Startup Weekend Changemakers Brussels

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Changemakers Brussels

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Vlerick Brussels
Bolwerklaan/Avenue du Boulevard 21
Entrance via Manhattan Shopping Centre (on the right of N°21). Take the lift to the 2nd floor.
Brussels, Belgium 1210

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Startup Weekend Changemakers Brussels 13-15/11

Do you have a business idea that has the potential to challenge the status quo? Are you ready to challenge yourself by finding solutions to help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals? Do you want to expand your knowledge and discover the key startup skills?

If so….. Come and join the first Startup Weekend Changemakers in Belgium! Together with an awesome group of people, you'll  work during 54 hours on the development of some disruptive and sustainable businesses that contribute to solve problems faced by our society. Some of the topics covered are: Health, waste management,
 education, social inclusion, unemployment, mobility, access to energy, technology and much more.

At Startup Weekend Changemakers , you'll combine the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to create positive impact on society. You  also will:
  • Pitch your idea (if you want to; it's an open stage format)
  • Form a team around an idea and make it real
  • Get coached by some of the toughest industry experts
  • Present your business model to a panel of expert judges and win amazing prizes
  • Share and connect with like-minded, passionate individuals
  • Test the limits of sleeplessness ;)     
Check out the Startup Weekend trailer here and a first-timer's experience here.    

Interested? Join Belgium’s most diverse talented crowd of developers, designers, marketers, students, and other professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset that are willing to push boundaries to create change. These 54 hours will offer you a fantastic opportunity to be the change you wish to see in the world.  

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend are weekend events where startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! With over 1.600 events in over 700 cities and 120 countries, Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals and teams to found successful startups.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: on Friday evening, you are invited to present your best idea and inspire others to join your team. Of course you don’t have to present your own idea. You may not be the next Elon Musk but you certainly possess valuable skills that other teams will be in need of. Once teams have been formed around the most convincing ideas, you will focus on business model creation, product designing, prototyping, coding and market validation.

Throughout the weekend, the teams will be supported by mentors and coaches, who are experts in their fields. The weekend culminates on Sunday evening with presentations in front of a top-class jury composed of entrepreneurial leaders and Changemakers. This is another opportunity for critical feedback. You can learn more about the  coaches and judges of Startup Weekend Changemakers below.

Winners will receive awesome awards along with prizes such as free design resources, free access to softwares, a spot in an incubator program to boost their startup and a space in a co-working place.

Practical details

  • Standard ticket: 80€
  • Early birds (sold out!): 60€   
Price includes food, drinks, coaching, office material and much more.

The event will be held in English.

The venue is quite central so there will be a lot of hostel options around too. Check out and for hostel options, and for apartments.

If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring the event, shoot us a message at We can’t wait to meet you all there!

 Team SW Changemakers Brussels


Friday November 13th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Welcome speech by Michel Duchateau and introduction of the organizing team

6:30 pm
Time to Pitch!
1 minute pitches

7:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know participants

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work until 2:00 AM

Saturday November 14th

8:30 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Begin Work
Coaches will pass along between 10:30 AM and 12:30 AM to guide you and challenge your ideas

12:30 pm

1:30 pm
Start working again
Other coaches will be available between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM

5:00 pm
Workshop Pitching
Come and learn how to pitch your idea in front of the jury on Sunday night. Workshop facilitated by Régis Pradal

7:30 pm

8:30 pm
Back to work
You may stay and work until 2:00 AM

Sunday November 15th

8:30 am
Some more hard work

12:30 pm

1:30 pm
Working, yet again

2:30 pm
Technical presentations
Each team can rehearse his presentation in front of a small jury.

4:00 pm
Hand in your presentations

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:15 pm
Panel Discussion
Matthieu Dardaillon from Ticket for Change and Sandrino Graceffa from SMart will exchange thoughts about being a Changemaker

8:30 pm
Walking Dinner & Networking

10:00 pm
Go Home!


