourg.” InnoHub is now extending its service offerings by offering a financial engineering service to its clients in collaboration with specialized partners of the InnoHub Luxembourg platform. “The latter allows us to structure requests for financing that are much more ambitious than those originally planned, provided of course that startups assume their growth,” says Goetzinger. The private equity market is also on the agenda and InnoHub seems to have every reason to offer its know-how to family offices and private banks. The acceleration platform has teamed up with a Swiss company that specializes in the setup of VC strategies. In this way, InnoHub can offer more to private equity players in Luxembourg and expand the range of investments made in startups.
A BOUTIQUE CONSULTING FIRM SPECIALIZED IN STRATEGIC SUPPORT AND SALES ASSISTANCE Although the last 12 months constituted the launch phase for InnoHub, this did not prevent the platform from registering some early successes including attracting some 20 rare jewels in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, fundraising 10 million euros, and initiating the testing of its third high valued axis of development: strategic marketing and business development support. Thanks to a network of professional partners, InnoHub is now entrusted with subcontracting out business development to its partners in order to boost sales of certain startups’ products and services. It has done this for Wondermags, one of its startups for which it now manages exclusively the B2B sales. “We have developed B2B service offerings, do market research and we are commercializing this service which will allow for an acceleration of the growth of the startup,” says Goetzinger. Its driving role within the Luxembourg ecosystem and its active participation in the development of an innovative entrepreneurial culture in Luxembourg make InnoHub Luxembourg a boutique consulting firm now indispensable for fundraising and business development for foreign startups who choose the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as a landing hub for growth.
20 BREAKING NEWS
THE YEAR KICKED OFF WITH A LOT OF CHANGES IN THE BELGIAN TECH STARTUP ECOSYSTEM: THERE WERE SOME TOP FUNDING ROUNDS AND ALLIANCES TO CONNECT WITH INTERNATIONAL BIG PLAYERS.
$50M SERIES C FUNDING ROUND FOR COLLIBRA In what was one of the most astounding pieces of news in a while, the Belgian data governance specialist Collibra announced a $50M Series C funding round led by Iconiq Capital, the private Silicon Valley venture capital firm of Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Other VCs that participated were Battery Ventures and existing investors Index Ventures, Dawn Capital and Newion Investments. This latest investment will help Collibra continue to fuel its rapid growth and industry leadership as a premier provider of data governance solutions.
$9.4M ROUND OF VENTURE FUNDING FOR NGDATA Customer experience management solutions specialist NGDATA announced a $9.4M round of venture funding, bringing their total Series B round to roughly $20M. Idinvest Partners led the round with participation from existing investors including Pamica, SmartFin Capital, Capricorn Venture Partners, Nausicaa Ventures, and some angel investors. The latest investment serves as a significant validation of the company’s business growth and increasing demand for NGDATA’s customer experience operating system, Lily Enterprise. The funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing, product innovation and acquisitions.
$4.5M IN SERIES A FUNDING FOR SILVERFIN Ghent-based Silverfin secured $4.5M in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. The startup will use the investment to accelerate product development, expand the team at its headquarters in Belgium, and expand to the UK.
APROPLAN, IOT FACTORY AND CLOUDALIZE WON THE DIGITAL PITCHING FORUM Three Belgian digital companies wishing to expand their businesses to the UK have won the chance to meet potential partners and venture capitalists in London after impressing a panel of British digital experts and venture capitalists at this year’s Digital Pitching Forum run by the UK Department for International Trade, Brussels. The lucky winners set to explore the British market are Aproplan, IoT Factory and Cloudalize.
BELGIUM AND THE UK TO CONNECT THEIR FINTECH SECTORS A delegation of the leading minds of Belgian Digital Finance crossed the channel to make an official overture to London’s fintech sector. The Belgian accelerator B-Hive signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Innovate Finance, the trade body for British financial technology, to connect the fintech sectors of both countries.
21 BREAKING NEWS
Tech Startup Day 2017:
Top Networking, Awards and a Royal Visit! ON MARCH 9, A NEW EDITION OF TECH STARTUP DAY, THE FIRST-RATE EVENT FOR BELGIAN ENTREPRENEURS, WELCOMED OVER 1,000 ATTENDEES IN BRUSSELS. THIS YEAR’S GATHERING HAD IT ALL: A VISIT FROM KING PHILIPPE OF BELGIUM, AN INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION SHOWCASING THE BRIGHTEST HUNGARIAN TALENT, AN EXHIBITION AREA MIXING HOT STARTUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS, AND VERY PROMISING TECH STARTUP DAY AWARDS WINNERS.
Gabriela Fernández Startups.be
THE VISIT THAT CROWNED A GREAT EVENT His royal highness King Philippe of Belgium joined the event in the afternoon to meet with a handpicked group of entrepreneurs, academics and investors to discuss opportunities, challenges and the current state of the startup scene in the country. The founders of Showpad, Edebex, Listminut, Teamleader, DataScouts and The Learnscape, among others, had the chance to be the voice of the evergrowing startup ecosystem. In addition, the King also attended the plenary session and congratulated the winners of the Tech Startup Day Awards: Small Teaser, Unifly, Birdee and CitizenLab.
BE HEARD On this occasion, 40 experts presented on a range of subject matters: funding, scaling up, internationalization, pitching, intrapreneurship, business modeling, failing forward, sales, growth hacking and exit strategies. There were six parallel sessions spanning the entrepreneurial rainbow with top-notch speakers, in addition to the closing plenary featuring Karen Boers (Startups.be), Pieterjan Bouten (Showpad), and a panel on business internationalization with Pascale Delcomminette (AWEX), Claire Tillekaerts (Flanders Investment & Trade) and Bénédicte Wilders (Brussels Invest & Export).
Some of the big names on the schedule included Filip Tack (Nomadesk), Sébastien Deletaille (Real Impact Analytics), Jeroen De Wit (Teamleader) and Philippe Mauchard (B-Hive), all of whom provided tips, best practices, do’s and don’ts, and shared their lessons learned.
BE SEEN For the very first time, Tech Startup Day hosted startup booths together with entrepreneur-driven organization, accelerator and corporate stalls. The networking village had 55 booths and contained the perfect mix of entrepreneurs, investors and customers. Also a novelty, the event welcomed an international delegation! Seven Hungarian startups took part in the event, exhibiting for the first time abroad. It helped the organizers to strengthen their global network and boost businesses all around.
BE TECH As for the companies that joined the event (including startups, enablers, investors, corporates and accelerators), 42% are based in Flanders, 32% in Brussels, 7% in Wallonia, and the remaining 19% operate in more than one region and/ or have offices abroad. What did our audience look like? The event got a nice mix of attendees: 12% early-stage startups, 24% fastgrowing startups, 8% investors, 25% enablers, 19% service providers and 12% startup enthusiasts.
22 NEW STARTUP
for Workspaces CHOOSE YOUR WORKSPACE – CO-WORKING, BUSINESS CENTER, MEETING ROOM, FABLAB – BASED ON USER REVIEWS. THIS IS THE VALUE PROPOSITION OF THE LUXEMBOURGISH STARTUP POPWORK, WHICH HAS ALREADY LAUNCHED ITS BOOKING PLATFORM FOR USE IN BRUSSELS, GENEVA, LUXEMBOURG AND PARIS. THE CURRENT BETA VERSION ALREADY ALLOWS STARTUPPERS, ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE TO GET AN OVERVIEW OF THE POTENTIAL OF THE SITE, WHICH FAVORS DIRECT CONNECTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RATHER THAN A TRADITIONAL SEARCH FOR OFFICES THROUGH REAL ESTATE AGENCIES. WE MET MAXIME BELAIR, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF POPWORK, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AMBITIONS OF THE STARTUP. Charles-Louis Machuron
WORKPLACE FLEXIBILITY In a society that increasingly advocates for the flexibility of telecommuting from home or other places outside of the main office, the flexible workspace market is on the rise and generated no less than € 17 billion in 2015. There are already more than five million flexible workspaces and meeting rooms in Western Europe and the United States, and the supply continues to grow. More and more companies are looking for this space, as well as self-employed people who represented 16% of the European workforce in 2015 (Source: Global Coworking Survey 201516, deskmag and socialworkplaces.com). In a traditional market dominated by large business centers and where brokers and real estate agencies offer little visibility upstream, the need for transparency and flexibility is increasingly felt. Nomadic workers often find themselves confronted with the question of how they should choose the flexible workspace that will best meet their needs. “With Popwork, we have developed a platform based on social recommendations to allow each user to instantly find the space suited to their needs,” says Belair. “In September 2015, two future founders of Popwork, Benjamin Callier and Laurent Lafond, then in transit in an airport, had a disastrous experience in a meeting room in the basement that they had not been able to vet beforehand. The idea of the startup immediately germinated in their heads!”
