Entrepreneurship9 September 20193 min

Flanders DC and Start it @KBC share a similar mindset

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For any entrepreneur in the creative sector, it’s almost impossible not to have heard of Flanders District of Creativity, also known as Flanders DC. Axel Gekiere (AdShot) is one of those entrepreneurs, which is why we invited him to the lovely patio of the Flanders DC office in Leuven, for a talk on ambition, creativity and technology with managing director Pascal Cools.

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Axel Gekiere is the co-founder of Adshot, a virtual marketplace that connects influencers who create gaming videos for Twitch and YouTube, with potential advertisers. Gaming videos have become more popular than Netflix and HBO combined, which makes it a great channel for advertisers to reach millennials. AdShot is the platform that helps those two parties find each other.

A boost for the creative sector

The gaming industry is just one of the many creative sectors Flanders DC focuses on. “Basically, we support ambitious entrepreneurs in all creative sectors, from design, fashion and gaming to architecture, film, media et cetera”, Pascal explains. “We help them out with advice and hand them tools to use in their daily business operations. We also try to support their international promotion, by attending international events like Gamescom, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) or Salone del Mobile in Milan, to name a few. We want Flemish brands to be present at the most important international events to promote their products.”

Flanders DC also hosts a bunch of own events, where people can get inspired by new content, new insights and new methodologies. Their biggest event so far was Supernova in Antwerp, in September of 2018. “In just nine months, we set up a tech festival that welcomed 35.000 people in 4 days”, Pascal says with a smile on his face. “On 14 locations in the whole Eilandje area, we showed people how technology is shaping the world today and how it will do so in the future. We’re extremely proud to have accomplished something of this scale together with our partner Scale-Ups.Eu.”

“Start it @KBC believes in people”

Start it @KBC and Flanders DC have been partners since the beginning. Why was it so interesting for Pascal to join forces with Start it @KBC? “When I first heard about the idea of Start it @KBC, I immediately said to myself: this is something we need in Belgium. A big player like KBC putting all its weight behind an incubator, can prove to people that starting up a business isn’t just only for the happy few. Start it @KBC embodies the idea that everyone can become an entrepreneur, as long as they have an idea and the will and the competence to succeed.”

“Start it @KBC is open to people with an idea”, says Pascal. “From the very beginning, they said: if we believe in people, we’ll give them a chance. While other incubators may look at someone’s achievements or clients, Start it @KBC welcomes people with a good idea. To me, that was really awesome. I still feel like there’s a similar mindset between Flanders DC and Start it @KBC, a similar vibe. Creative people feel at home at Start it @KBC, that’s fantastic to see.”