Matthieu Dardaillon
Founder of Ticket for Change

Matthieu Dardaillon is the initiator and co-founder of Ticket for Change, a social start-up aiming at activating talents to change the society through social entrepreneurship. With Ticket for Change, he designs and organizes life changing experiences to transform dreamers - who want to make a difference in the world but don't know how - into doers. Concretely, it takes the form of Tours de France, MOOC and corporate trainings. In 18 months, 20,000 people have been reached in 160 countries, enabling the creation of more than 350 social business projects. Ticket for Change has recently been laureate of the Google Impact Challenge France. 

Matthieu Dardaillon, 26, is graduated from ESCP Europe, with a specialization in Alternative Management at HEC Paris, and is co-author of the book "A la rencontre des entrepreneurs qui changent le monde" (Rue de l'Echiquier, 2014).

Jean-Marc Poncelet
Founder BetterStreet

After graduating from Business School IAG, Jean-Marc Poncelet started his career in 1998 as consultant for KPMG. In 2000, he quits his beautiful salary and company car to join friends in a garage creating a startup called Smartizens = Smart Citizens. They wanted to offer higher schools of e-learning and student management solutions. It turned out they spent too much money and schools did not have enough money at that time. Two years later, he joins Proximus, a stable and growing company. Later on, Proximus is bought over by Belgacom. Jean-Marc climbs the corporate ladder, ends up managing 10+ people in marketing, but grows unhappy. In 2012, he participates to Startup Weekend Liège and creates BetterStreet. He resigns from Belgacom one week later and starts building his team. Together, they join Nestup – a startup incubator, continue building solutions and get first customers. BetterStreet has now more than 30 customers in Belgium and France.  We are far from nirvana but 3 people are living out of BetterStreet.  

Régis Pradal
Pitching Workshop Facilitator

Régis has two main passions: social entrepreneurship and empowering people through coaching, training and teaching. He co-founded InternsGoPro, a social enterprise boosting youth employment in Europe, creator of the “European Label for Quality Internships” with the support of 20 NGOs in 8 countries and the endorsement of two European Commissioners. As a trainer, Régis focuses on building social business models, pitching interpersonal communication, storytelling, design thinking and ideation." Previously, he co-organised Startup Weekend Brussels 2014, worked as a Social Business Consultant for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, assisted a Member of the European Parliament on development aid issues and held the position of assistant researcher at the LSE on social innovation and social entrepreneurship studies.

Event Judges

Miguel Meuleman
Professor Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School

Miguel Meuleman is a professor Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School (Belgium) and Imperial College Business School (London, UK). Miguel Meuleman studies how entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs successfully identify and exploit new opportunities. He looks at different aspects of the new venture creation process: opportunity identification, business model generation, managing uncertainty and financing new ventures. As a member of the investment committee of the Ark Angel Fund, he evaluates new venture ideas on a daily basis and has experience with the obstacles in the new venture financing process. He also launched the Platform for Entrepreneurial Buyouts to promote entrepreneurial acquisitions as an avenue to entrepreneurial success.

What you are not supposed to know about him: He has beaten the world record cycling upside down when he was a teenager. He also organized the World Record Government Formation in 2010 that ended with a big event in Ghent.    

Roland Vaxelaire
Impact Investor & Founder of Responsibility Management

Roland Vaxelaire is Founder and Managing Director of Responsibility Management, a consulting firm that supports organizations in applying the principle of “Tensegrity”, which refers to the ability of an organization to build on its tensions and engage in its ecosystem in order to ensure a sustainable performance. Roland also manages his own Impact Investment Company, Cofimatra, where he coaches startups like: Droh!me, BePark, The Brussels Beer Project, Durabilis and MymicroInvest. In addition, he is member of the board of companies like Spadel, Mérieux NutriScience and Doucet/Salvecco.
In the past, he held senior management positions at Nestlé, Danone and Carrefour. Among others, he was the Quality, Responsibility & Risk Management Director for the Carrefour Group and President of Carrefour Belgium. He also managed and was President of France Alter Eco for a couple of years.