SOCIAL RECOMMENDATIONS Today, the social recommendation is one of the main means of influencing purchasing decisions in many industries, such as the hotel, restaurant and transport sectors. Putting users at the heart of the system by allowing them to choose, book, rate, recommend and comment has become the raison d'être of many platforms. Popwork has taken the lead when it comes to the European workspace-booking arena. The site offers users the opportunity to evaluate the workspace they have used via a star rating system (from 1 to 5 stars) and leave comments. Very simple to use and unique in Europe, the platform references – and geolocalizes – to date more than 200 workspaces in four countries (Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland) and aims to pass the 1,000 mark by the end of 2017! On the business model side, while the referencing and the evaluations are free, a commission is applied on the transactions carried out via the site. The future widget (described below) will also be available with a monthly subscription. Finally, if a service provider wishes to highlight its workspace on the channels offered by Popwork, premium paid options will be offered. In all cases the rankings of the workspaces will remain linked to the evaluations and not to the options subscribed. The volume of offers and evaluations are already taking off. We have signed a partnership with Technoport. The incubator will be one of the first pilot areas for the implementation of online payments and advanced features.
EUROPEAN AMBITIONS Currently in beta, the startup has already showed its European ambitions by offering workspaces in four countries and announcing the recruitment of several business developers to accelerate the referencing of new places in these countries as well as in the UK, and London more precisely. “We aim to be the first European platform to let users find, book and mark workspaces,” says the CEO of the startup. In terms of functionality, the launch of a mobile application available on iOS and Android is envisaged in the course of 2017, as well as the creation of a widget that can be integrated directly on the sites of suppliers of workspaces and whose objective is to facilitate the automatic conversion of site visitors to users. “This widget should not only allow company employees to internally choose and book meeting rooms and co-working spaces, but also offer a reservation module to professionals offering workspaces to rent, ultimately facilitating the interaction between them and the end user,” concludes Belair.
Optimizing the Management of Employees in the Field in Real Time
IMAGINE BEING ABLE TO MANAGE AND MONITOR IN REAL TIME THE WORK OF YOUR EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD, ALL FROM YOUR OFFICE! WHETHER YOU ARE A COMPANY SPECIALIZED IN THE CONSTRUCTION, REPAIRING, DELIVERY OR RENTAL OF VEHICLES, YOU SHOULD BE INTERESTED BY THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED BY FRENCH STARTUP 90TECH, WHICH IS HEADQUARTERED IN METZ. WE MET WITH CO-FOUNDER GUILLAUME PLISZCZAK, WHO IS IN CHARGE OF DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE STARTUP – WHICH ALREADY HAS 20 EMPLOYEES – AS WELL AS TO GET THE SCOOP ON ITS LATEST PROJECTS. Charles-Louis Machuron
A STORY OF PATHS CROSSING The history of 90Tech begins in 2015 when Emilien Liodau, Guillaume Pliszczak and Xavier Hen, all three computer developers, completed internships at the same construction company, headed by Lionel Gocel, who would also become a co-founder of 90Tech. Their mission during the internship? Develop IT solutions to help the company in its development and digital transition. The idea of the startup was born during the internship and at the same time they had found their first customer for designing innovative applications. A rapid benchmark of SMEs in the region and their position on the digital level also reinforced the co-founders in their journey. “Digital technology often requires heavy and costly investments for companies that do not necessarily have the requisite agility and resources to carry out these transition projects,” says Pliszczak. “With 90Tech, we are now able to offer them a modular offer where each company is free to choose the software it wants to use according to its needs.”
“Our goal is really to get companies back into the digital age. No longer is it necessary to keep paper records and deal with paperwork that often just gets left in the trucks!
IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY SOLITECH, the first software created by the startup, is a management and work monitoring software that allows any company with field workers to manage and monitor the work being done in real time; a unique link between the office and the field. Available in SaaS mode – Software as a Service – the software can be used by any type of company, with the possibility to customize it and to set it up according to its needs. “For the time being, we are counting a lot of construction companies (BTPs) as customers. But more and more companies specializing in repairing and maintenance use the software to manage teams in the field or teams based on specific positions in factories. A car rental company also uses it to manage its fleet and transportation companies have expressed an interest,” says the young co-founder.
The real-time feedback of the information on the ground is a valuable tool for companies who are notified of the different activities in progress. Thanks to this simple and user-friendly tool, companies can now optimize the planning of their field operations, centralize data and increase the productivity of their employees. Employees have all the tools in hand to take pictures, fill out forms and validate checklists, all via mobile phones or tablets. “Our goal is really to get companies back into the digital age. We support them in the improvement of their processes and hence of their communication. They can now use a single channel for all documents, information, orders and photos. No longer is it necessary to keep paper records and deal with paperwork that often just gets left in the trucks! The transmission of information is now ultra-fast,” adds Pliszczak. Interactivity and responsiveness are two dear values to the startup, which also offers its customers an extranet link to follow actions in real time – another great way to communicate with customers and retain them.
MORE ANALYTICS SERVICES AND TOOLS The 90Tech solutions allow the startup to collect a lot of data. One of the managers’ ideas is to be able to propose tools to exploit the collected data: analytics, business intelligence, big data and tools of decision support. The goal is to extract behaviors and trends to enable companies to make the right strategic decisions. While addressing mainly companies in the private sector, the young startup has begun to also interest public service providers in the city of Metz.
“Departments in charge of urban cleanliness, and in particular those that clean up graffiti, have tested our software to, on the one hand, monitor the work of their agents in the field, and to take stock of the number of annual interventions on the other hand,” explains the entrepreneur. Concerning the software itself, many functions should see the light this year, particularly with the reinforcement of the use of the mobile platform. New products are also in the works and will be launched in beta form with initial tests with the current customers of the startups. Although a software publisher at its core, 90Tech nevertheless offers a range of services – auditing support, for example – to promote the digital transition of companies. “We also want to offer our customers the opportunity to integrate external software such as Trello or Google Apps because these are solutions that work very well and can bring a real added value to their activities,” reveals Pliszczak. “At the same time, we are also setting up a network of partner resellers because, even if our software is available in SaaS, from a certain number of employees it is necessary to set up physical support of our customers and we will not be able to manage everything from Metz! We will rely on local partners who already are accustomed to supporting and advising companies,” he continues. In terms of geographic expansion, despite a strong presence in eastern France, 90Tech is now focusing on the Greater Region, and in particular Luxembourg, where players in the construction and business services sectors could be attracted by the products and services of the startup.
3 questions for
GOSIA KRAMER IS CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE OFFICE, LUXEMBOURGâ€™S NEWEST BUSINESS AND COWORKING SPACE LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE CITY. IT WAS WHILE WORKING TO SET UP A FINTECH COMPANY THAT GOSIA RECOGNIZED A NEED TO CREATE A DEDICATED COWORKING SPACE AND WAS INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED TO EMBARK ON THE OFFICE PROJECT WITH CO-FOUNDER AND BUSINESS PARTNER, JEAN WAGNER. TOGETHER, IN NOVEMBER 2016, THEY OPENED THE DOORS TO A UNIQUE, CONTEMPORARY AND BEAUTIFULLY-DESIGNED COWORKING HUB WHICH BRINGS TOGETHER COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS FROM ALL WALKS OF BUSINESS.
