Eight Belgian start-ups, along with 3 companies involved in WSL, the Walloon incubator for engineering sciences, and UCL student winners of the Walloon Region StarTech awards, flew the Belgian flag at the TIE conference (TieCon) in Santa Clara, California this May 13th to 16th. The TIE network (The Indus Entrepreneurs) was founded in the US in 1992 by a group of entrepreneurs, business owners and seasoned professionals, all of Indian ethnicity. Their aim was, and still is, to foster entrepreneurship through, among others, networking, mentoring and training.
At the current time, the network has some 15,000 members spread over 18 countries, including India and Australia, but also Belgium via TIE Brussels of which AWEX (Walloon Agency for Exports and Foreign Investment) is one of the founding members.
“TIECon is one of the largest conferences to bring together Silicon Valley’s diverse, dynamic, and expert ecosystem. Every year, the global gathering dedicated to techno-entrepreneurs attracts an international audience of several thousand visitors, 2014 holding the record with 4,200 visitors,” explained AWEX and WSL officials at the end of this year’s Californian event. The 2015 conference enabled a number of Belgian entrepreneurs to not only meet and pitch to local investors but also to discover the determining factors, in particular the psychological factors, required to succeed in the US market.
Among the companies that have particularly benefited from this experience are BCnet, a website which aggregates ads for second-hand products and which is currently experiencing rapid growth; Phasya, a Liège University spin-off that has developed software to monitor drowsiness; and MT-C, a provider of data protection solutions. All three are members of the WSL incubator. Andaman 7 (a peer-to-peer web platform), Byte Paradigm (debugging software for programmable logistics circuits), Visupedia (like a visual Wikipedia) and Dynamic Flows (software for managing emails in Outlook) also made the trip to California.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)