What you are not supposed to know about him:
He continues his reflection on sustainable development and alternative management practices by engaging in two associations: Philosophy & Management and Stand Up for Europe, which promotes the creation of the United States of Europe.

Virginie Samyn
Managing Director at Ashoka Belgium

After receiving a degree in Business Engineering (ICHEC) and a post-graduate degree in communication (UCL), Virginie worked for the “Petits Riens” association, a pioneer of the social economy in Belgium, for 5 years. Virginie started working as Deputy Director in the textile division, before moving onto her role as Head of Communications. During this time, she conceived and developed an annual fashion show, "second hand, second life" and oversaw its success for 5 years. Through her role as member on the Board of Directors, she contributed to the successful re-launch of the association both with its image and finances. Virginie was later appointed to lead a Belgian SME dealing in fair-trade crafts, where she was dedicated in successfully restructuring and enhancing the business. Since September 2012, as Ashoka Belgium Representative, Virginie has devoted all her energy to the development of the Ashoka Belgium programmes. It is now time for her to tackle a new challenge, which involves the creation of a foundation concerning poverty in Belgium.

What you are not supposed to know about her: She used to be a paragliding lover.

Piet Colruyt
Impact Investor

Piet Colruyt is an impact investor promoting Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing and Shared Value. In 2012, he founded Impact Capital with the will of creating win-win situations for all stakeholders of a project (clients, employees, shareholders, suppliers, neighbours, mankind, etc.). He hence co-founded the SI² Fund, an impact investment fund which mission is to generate high social impact and a fair financial return through sustainable investments in social enterprises. The SI² Fund contributed to the development of projects like Fit Class (school-based fitness centers to encourage healthy living) and Boobs-‘n-Burps (encouraging breastfeeding). He also co-founded Re-Vive, a fund financing brownfield projects. Further, Piet is Director in the Colruyt Group, a leading retailer in Belgium, as well as Director in Korys NV, the Colruyt-family holding. Piet studied philosophy, engineering in architecture and corporate finance. He started his career as an architect, making supermarkets more energy-efficient and sustainable.

What you are not supposed to know about him: He likes ironing and has invested in an organic massage salon.

Céline Bouton
Co-founder at SenseCube Brussels

Céline Bouton is passionate about social economics and has been working in different structures of that field in Belgium and abroad (Canada, Philippines, Thailand, France). She worked for 4 years for MicroStart, a microcredit startup that provides micro loans and trainings to people with more ideas than financial means. She helped about 150 project holders to launch their company. Three years ago, Céline initiated the MakeSense community in Brussels, an international movement dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs solve their challenges and is the co-founder of SenseCube Brussels. Through active design-thinking, methodological workshops and networking events, she wants to promote innovation and others ways to produce, create or consume and set up the examples. She thinks we all are changemakers and we simply need to be connected to each other and to our local environment to act globally. 

What you are not supposed to know about her
: She is passionate about music, loves to go to concerts and plays several instruments as a dilettante. She has been to her first show at the age of 12 old and once she organized a rock festival with 16 bands!

Cedric Donck
Business Angel

Cedric Donck is an experienced entrepreneur, who has launched various startups in the internet and communication sectors. He has sold some of these startups to major international communications groups, such as Omnicom and WPP. Since 2011, he is a professional Business Angel and has invested in over a dozen internet companies in Brussels, Paris and Madagascar. He is also a professor of Entrepreneurship at Solvay Business School, UBI and ISCAM, where he teaches business modelling, startup strategy and SME financing. In addition, Cedric founded two NGO’s (NewcoPark and Adanso), which promote entrepreneurship in Africa. Finally, he is the author of the book Pimento Map which presents a straight forward method to analyze Business Models.

When he drives his motorbike on the black roads, he loves to ride without helmet. It's dangerous but he loves that feeling of freedom so much...