25 3 QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES COWORKING MEAN FOR YOU ? Well, amongst the many words that begin with co-, community, collaboration and connection are the first that spring to mind. Coworking is when people doing independent activities or running small companies work in the same place and, effectively, share bits and pieces of their professional and personal lives. Coexistence leads to sharing more than just a workplace. It taps into the more human and social aspects of “inhabiting” the same space. Our main goal at The Office is to bring people together. What I love is that coworking spaces are excellent platforms to boost creativity. A casual conversation over a coffee can suddenly give an idea a whole new dynamic, with the feedback and fresh perspective from someone else opening the door to new possibilities and inspiring confidence. Sharing is a big part of coworking. It’s wonderful to see how quickly people are drawn into the sharing mindset: whether it’s books, a business idea, a chair, an espresso machine, or a useful contact, everyone wants to contribute something. Though working from home may have its benefits, it certainly has its limitations: isolation, less opportunities to grow your network and not having the appropriate environment to receive customers on-site are all reasons why I receive desperate phone calls from “homeworkers” saying “I can’t do this anymore!”. Renting an office space implies agency fees, deposits, spending on furniture etc. so cost-wise is not the ideal solution when working with a limited budget. Coworking solves all those issues! So what conclusion can the average coworker reach? When I join a coworking space, I increase my revenues, grow my network, build relationships and create new business opportunities.
What I love is that coworking spaces are excellent platforms to boost creativity. Alefiya Sana
We see more and more people wanting to fit their working schedules into their personal lives. HOW HAS COWORKING EVOLVED OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES ? How long do you have?! So much has happened in the last 20 years since a bunch of hackers in Berlin created a space to meet up. It didn’t take long for their idea to catch on in the U.S. with San Francisco and New York City pinpointed as the first coworking hubs. It was in these cities that coworking grew into a concept, something more than just a shared working space. I believe it was WeWork the largest global coworking chain with a presence in 25 countries, that really established coworking as a global trend. They recognized that it wasn’t just something needed by IT geeks and hackers, but by artists, housewives and everyone else in between! We see more and more people wanting to fit their working schedules into their personal lives (rather than vice versa), so flexible working hours are a big plus in this respect. The astonishing statistics more than prove the benefits of coworking: 72% of people increase their revenues compared to those working in more “traditional” environments; 85% of people note higher levels of efficiency when coworking; 86% notice a decrease in their sense of isolation; and 95% have reported network growth.
A recent trend which I love is big organizations sending staff to coworking spaces to get inspired, explore startup mentality… WHAT DEVELOPMENTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN COWORKING IN LUXEMBOURG ? I have so many ideas! It’s a very exciting time for Luxembourg. In cities like Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels and New York there are hundreds of coworking spaces. Why? Because it has become the new way of working. It’s the future.
So, this trend that is maturing in other places only started a couple of years ago here in Luxembourg. I saw that an element was missing and wanted to do something different to all the FinTechfocused incubators or accelerators. With 1-1-1 companies dedicated to startups, Luxembourg is becoming one of the cities in Europe to launch a business. Being able to set up a company in just one day for just one euro goes hand in hand with the concept of coworking: a package that gives startups a high-speed go-to-market and a place to call HQ.
A recent trend which I love, and plan to implement at The Office, is big organizations sending staff to coworking spaces to get inspired, explore startup mentality and, as a result, take on a more open-minded approach to work and maximize performance. Facebook, Google, KPMG and Microsoft, for example, are all doing it. It makes so much sense! Rather than investing in in-house training sessions focused on thinking outside the box, just spend a few days at a coworking space where you can feed off the energy and enthusiasm of other coworkers. Very often, the corporate environment can kill motivation and this is a way to inspire creativity and unlock greater potential. We mustn’t forget that many companies offer exactly the same services as their competitors – it’s the people making the difference. So it would certainly be in employers’ interests to place staff in an environment where individualism can shine through more freely. Moving on to other ideas I would love to see take shape in the coworking arena here in Luxembourg: freelancers opening up their living rooms to other coworkers; coworking spaces for mothers and babies with daycare provided; coworking spaces at the borders (what better way to combine convenience with greatly reducing traffic into the city?); and a one-stopoffice for business daytrippers.
So, if any entrepreneur readers out there like the sound of these ideas, now is the time for action !
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ALEX PANICAN is the new Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology – LHoFT. Alex is an entrepreneur and a professor in Business Strategy and Marketing. He holds an MBA in Strategy from the University of Montreal, Canada.
MANON LOISON is the new Head of Marketing at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology – LHoFT. Manon is a communication and marketing professional with experience across public and private sector. She holds a double degree (Master II) in communication from Sciences Po Bordeaux and the Bordeaux-Montaigne University, France. The LHoFT aims to drive Financial Technology innovation within Luxembourg’s financial services community to ensure the future competitiveness of the industry as well as fostering a comprehensive and collaborative globally connected ecosystem of innovators across all sectors including traditional financial services firms, government, public sector, regulators, universities, investors and startups. At a glance, the LHoFT’s focus is based on three pillars: Ecosystem, Solutions and Knowledge.
The UnIndexing AT THE HEART OF THE DARK WEB Founded in 2013, CybelAngel specializes in exploring the non-indexed parts of the Internet in order to detect the sensitive information that circulates there, and in particular the confidential data of companies. To do this, the startup scans all IP addresses from unprotected servers. “Companies, even though they are well protected, share a lot of information with third parties who may not be as well protected and make the data accessible, without even realizing it sometimes,” says Raby. “The only way to react is to detect these flaws as quickly as possible.”
DETECTING FIRE The startup offers a subscription to an alert solution that notifies clients in the event of serious data leaks requiring urgent action. It has a technology that retrieves information accessible on the Internet and then automatically filters it through a layer of machine learning. A team of analysts then sends reports in the event of threats. “Our role is to detect the fire. Customers then put it out. Our partners also offer additional services to help them,” continues
Raby. The Internet has evolved and is still evolving very quickly. There is a long latency period between activities performed on it and individuals and companies reacting to those activities. Connected objects are a glaring example of exploding data sharing. “People are not always aware of all the information they can unconsciously share, for example, by bringing a hard drive home. The vulnerability of this type of object is great, as are applications such as Dropbox, Prezi or GitHub whose security settings are not always perfectly configured by users.”
INTERNATIONAL AMBITIONS With a team of 30 employees spread across its offices in Paris and Luxembourg, the startup plans to recruit new employees – both developers and salespeople – in order to dream bigger and conquer a more mature American market. “The ecosystem of potential partners – consulting firms, IT integrators, etc. – is much broader and can enable us to accelerate our growth by multiplying the use of our data. We can now provide an indicator on customer exposure and ask the partners to carry out the
CYBELANGEL IS A CYBER SECURITY STARTUP. ITS EXPERTISE? DETECT REAL-TIME DATA LEAKS AND THREATS ON THE DARK WEB AND CONNECTED OBJECTS USING A BIG DATA APPROACH. THE STARTUP INDEXES, ON A DAILY BASIS, MORE THAN ONE BILLION DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE LEAKED ON THE INTERNET EACH DAY AND ALREADY COUNTS CLIENTS OPERATING IN VARIOUS SECTORS IN EUROPE, INCLUDING MORE THAN FIFTEEN CAC 40 CLIENTS IN FRANCE. AFTER WINNING ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS STARTUP EVENTS IN EUROPE – THE SLUSH CONTEST – LAST DECEMBER IN HELSINKI, CYBELANGEL INTENDS TO SPREAD ITS WINGS INTERNATIONALLY, ESPECIALLY FOCUSING ON THE UNITED STATES, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME STRENGTHENING ITS TEAMS BASED IN PARIS AND LUXEMBOURG. WE MET EVELYNE RABY, THE YOUNG COO OF THE STARTUP WHO’S FULL OF ENTHUSIASM TO FIND OUT MORE.
analysis,” says Raby. CybelAngel can also rely on the international recognition and visibility it obtained following its first place win at the Slush event last December. On the financing side, after having raised one million euro from a business angel in 2015, the startup should announce in the coming months a new round. “A lot of attention is being paid to our project right now and we are delighted. It is up to us to evangelize individuals and companies on this sensitive subject,” concludes Raby. There is no doubt that the angels of cybersecurity have a bright future ahead of them.
Today, more than one billion documents are on open servers that are accessible to anyone. Charles-Louis Machuron Sami Heiskanen
28 CORPORATE MEET INNOVATION
the Strength of a Network GAËL DENIS, A PARTNER AND FINTECH LEADER AT EY LUXEMBOURG, DISCUSSES THE FIRST YEAR OF THE SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR STARTUPS, EYNOVATION, AND ITS CONVINCING RESULTS. HE ALSO SHARES HIS VIEWS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FINTECH SECTOR IN LUXEMBOURG AND GIVES US A GLIMPSE OF THE ROAD AHEAD AND THE MEASURES THAT MUST BE TAKEN TO TURN THE COUNTRY INTO AN ENVIED HUB.
Charles-Louis Machuron EY Luxembourg
MR. DENIS, TO WHAT EXTENT DOES EY LUXEMBOURG MAKE THE SUPPORT OF STARTUPS – AND FINTECH STARTUPS IN PARTICULAR – A PRIORITY? The emergence of fintech is a natural evolution of the digitization of companies, products and services, and of Internet 2.0 in the sense of connectivity. Historically, we have a strong presence in the TMT – Technology, Media and Telecommunications – sector and in the telecom sector in particular. We have dealt with many mobile payment issues in the African and South American markets. When the first PSD directive was launched in 2009 in Europe and mobile payments were facilitated, we already had a sensitivity on the subject and we positioned ourselves to support the startups that launched and wanted payment licenses or an electronic money institution status. It was during this period that we launched our first packaged offer for startups so that they could benefit from the services of a Big Four! Startup business models today are much more complex and innovative than in previous decades. Their needs are also more sophisticated. However, they ask for the same services, the same technicality, the same experience, the same skills as a large company. We work with them over time to retain them and work for a better return on investment.
29 CORPORATE MEET INNOVATION
Through our successive support programs – the first, EY Open Doors was launched in 2008 to support American startups in their expansion into Luxembourg – we have experienced successes and failures, but we have succeeded in making them evolve and enriching them to come to the current EYnovation program. In addition to a dedicated team, we deploy managers and senior managers from our business lines to coach startups and answer their questions on a daily basis. If the latter require a particular technicality then we call on our network to provide the solution. We rely on intellectual capital of unique knowledge and services. Over the years, we also realized that startups wanted, first of all, to connect with potential customers and partners. And this is preceisely one of the strengths of our network.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LUXEMBOURG ECOSYSTEM OF STARTUPS? The Luxembourg ecosystem is based on the usual pillars: investors (Venture Capital, business angels), startups, customers, public institutions (infrastructure, grants, lobbying) and expertise (consultants, incubators, accelerators). The pillar of expertise is a real highlight of the market, in particular thanks to the density of consulting companies in Luxembourg and their diversity, whether at strategic, operational or technical levels. I think that the country has made great strides on the presence of incubators and accelerators. Over the past 24 months this has resulted in the launch of numerous startups. At the client level, financial institutions are starting to use fintech solutions. Even if we still do not have a blockbuster in our ecosystem, there are more and more interactions between the two parties. The banks are finally aware of the need to rethink their business model and allocate resources to make the digital transition. Of course, there will not be a revolution overnight and not all banks will adopt all the fintech in order to digitize. Nevertheless, the stakes for banking institutions are enormous in terms of preserving their relations with their customers and managing a large retail network and IT infrastructure. As for investors, we know that this remains a point of improvement for Luxembourg. There are initiatives that are taken through several funds – the Digital Tech Fund or the Luxembourg Future Fund – but the number of fundraisings is still limited. Luxembourg needs to connect more with international investors and build on its network, particularly in the area of private equity. The most important objective for the Luxembourg ecosystem is to maintain attractiveness in terms of setup costs. The provision of public infrastructure works very well in other countries. This motivates private actors, entrepreneurs and
startups to settle here, invest and help develop the ecosystem. The distribution of roles is paramount and everyone has to bring his or her skills and play his or her part in the ecosystem.
AND THE POSITION OF LUXEMBOURG IN THE FINTECH SECTOR? The fintech sector plays a large part in the Luxembourg ecosystem. One element that could definitely help position Luxembourg as a leader is the entry into force of the PSD2 directive in 2018, which will enrich the interactions between the banks, the existing fintech startups and the new incoming ones. We are following this very closely with EY and believe that Luxembourg has a role to play in the payments sector through this new directive. This will oblige the countries of the European Economic Area to liberalize access to bank accounts to third parties who can offer payment services. Moreover, this obligation will entail more interaction between banks and startups. The implementation approach and the development of new initiatives around this directive will be a major challenge for raising awareness of the Luxembourg ecosystem locally and internationally. If the country succeeds in applying it as agilely as the PSD1 directive, then it could see the growth of its ecosystem accelerate. Beyond the fintech domain, RegTech is full of initiatives and is now a priority. It is necessary to find digital solutions, automation, control and communication of information between the regulated companies and the regulator. What is important here is the possibility of reducing compliance costs to deal with ever more drastic and resource-intensive regulatory constraints. Here again, Luxembourg can play a big role thanks to its experience in the consideration of numerous regulations.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO BECOME A RECOGNIZED FINTECH HUB? I think that Luxembourg has a card to play at the level of Blockchain technology. There is much talk about the use of this technology for the Asset Management sector, one of the flagships of the financial industry in Luxembourg. Applications are waiting, and many companies are developing a Proof of Concept. The first applications should, in my opinion, emerge in the course of 2017 even if they will be only “beta testing.” The use of these large-scale applications is not yet on the agenda. The current adoption involves only a few banks. Mass adoption will take place globally in the next decade. In Luxembourg, it is also possible to imagine a convergence of skills between the financial sector and the technology sector, as the Blockchain also has an impact on the connected goods sector and should enable Luxembourg to diversify.
I believe that to create a hub and a favorable ecosystem for the startups, it will also involve the development of the university. We must be able to accommodate more foreign students in Luxembourg and encourage the emergence of researchers, young entrepreneurs and new ideas. In recent years, Luxembourg has succeeded in building a real ecosystem with more than 200 startups, incubators and accelerators. The foundations have been laid. We must now build the economy of tomorrow. This will involve greater involvement of the public and private sectors. Innovative solutions should also be pursued to facilitate investment in startups in Luxembourg. I continue to say that the role of the private sector is to provide skills, time and investment, and the role of the public in providing low-cost infrastructure.
WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE EYNOVATION PROGRAM? We are very proud of this program. After a year of existence we have had very good returns from the startups which improves the availability of our coaches. They highlight the quality of the follow-up and the connections that are made. We are, of course, waiting to be able to enrich our selection of startups and to refine our process of selecting startups. The choice is always complicated when it comes to identifying the right stage of growth of companies. Today, we support a dozen startups. We do not want to follow three or four times more, but would prefer to work on the quality of the time spent with each one of them. Through the program we also see that we have a good contribution from our current customers who enjoy spending time with our startups and at events. Finally, I would like to point out that this program is evolutionary because, even if most of our startups are called technological, we also encounter many that are outside this scope and that would be well-served by our support.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM INTERNALLY? Does it have an impact on the culture of the company? Yes! It is an initiative that is being actively promoted. We ask our startups to make presentations at events with employees, which not only allows them to perfect their pitches but also to increase their visibility and to receive a lot of feedback from our employees. Innovation demands evangelization. It is a long-term job that is fundamental to inculcate this spirit of entrepreneurship to the greatest number. Our managers are already passionate, and coaching startups allows them to mix up their daily routines, which they appreciate being able to do, as well as to put their experience and skills to use to serve the community. There has been a real modernization of the image of the company both internally and externally, which increases the loyalty of our employees and our customers.
The Digital Enablers FINNOLUX ASSISTS COMPANIES IN EMBRACING THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION. IT MAKES SURE THEY ARE AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME AND HELPS THEM MAXIMIZE THEIR POTENTIAL IN THE DIGITAL WORLD. WE MET WITH LEEN CUYPERS AND MATT ELTON, TWO OF THE CO-FOUNDERS OF FINNOLUX, TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEY ENABLE COMPANIES TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION.