Marieke Huysentruyt
Founder at Oksigen Lab

Marieke Huysentruyt is co-founder and partner responsible for R&D strategy and activities at Oksigen Lab. Marieke is an Assistant Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (SITE) and a Faculty Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her main research fields are poverty, and behavioural and organisational economics. Marieke has a Bio-Engineering Degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, an MSc. in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. She has been invited to spend time at Harvard University and the Santa Fe Institute as a visiting scholar, and collaborated with numerous development NGOs e.g. in Kenya, Mali, the Netherlands and the UK. Marieke has been awarded various academic awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship, British Council Scholarship, and LSE-Columbia University Collaborative Research Grant.

Julie Foulon
Co-founder, MolenGeek & CEO Girleek.TECH

Julie Foulon is a community builder and the founder of, a platform which addresses the employment gap of women and minorities in the new technologies and digital sectors. During the past 3 years, she was the Managing Director of BetaGroup, the largest tech community of Belgium, and was organizing networking events, gathering every month +300 people, during which startups were pitching their products and services in front of the Belgian Tech ecosystem. Today, she’s the community manager of Start it @kbc Brussels, one of the 6 incubators that compose Start it @kbc, the biggest incubator of Belgium.

Coaches and Mentors

Laurent Mikolajczak
Founder of & Startup mentor

Laurent Mikolajczak is founder of, a social impact startup that helps governments of low-income countries to better manage their health financing system by delivering web applications and services. Laurent also cofounded or actively participated in several startups, such as, Djengo/Djump, and He is a freelance web starters coach and eMarketing advisor. He also manages web development projects and teams as well as web technical architectures. He likes helping people within projects or organizations to think outside their usual frame of reference. He enjoys focusing on people, team and startups strategic or day-to-day problems, and helping them to find creative solutions. After a master in Business Management and IT, he started his career in the consulting world (IBM & Arthur Andersen) and then worked for several years as a web developer and a web project manager. 

His super power
: Active listening!

Loïc Bar
Founder of Opinum & Mentor at The Founder Institute

Loïc Bar is CEO of Opinum, an award-winning high-growth SME in ICTs developping OpiSense, a solution to see where to act to spend less on utility consumption. He created his first company in 2008 just after finishing school. Quickly, he had the opportunity to collaborate with well-known company like McKinsey&Company, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal and Schréder Group. During his different projects, he had the chance to work in New York, London and even Kathmandou. To help him to develop the company, he teamed with others. This collaboration resulted in the creation of Opinum (previously The Smart Company) project in early 2011. Conscious that energy needs to be used with increasing efficiency, he decided to focus the company development on technologies that could help companies better manage energy consumption. Quickly, the company experienced first success thanks to the usage of agile and creative methods.

Loïc Bar is also involved in social organization like The Cleanweb Initiative helping entrepreneurs leverage information technology to drive massive improvements in global sustainability. He also organizes the (NASA) Space Apps Challenge every year in Belgium. At 27, he is also the author of 4 technical books published by the prestigious Parisian publisher Micro Application, speaker at TEDx and finalist of the "Grand Prix Wallon de l'Entrepreneuriat 2015".

His super power
: Curiosity!

Vincent De Coninck
Coach Social Entrepreneurs

Vincent De Coninck works for Oksigen Lab, an incubator and a research lab for social entrepreneurship. His job consists in coaching social enterpreneurs and he also coordinates the BENISI project, a European funded program aiming at scaling social innovation. He is also a serial entrepreneur combining sales and marketing expertise with personal convictions. He set up, the first online webshop for Belgian quality wines (sold in 2010) and co-founded Biod­yv­i­no (previously Vino Mundo), spe­cial­ized in import and dis­tri­bu­tion of organ­ic and fair trade wines. Vino Mundo was a pioneer in the field of organic and fair trade wines and has been rewarded with Be Fair Award for most innovative fair trade company. Vincent is also the co-founder of the Bel­gian net­work of social entre­pre­neurs, Positive Entrepreneurs Network.