Innovation Management is about idea discovery, enrichment and realization. Here we use several techniques to qualify ideas in the most time and cost efficient way possible. Digital Solutions focuses on solving real industry problems; we have, and continue to create, a portfolio of building technologies, which can be developed into a full integrated solution or can be directly applied to real use-cases. International Growth is focused on helping other companies grow, by providing them different services and knowledge. With our global scan, we offer a tool that maps a company’s strengths and weaknesses regarding its expansion. We also help to define the best method to get market access and to find the route to take in order to be compliant. We furthermore provide bootcamps and workshops regarding business culture and language, which helps startups understand the cultures they want to sell to. Startups differentiate themselves from traditional companies by their flexibility and speed. Once they want to sell their product into the traditional world, it is key to have a deep understanding of this traditional world and ‘to speak the same language’. FinnoLux takes different roles in its activities: being a catalyst, a trainer or expert, depending on the situation and assignment.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH FINNOLUX IDEA? FinnoLux is the result of the culmination of many years of being at the intersection of business and technology; seeing that customers want to interact with suppliers on their own terms. Furthermore, customers increasingly prefer to use these new means of interaction. We saw and still see clear opportunities in assisting traditional companies embrace new opportunities and sell in this new digital world. We also help our clients deepen customer loyalty, as embracing digital enables companies to create a customer relationship built on understanding. From the customer perspective, we understand that digital transformation is not just about technology, but rather that it’s about making the whole organization digital. Technology is the enabler, while the people and the environment in which they interact – the culture – are the drivers of change and innovation. Timekeeping and the hierarchical structure are examples of management tools still currently used in traditional organizations. These tools date back to the first industrial revolution! At the time of the first revolution, which was focused on manufacturing, value was created by producing. In this digital era, the value of employees is in thinking, a shift that also corresponds to a different style of leadership.
WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER? FinnoLux is a digital enabler and assists companies in becoming digitally fit for the future. We not only help companies in being able to identify opportunities, but also in realizing such opportunities. We have four key areas of activities: Digital Transformation, Innovation Management, Digital Solutions and International Growth. Digital Transformation focuses on enabling organisations to adapt to the constant change by focusing on customer centricity. .
Speaking about culture, company culture is as important for small companies to achieve for their growth aspirations as for big companies, even if they face different challenges. Speaking about culture, understanding company culture is just as important for small as well as big companies even if they face different challenges. They both have growth aspirations to achieve..It is also important that they create an environment where people continuously want to contribute.
WHAT TYPE OF CLIENTS ARE INTERESTED IN THOSE SERVICES? WHAT REGIONS ARE YOUR CLIENTS IN? We target traditional as well as growth-stage companies with our services. Small as well as incumbent companies all can benefit from the different services we provide. Region-wise, our hub in Luxembourg targets the Benelux and the DACH regions, from the hub in Toronto, we cover the Canadian market. In addition, we are actively developing the Balkan region.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS OF YOUR STRATEGY? Firstly, we are launching a training programme, aimed at to helping your employees, supervisors, managers and executives get set for the Digital world. Customer empathy is considered the key to excellent customer experience and results in increasing loyalty from new as well as existing customers. The programme consists of modules capturing vital topics, each one of them highlighting a specific effect Digital has on the financial industry. The areas covered can include Digital Customers and Banking, Retail Banking, Asset and Wealth Management, Credit Sector, Impact of technology on Banking, RegTech and Regulatory Solutions, PSD2 and API driven services, Crypto-currency in Banking, Blockchain Technology and Distributed Ledger technology. Secondly, we are putting our focus on expanding our solution development capability. Utilizing our tools and methodology, to identify and develop solutions to real business problems found in the industry. Here, we use our deep subject matter knowledge, coupled with our creativity, to develop identified solutions into working prototypes and proof of concept implementations which, when proven, can be taken and developed into stand-alone businesses. In this way, we are able to put our unique blend of knowledge and skills to use creating products which will, ultimately strengthen the industry.
HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE FROM OTHER CONSULTING FIRMS/ ORGANIZATIONS? We don’t sell theory – we are focused on delivery, providing real solutions to real problems. We are also very proud of our culture. We have built an international team with members who have different yet highly complementary backgrounds. All of us share a passion for challenging the status quo, by looking beyond the obvious. This enables us to put together the right blend of expertise for each client and each project.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LUXEMBOURG'S FINTECH ECOSYSTEM? Luxembourg, with its 65,000 workers in the financial sector, has no shortage of ideas or use-cases around. It’s encouraging that so many people in Luxembourg are pushing the fintech agenda. 2017 will be a pivotal year for Luxembourg companies to prove to the world their capabilities by channeling the enthusiasm into delivery.
Charles-Louis Machuron Anna Katina
32 BEHAVIORAL FINANCE
The Risk Profiler for Financial Advisors Alefiya Sana
NEUROPROFILER IS A GAME! THAT’S RIGHT – A RISKPROFILING GAME. IT HELPS FINANCIAL ADVISORS ASSESS THE INVESTOR PROFILER OF THEIR CLIENTS WHO “PLAY” A BEHAVIORAL FINANCE GAME COMPLIANT WITH MIFID II (MARKETS IN FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS DIRECTIVE) REGULATIONS.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
AND THE NAME?
It’s simple. As a financial advisor, or a banker, I just send my client a link to a three-part test taken on a smartphone, tablet or computer. (i) The investor answers a few questions about their financial situation and objectives. (ii) If they have ever wondered what it would be like to go on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, here is their chance to assess their level of financial knowledge with a fun quiz. And (iii) up to 15 questions where the investor must make investment decisions (all hypothetical, of course!).
Our expertise focuses on a unique combination of machine learning and cognitive science. This gives us the tools to profile people based on their behavior. That’s why we chose the generic name "Neuroprofiler".
I then have access to a detailed analysis of my client’s investor personality, placing me in prime position to offer the most suitable advice and better manage their wealth on a daily basis.
HOW DID THE FOUNDERS COME UP WITH THE IDEA? While Tiphaine Saltini was working in private banking, she started to notice significant weaknesses in investor profiling by financial advisors. At the time, she had just begun a PhD in Behavioral Finance. As part of her research, she built a game based on machine learning and behavioral finance to help finance professionals enhance their understanding of their clients’ investor personality. I am the data-geek half of the team! With a background in mathematics and data science, I worked as a quantitative analyst in various financial institutions before joining forces with Tiphaine in 2015. In addition to working on developing the algorithm, I'am in charge of business development in Luxembourg and London.
WHY DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS NEED NEUROPROFILER?
ARE THERE OTHER INDUSTRIES THAT COULD BENEFIT FROM THE TOOL?
"Investor profiling is not just a question of compliance; it is also about client knowledge and segmentation."
Bespoke investor profiling can only increase client satisfaction. Investor profiling is moreover compulsory under MiFID II for most financial services dedicated to retail clients. So it’s really a no-brainer with brains!
Neuroprofiler provides a deep insight into client psychology and is a precious marketing tool for any financial institution striving to better understand and serve their clients. This means that, on top of wealth management, the consumer finance and insurance sectors are also key target markets.
COULD YOU GIVE US AN EXTREME EXAMPLE OF RATIONAL AND IRRATIONAL INVESTOR BEHAVIOR?
WHEN DID NEUROPROFILER GO LIVE?
Rationality is actually quite hard to define. Let's assume, however, that rationality consists of maximizing the expected payoff of a lottery. Let’s take the St. Petersburg Paradox: you toss a coin and if it lands on heads (H), you make €1 and the game is over. If it lands on tails (T), you toss the coin again. Each time it lands on tails, the amount doubles: H -> €1, TH -> €2, TTH -> €4, TTTH -> €8, and so on and so forth. So, given that the gains are potentially unlimited, how much would you pay to play this game? Answer? Probably not much! Most people answer less than €10 even though the expectation of this gamble is infinite. So actually, if you were rational in textbook terms (and had a pile of cash lying around!) and were asked to pay €10,000 to play this game, you would probably do it!
In June last year. We already have a couple of pilots running within major financial institutions in France and Switzerland, and development is underway in Luxembourg and the UK.
HOW HAS NEUROPROFILER BEEN RECEIVED SO FAR? Really well! We are launching three pilots in just one year; something we are very proud of given banks are quite famous for their lengthy decision processes! Neuroprofiler’s journey has been action-packed so far: incubation at KPMG's Khube in Luxembourg, winner of the Global Fintech Challenge in Paris, third place at the Fintech Lion Awards and best pitch at Patrimonia. We were also selected for two acceleration programs: Fintech Fusion in Geneva and the Fintech Innovation Lab in London.
Giving Meaning To Data Charles-Louis Machuron
ENABLING COMPANIES AND STARTUPS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LATEST ADVANCES IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND DATA ANALYSIS THROUGH THE POWER OF THE CLOUD AND HELPING THEM MANAGE THEIR DATA INTERNALLY IS THE VALUE PROPOSITION OF WIZATA. WE MET JEAN-PHILIPPE HUGO, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE STARTUP AND DATA ANALYSIS ENTHUSIAST, TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AMBITIONS OF THE COMPANY AND THE ROLE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN BUSINESS STRATEGY.
“Our goal is to share the latest advances in data science and artificial intelligence and utilize them to advance the digital transformation and innovation of companies.” THE POWER OF MACHINE LEARNING WIZATA harnesses the power of machine learning with algorithms that learn continuously to improve accuracy and rapidly develop new solutions. This method is at the forefront of artificial intelligence based on the data of companies, possibly enriched, to make predictions and improve decision-making in all sectors. For this purpose, the company has developed a complementary set of skills including visualization with Power Bi and in commercial ERP and CRM tools, real-time data flow analysis, artificial intelligence cognitive analysis, Big Data and project management in the world of connected objects. The startup works directly and in synergy with the teams of its customers in order to understand and respond to their specific problems. The strength of the company is also largely based on combining the agility of an SME and the support of several key players in new technologies in artificial intelligence, IoT and cloud computing.
“Giving meaning to data makes it possible to discover solutions, unresolved problems and untapped opportunities.”
“We have entered the data age, where every company can now exploit the concrete innovations of the science of data.” EXTRACT ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION FROM THE DATA
The startup thus proposes to present to its customers their data summarized by a powerful reporting and business intelligence tool. WIZATA supports clients in various fields such as Industry 4.0 where the impact of technology is directly measurable and allows the companies to solve problems such as reducing energy consumption, reducing costs or predicting maintenance. Those who speak about data must also speak about security and privacy. “We make it a point of honor to respect the confidentiality of our customers and already apply the European regulations of 2018. Talking about what we are doing is indeed one of our biggest challenges because our customers wish to their current and future developments secret,” says Hugo.
The startup currently has nine employees and can count on the support of the NEREA group – the startup was first a spin-off of the group before becoming an independent company in 2014 – and its technical partner Microsoft. At the heart of its business are their data scientists, who are extremely rare and precious profiles on the market. With a presence in the Luxembourg and Belgian markets, the startup aims to expand beyond these borders and already has several customers in Europe and across the Atlantic. The needs of their clients are universal: reduction of costs, consumption, wear and tear, optimization of processes, analysis of production lines, interpretation of images and languages, detection of fraud and behavioral studies. Not so artificial issues!
34 TECH CITY
Tarmo Virki, CoFounder Magazine
10 Startups to
35 TECH CITY
o Look Out for Startups like Skype, GrabCAD and Starship Technologies have grown out of Estonian capital Tallinn home for a vast number of startups which are due to change the world over coming years. We picked for you 10 to look out for.
36 TECH CITY
The startup offers 3D modelling on your mobile phone screen - enabling amateurs to make their own 3D models in 30 seconds. The startup has had some early traction, with roughly 300,000 downloads for its app and more than 30,000 active users. It believes ease-of-use is the key differentiator among a number of 3D modelling apps out there. None of them is as easy as 3DC and none have an in-app gallery with usergenerated 3D models to download and continue work on, it says.
The 2013 founded startup has built up likely the first bourse for angel investments. The problem Funderbeam solves is an obvious one - investments into startups are extremely illiquid (on top of being very risky). Their trading platform uses blockchain to make the investments tradeable and the shareholdings are in-direct with investors trading digital bonds representing a share in specially created company which holds a stake in the startup. The sign that Tim Draper and ThomsonReuters as investors in Funderbeam's A round show it could surely have global impact.
AMPLER BIKES Ampler Bikes is one of those hipster startups solving urban commuting challenge. Ampler's team has created smart electric bikes and have sold them successfully on a crowdfunding platform. It promises a fast, affordable, independent, and stylish way of moving in urban areas. The bikes are lighter than existing models and look like regular ones. Designed with the objective to make them easy to use, these bikes deliver the potential of bicycles in modern cities.
AUTOBAHN The founders started to work on the startup in 2011 when they were employed by Skype and Microsoft took over the internet telephony company. For years they developed software for car sales in stealth mode, before finally coming out with its story in latter half of 2016 when they took part in Startupbootcamp's logistics programme in Berlin. The promise is simple - to revolutionise car sales software, which has so far been deep in proprietary silos. The software works for the whole sales chain from factory to consumer, which makes it especially interesting for massive brands seeking to have contact with consumers.
COFOUNDER The 2014 launched magazine is working on mission to bring journalism into startup media. It is proudly on paper (greetings to dear Silicon readers!) and its advertising invites revolutionaries to join The 2D Printing Revolution. You can find a copy on many top conferences around Europe, or subscribe online.
GUAANA The 2015 founded Guaana started off as a co-operation platform for scientists and it has been able to sign up 3,000 people, including staff of most top universities and research institutions of the world. During 2017 the company is morphing itself more into a funding vehicle for science taking best practices from startup world and taking them into bureaucratic world of science funding.
INZMO The 201x founded startup taps one of the most interesting sectors of 2017: insuretech. Today, there is a massive inefficiency in insurance — 65% of all premiums in the industry go towards sales and administration costs and covering insurance fraud. Inzmo cuts those costs, while also reducing the risk of insurance fraud. It enables people to get personal insurance for motor-vehicles, smart devices, household, traveling etc. Every time someone insures their items in Inzmo, they’re asked to make a 5 second video of the insured item. This results in better business to insurance companies and lower premiums to customers.
37 TECH CITY
REBELROAM RebelRoam has developed the first cross-border passenger WiFi service “in-a-box”. Included unlimited panEuropean 4G internet makes it easier for the transportation providers to meet the expectations of their passengers who want good quality internet access everywhere. Buses, trains, and other transportation providers are losing customers due to poor or non‐existent internet connectivity — but the issue is expensive and complicated for the transportation providers to fix. RebelRoam is offering a solution in the niche which is much larger than outsiders would think, and has hence seen been also left untapped by classical telecom gear providers.
REVERSE RESOURCES Marketplace for clothing industry leftovers, which has won a Global Change Award, was launched in 2014 and it is already working with H&M and Tesco to explore the opportunity arising from reusing the leftovers from their garment production. Suppliers could earn 2-3 times more from the leftovers they have. In the 21st century creative pricing world, Reverse Resources charges clients per amount of materials made visible for brands and/or taken back to use by reuse or recycling.
SHIPITWISE Shipitwise tries to take booking. com approach to logistics. It has so far seen most traction in integrations with airlines, which outsource door-to-door luggage transport to Shipitwise, but the big promise is in solving logistics challenge for small and medium sized businesses. They’re too small for logistics firms to care of, and cannot handle the whole process efficiently enough by themselves either. At the same time, there are small but efficient logistics service providers constantly trying to get access to an additional customer base. Shipitwise - which has raised capital twice on Funderbeam - helps smaller companies to find the most efficient transport, while taking care of packaging, customs and other documentation, and insuring all of the goods.
DON’T MISS THE SECOND EDITION OF THE CONFERENCE “HOW STARTUP CEOS CAN BENEFIT FROM MENTORS’ EXPERIENCE” ON MAY 16, CO-ORGANIZED BY BUSINESSMENTORING ASSOCIATION AND SILICON LUXEMBOURG. WE REACHED OUT FOUR MENTORS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY. READ THE FULL INTERVIEWS ON SILICONLUXEMBOURG.LU
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
WHAT WAS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCE FOR YOU?
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY? COULD YOU GIVE US ONE OR TWO?
CIO, Luxaviation Group
In 1997, as a young telecom engineer for P&T, I found myself in an environment that was not very transparent and not very rewarding. There was a lack of governance and management, and the decisions made at the management level were often incomprehensible to us. This context and a desire for autonomy prompted me, and a few friends, to become entrepreneurs and create a new company together. The unifying project was not a priority at that time and the company created (Synapse S.A.) changed its plans and path several times.
After being very enthusiastic about the project at the beginning, I realized that starting a company is not so easy and had to re-evaluate the project and how I would go about it. It was very instructive from a human and professional point of view to have to apply to my own business measures that are part of the arsenal implemented by my clients.
CEO, Agilis Engineering WHAT ARE THE 3 KEYS TO SUCCESS? Complementarity, energy and innovation. I would also add never resting on one’s laurels and always having in mind the next step, as well. A frequent practitioner of rowing, I have often made a parallel between success in this sport and that of entrepreneurship. I have found the keys to the success of Agilis to be the complementary nature, energy and focus of its team members. We never rest on our laurels, but we do know how to celebrate our successes together.