His super power: Using authenticity, humility and personal entrepreneurial experience to inspire and activate social entrepreneurs in order to achieve result.

Olivier Colot
Entrepreneur & Startup booster

With a background in both Engineering (specialised in Physics) and Business (as a former Strategy Consultant), Olivier founded web startups (e.g. WiseRadar, and happened to become a full-stack Rails/Angular developer). He created two major music festivals, a marketing company (sold) and is currently working on an incubator for electronic music artists called FTRSND (himself playing as Blackcolors). He also helps entrepreneurs in boosting their projects with a unique active/systemic style linking strategy, people, technology and creativity.

His super power
Systemic maker linking business, people and technology

Jérôme Sedyn
Creative Designer

Jerome is skilled in both UX and UI design. Jerome started his career as web designer and developed skills in sketching, illustration, storyboarding, graphical design, brochures and printed layout. He now mostly focuses on Product Design for his new startup Inkut Lab (high quality printing and lasercutting services), delivering top quality thanks to his strong user centric attitude and creativity. Dare challenging Jerome on (UX) Design issues and your project will be a success.

His super power: Always look on the bright side of life : Python... Monthy Python!

Laurent Hermoye
Founder of Imagilys

Laurent Hermoye is a Belgian entrepreneur, CEO of the neurological imaging company Imagilys, which he founded in 2005. Starting from scratch, and against all odds, he led his company to a strategic position in the niche market of advanced brain imaging. Through its software suite, Imagilys helps its customers, worldwide, to improve the diagnosis and to optimize the treatment of the most severe neurological diseases. Laurent's entrepreneurial methods are inspired from the latest American trends, based on agile methods, customer funding, and continuous improvement of soft skills. He has been riding horses for more than 30 years.

Joelle Boutefeu
Starter Coach at Securex

Joelle has been working in the entrepreneurship sector for the last 10 years and is a starter coach since 2012. She regularly advises entrepreneurs on how to apply their value proposition/idea to the needs and opportunities of the marketplace, on how to define their target, and on how to grow on their market. With her legal background, she pays special attention to the legal procedures and formalities needed when launching a business: permits, licenses, contracts with third parties, General Terms and Conditions, partnership agreements, patents and trademarks, etc. She is also the happy mother of two and practices theatre in her spare time.

Her super power
:  Using humour to relieve stress, increase communication and enhance motivation of entrepreneurs. According to Joelle, "it is about choosing to see the funny in life instead of the frustrating."

Annissia Tcherniaeff

Anissia Tcherniaeff is 28 years old, Belgian and currently living in Paris. She studied at Solvay at ULB in Brussels. Once she graduated in 2010, she directly co-founded a first startup named "Djengo" (B2B carpooling company). 
They pivoted the idea and together with her team they launched "Djump" in 2013. They piloted the project in Brussels in April and she has decided to move to Paris to launch the city in September. 
Djump managed to launch 3 cities (Brussels, Paris, Lyon), activate 2500 drivers and realize 4000 rides per week. Unfortunately, authorities decided to forbid Djump 4 months ago :( They had to stop the activity a few days before their second fundraising. Sad story. Now Anissia is working at Chauffeur-Privé that has acquired Djump database until she wil launch something new !

Her super power : To come up with 1 new business idea every day !

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Changemakers Brussels team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Premier Sponsorship



Friendly Partners

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Brussels is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Lauren
  • Lucas
  • Marie-Amélie
  • Julien
  • Kristina
  • Lucie
  • Geoffroy
  • Chris


Michel Duchateau
Partner at Convidencia

Innovation coach, Partner & Chief Innovation Officer at Convidencia,

Michel supports organisations and entrepreneurs developing cooperation, agility, innovation and a sustainable performance. Actively involved in multiple startup communities, he coaches startups and animates hackathons and conferences. He collaborates with accelerators, incubators, business schools and public institutions in Europe.

Michel is Facilitator at Startup Weekend, author of the Hackathon Canvas and co-author of ParticipAgile.

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