The first is to be well surrounded and the second is to delegate. It is impossible to advance your business if you want to take care of everything. You have to find people you trust who, if possible, are smarter than you and bring real added value to your business. If you think being a leader means explaining to others how to work, you’re wrong. An entrepreneur must anticipate risks, find new ideas, innovate, find solutions and set his teams up for achieving their own success. Finding the right people is not easy, it can take a lot of time and sometimes you make wrong decisions. I think that an entrepreneur should think about these values and those of his company to help guide the recruitment process.
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Ted Hickey (Tadaweb)
Jérémy Mazon (ADNEOM)
Sylvie Le Gloan (NumericALL)
Adopt A Developer ON JANUARY 26, THE SECOND EDITION OF ADOPT A DEVELOPER – THE ULTIMATE MATCHMAKING EVENT BETWEEN ENTREPRENEURS AND DEVELOPERS – TOOK PLACE AT MICROSOFT LUXEMBOURG’S PREMISES. FOUNDERS OF STARTUPS AND IT PROFILES PITCHED AND NETWORKED IN A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE TO FIND A PROFESSIONAL MATCH. © Silicon Luxembourg
Julien Brunel (milepaKr)
Inouk Bourgon (Foobot)
Journée luxembourgeoise de la propriété intellectuelle 10ème édition
Propriété intellectuelle et Entrepreneuriat
26 AVRIL 2017 Conférence et Stands
inscription en ligne www.ipil.lu
Une initiative de
En partenariat avec :
chambre de commerce 7, rue Alcide de Gasperi L-2981 Luxembourg
Yves Lepage (NumericALL)
Julian Troian (Etix Everywhere)
Graduate students with Isabelle Schlesser (ADEM) and Brigitte Lepage (NumericALL)
Graduation Ceremony ON MARCH 23, THE STUDENTS OF THE NUMERICALL CODING SCHOOL IN LUXEMBOURG WHO ATTENDED THE FOUR-MONTH INTENSIVE PROGRAM WEBFORCE3 GRADUATED AT ETIX EVERYWHERE’S PREMISES IN THE PRESENCE OF ADEM’S DIRECTOR, ISABELLE SCHLESSER. © Marion Dessard
Brigitte Lepage (NumericALL) et Isabelle Schlesser (ADEM)
Laurent Probst (PwC Luxembourg)
Alan Kavanagh (Etix Everywhere)
Sylvie Le Gloan (NumericALL)
Launch and grow your startup in Luxembourg We can help you set up your business and develop your footprint in the industry. www.deloitte.com/lu/boost
ÂŠ 2017 Deloitte Tax & Consulting
eLfy Pins (Supermiro) et Marina Andrieu (WIDE)
Diane Tea (Vodafone)
Women Founders ON MARCH 2, A HUNDRED FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS – AND BORN TO BE! – GATHERED AT THE OFFICE TO LISTEN TO SEVEN GREAT SPEAKERS: LARISSA BEST (EQUILIBRE), ALEXANDRA FERNÁNDEZ RAMOS (TRAVELSIFY), MARIE GUERRE (THE CAR’TELL), GOSIA KRAMER (THE OFFICE), SHEENA LINDAHL (EMPACT), ELFY PINS (SUPERMIRO) AND MARINA ANDRIEU (WIDE). © Marion Dessard
Larissa Best (EquiLibre)
eLfy Pins (Supermiro) et Marina Andrieu (WIDE)
Alexandra Fernรกndez Ramos (Travelsify), Marie Guerre (The Car'tell) and eLfy Pins (Supermiro) Gosia Kramer (The Office), Stephanie Shaheen (US Embassy), Marina Andrieu (WIDE), eLfy Pins (Supermiro), Alexandra Fernรกndez Ramos (Travelsify), Larissa Best (Equilibre), Marie Guerre (The Car'tell) and Sheena Lindahl (Empact)
Sheena Lindahl (Empact)
46 OPEN INNOVATION
EVEN IF STARTUPS AND BIG GROUPS ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT WORLDS, THEY BENEFIT ENORMOUSLY FROM COLLABORATING WITH EACH OTHER. SINCE SUMMER LAST YEAR, THE LUXEMBOURG OPEN INNOVATION CLUB (LOIC) SUPPORTS COMPANIES IN LUXEMBOURG TO MULTIPLY THEIR INNOVATION EFFORTS BY MATCHING THEM WITH PROMISING STARTUPS AROUND THE WORLD. GROSBUSCH WAS ONE OF THE FIRST COMPANIES TO MAKE USE OF THIS PROGRAM, AND THEY SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH US. Itzel Lerma
47 OPEN INNOVATION
WHAT IS GROSBUSCH? The company Grosbusch is a family run business that exists for 100 years. The company specializes in importing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables in Luxembourg and the greater region. Apart from this traditional activity we are really relying on innovation in order to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. As a result we created a second company which is specialized in cutting fresh fruit, packing fruits and vegetables and we also created a service called Fruit@Office, which consists in delivering fruit boxes to all the offices situated in Luxembourg. Our two newest activities are called “Grosbusch Kids” and “Grosbusch Academy”. The first one’s goal is to re-educate children towards a healthier nutrition and gathering basic knowledge about fruits and vegetables. The second one has the same emphasis, but only for professionals who are dealing with fruits and vegetables on a daily basis (i.e. Chef, Supermarket Manager etc.)
WHAT´S YOUR ROLE IN THE COMPANY? My role is rather diversified and this is what I like so much about it. I am the director of the HR, Accountability, IT, Quality and Security Department as well as the Marketing Department. Besides these official tasks, I like to innovate and brainstorm on new market opportunities with my sister and my father and bringing them to life.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION AND DIGITAL FOR GROSBUSCH? Innovation has always been one of our strengths. While talking about innovation these days, one must consider the digital revolution. Even
though our type of business is very traditional, we know that every kind of digital support can be extremely useful to our organization in order to get new possibilities. Furthermore I personnally am a kind of geek when it comes to new technologies, which means that it is a great opportunity for myself to see what’s new out there.
WHAT MOVED YOU TO EXPLORE COLLABORATION WITH STARTUPS? The basic idea was to enhance customer experiences in the supermarkets with a focus on the fruit and vegetables department. Nowadays, the final customer has an overload of information in the supermarket which is often more disturbing for him than it should help. So I had the chance that LOIC gave me a hand of putting this demand onto their platform in order to get some constructive feedback and eventually startups with an interest of collaborating on this project.
WHAT HAS THIS EXPERIENCE OF OPEN INNOVATION GIVEN YOU? WHAT IS DIFFERENT? This experience was really rich, due to the many new insights I got in relation of our business. Furthermore the whole approach is really modern and new, so it was a pleasure of being part in such a new adventure. In my idea this is the way we will exchange ideas and eventual business opportunities in the future.
HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN SO FAR? The journey was really inspiring. The thing I liked most about it was that there were many nationalities participating and proposing their services. To give you an example: we had a Skype conference with
two young professionals from Peru, which had heard about Grosbusch in Luxembourg, due to LOIC’s platform. This is a perfect example to show how technologies can influence our way of operating these days. It is a small world and we are all connected, which enhances new business opportunities.
WHAT DID YOU DISCOVER AND LEARN? I was astonished by the impact that new technologies can and will have on our business and inspired by the motivation of these young people that are willing to put a lot of energy in inventing and developing new activities.
WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO COMPANIES DECIDING WHETHER TO COLLABORATE WITH STARTUPS OR NOT? I think that it make sense for every company to, at least, listen to startups and discover all the new possibilities that are popping up everywhere. From there on it is a personal choice whether to collaborate or not, but in my eyes it is a real opportunity that no company should miss.
WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT? SHOULD THEY DO SO? Every participant can expect the whole world, to participate in their brainstorming activity, since it is being shared on the world wide web. I personally think that this is an opportunity that every company should consider. As a conclusion, I can only highly recommend this new program of LOIC and encourage every company which puts weight on innovation, to participate in this modern approach of finding new solutions.
A Coffee with...
Cristina París García
49 COFFEE BREAK
Alefiya Sana Charles-Louis Machuron
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO LUXEMBOURG? There are two reasons people come to Luxembourg: work or love. I came here in 2013 to work for a multilateral development bank before leaving for Berlin one year later. I soon moved back to Luxembourg…this time, for love!
HOW DID YOU COME TO JOIN ARTEVIE? I was introduced to Christian (Lepsien, CEO and founder of artevie), and in just one coffee I immediately felt inspired by his enthusiasm, optimism and vision for the disruption of digital transformation. The startup world has always intrigued me and I was ready to explore something completely different.
YOU WOULDN’T AUTOMATICALLY ASSOCIATE “ARTEVIE” WITH HR. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE NAME. People always ask this question and we love that it’s such a talking point! With the name artevie (“art and life” in French), Christian wanted to connect human performance and creativity. Disrupting digital transformation can lead to a different model, but it’s important to keep an open and hopeful mind about change, especially in this unpredictable digital age.
A COFFEE WITH CRISTINA PARÍS GARCÍA IS NOT JUST COFFEE - IT’S A TOUR OF EUROPE. A NATIVE TO SOUTHERN SPAIN, LIFE AND WORK LED HER TO IRELAND, FRANCE AND GERMANY BEFORE BRINGING HER TO LUXEMBOURG. CRISTINA IS SENIOR BUSINESS MANAGER AT ARTEVIE, A LUXEMBOURG AND BERLIN-BASED SPECIALIZED HR CONSULTING FIRM FOCUSED ON BUILDING DIGITAL CAPABILITIES WITHIN CLIENT ORGANIZATIONS. WITH A PASSION FOR ART, CULTURE AND FOOD, CRISTINA FOUNDED AND MANAGES MUS – MAGAZINE URBAN SEVILLE –, A UNIQUE WAY TO STAY CONNECTED TO HER HOMETOWN AS WELL AS SHARE ALLTIME FAVORITES AND NEW DISCOVERIES.
DOES ARTEVIE FOCUS SOLELY ON RECRUITMENT SOLUTIONS? No, and that is what gives artevie its unique spin. We specialize in IT and can provide our clients with access to a sizable database for knowledge research and consultancy. Through this, they are connected with an expert best suited to answer their questions related to digitalization. Pay-as-you-go bespoke advisory might be a good way to describe it! On the recruitment side, in addition to permanent positions, we find temps, freelancers and interim managers for our clients (in record time!) on a flexible basis. Oddly enough, part of my role involves marketing Luxembourg as a great city to live and work in, and reassuring creative candidates that it’s not just-another-finance-hub. I also encourage clients to incorporate a more holistic approach to recruitment and navigate them away from more traditional methods.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO RECRUITMENT SUCCESS FOR STARTUPS AND WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE MAIN CHALLENGES? Luxembourg knows innovation is more than just a “hot topic”; it’s key to creating a prosperous nation. I believe innovation and entrepreneurship are slowly but steadily positioning themselves at the core of the national agenda.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ECOSYSTEMS YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SO FAR (THE US. MEXICO, LATIN AMERICA, ETC.) AND LUXEMBOURG’S ECOSYSTEM? I believe 80% of recruitment success in startups lies in the founders’ commitment to being involved in the process from start to finish. I would say there are three main challenges: lack of visibility in the early phases with a dependence on word-of-mouth and social media; it can be tough to stay on top of admin, follow-up and feedback despite being an essential part of brand development; and lastly, ensuring that startups are matching the expectations indicated on job descriptions. After all, the best marketing investment will be the people who join your team.
MUS* IS A BEAUTIFUL HOMAGE TO YOUR HOMETOWN. IS THERE A THRIVING STARTUP SCENE IN SEVILLE? Up until a decade ago, part of Seville’s charm lay in the fact that it had remained immutable to trends for so long. The city lacked innovation and was somewhat isolated in this respect. Now, however, there has been a surge in emerging “scenes” and initiatives in areas from handcrafts to food to technology, and spaces dedicated to innovation such as RES (www.espaciores.org). There is certainly no lack of talent in Seville; just limited infrastructure, less of an international mindset and little access to capital. Hmmm, everything Luxembourg has…Perhaps I need to start contemplating a bridge between the two ecosystems…
*MAGAZINE URBAN SEVILLE WWW.MAGAZINEURBANSEVILLE.COM
ART IS ONE OF YOUR PASSIONS. WHO ARE THE LUXEMBOURGISH ARTISTS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT? Michel Majerus is definitely one of them. He was fascinated by technology and the internet, especially by the instant dissemination of images and information on a global scale. He died tragically in a plane crash at just 35 years old, but his eclectic and innovative style continues to be relevant. Sophie Jung is another artist already turning heads and certainly one-towatch.
BEST COFFEE IN LUXEMBOURG? Bloom for espresso. Ca(fé)sino for cappuccino.
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR. One-way ticket!
REFUGA Denmark & International Fom investor trips to India to meeting with entrepreneurs in North Korea, and food lovers workations in Italy to climbing Kilimanjaro, Refuga’s travel experiences bring together likeminded individuals with a positive mindset looking for adventure, connection and an inspiring environment to “get things done”. The perfect workation solution for both aspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs.
SIDE STORY UK SideStory connects culturally curious travelers with London “insiders” who curate unique experiences and ways to explore the city, whether it’s through poetry, urban art or even...magic! A bespoke alternative to the usual walking tours or hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses. And no giant sunflowers, umbrellas or flags in sight we suspect...
TRAVELSIFY Luxembourg & USA Describing itself as “the world’s first Hotel DNA TM content platform that characterizes every hotel by a unique weighted sequence of experience-defining metadata”, Travelsify enables travelers to select the right hotel experience based on their personal preferences and trustworthy, user-specific data.
UNPACK USA WE HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE DEMANDING WHEN IT COMES TO TRAVEL, ESPECIALLY WHEN CHOICE IS ABUNDANT AND THERE ARE ALWAYS EASIER, SMARTER, MORE EFFICIENT AND MORE AUTHENTIC WAYS TO DISCOVER THE WORLD. FROM WIFI SOLUTIONS TO WORKATIONS WITH A TWIST, LET US TAKE YOU ON A TOUR OF 10 STARTUPS READY TO ENHANCE YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE.
BONAPPETOUR Singapore & Worldwide Bonappetour is a global community marketplace which connects hungry travelers with local home-chefs who invite visitors to sample typical cuisine at their dining room tables. What a delicious concept bringing together passionate hosts with a thirst for sharing and guests looking for an unforgettable and authentic way to taste the world.
CITYMAPPER UK Millions of travelers and locals across 39 cities worldwide would be at a loss (and lost) these days without award-winning urban navigation app, Citymapper. Founded in 2011, its unceasing popularity has taken it from strength to strength. Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in December last year, CEO and founder Azmat Yusuf hinted that 2017 is the year they will “actually make a business out of it”.
LOUNGE BUDDY USA Gone are the days when airport lounge access is only granted to elite multi-mile frequent travelers. With LoungeBuddy, anyone can instantly purchase the luxury of an “airport oasis” to premium snack away while they sit out a delay, freshen up during a long layover, or enjoy super-fast WiFi to get some work done away from the chaos of the airport terminal.
Imagine impeccably packed luggage arriving at your destination before you. Imagine not having to wait for your toothbrush to zip up your carry-on. Now imagine unPack: a startup which arranges delivery of a curated suitcase of fresh clothes, accessories and toiletries directly to your hotel or rental accommodation. (Imagine being that lazy. Sorry, couldn’t resist).
VOYAGE & SOAP UK Recently launched brand Voyage & Soap is a pioneering platform which helps users to rediscover themselves through curated wellness-travel and mindfulness. In addition to powerful bite-sized meditation guides for jetsetters and top nutrition tips from the founder herself, there are free wellness guides to six of the hottest destinations across the globe. The app is also geared towards companies that can make the most zen investment in their staff by subscribing them to productivity-boosting mindfulness.
WIFFINITY Spain Wiffinity is a mobile platform that gives you access to thousands of WiFi hotspots in locations worldwide. Even without connectivity, you can find the nearest hotspots thanks to an interactive map. Perfect for staying connected wherever you are in the world…and happy news for those terrified of roaming charges!
WHEREFOR USA Wherefor is a startup that (literally) puts your budget first showing you just how far your money can take you. You enter your budget for flights and accommodation and Wherefor’s software analyzes the thousands of options within the reaches of your purse strings. The startup, focused on making travel accessible to everyone, also provides fee-free financing for trips.
wherefor.com Alefiya Sana
MADE WITH LOVE AND PAPER.
The Startup Magazine