Interview with Louis-Philippe Broze & Florian De Boeck
What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?
At Spentys, we strive to revolutionise the orthopaedic immobilisation device industry by introducing 3D technologies. We want the industry to shift from traditional design processes to new ones which includes 3D technologies – think scanning, modelling and printing. That’s why we’ve developed our three-step solution, all centralised on a web platform. The Spentys solution allows mass-customisation of orthopaedic immobilisation devices, while considering and implementing the medical expertise of health professionals.
To make the solution accessible to the market, Spentys has developed and clinically tested 3D printed orthopaedic immobilisation devices – plasters, splints, and whatnot – on various limbs. The end results are water-resistant, airy, light, custom-made and completely recyclable devices. So all in all, way more comfort for the patient!
List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.
What we particularly cherish in Brussels is its diversity: it’s not a big region in terms of size compared to other major entrepreneurial hubs, but we still have access to a very diverse micro-market, where citizen and corporate needs may vary a lot. This can be explained through various factors, such as Brussels being the capital of the EU and thus welcoming people from around the globe. Or the fact that it’s a bilingual region.
It appears that Brussels attracts a lot of foreign talents. Specific to Spentys, we have been able to meet our HR needs quickly with awesome, skilled young profiles. This can be explained by Brussels’ high quality of life in and amongst its citizens.
Brussels is a medium-sized city, making it easy to create a diverse network within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Also, as an entrepreneur, you can find a broad network with all the necessary expertise quickly.
What are the three biggest challenges you faced when starting up your business?
Bureaucracy and administration can sometimes be a pain in the … As an entrepreneur, you’d like to spend your time focussing on the core of your business, and not on filling your taxes, for example.
A second major aspect when starting your business is time management: you must be able to allocate your time to meaningful tasks which will help your business grow. So, you need to learn how to identify them from other tasks.
And finally, managing a team – especially if you’ve never done it before, or there are varying opinions within your team. You must learn patience.
hub.brussels have been our entry point into Brussel’s entrepreunarial ecosystem.
How did you benefit from hub.brussels’ expertise in the conception of your business?
In various ways; the main one being the fact that we are part of lifetech.brussels, hub.brussels’ health tech cluster. This gave us the opportunity to participate in the six-month long MedTech Accelerator initiative when we first founded Spentys and showed us a global vision of what it would be like to introduce a new medical device on the EU market. hub.brussels also helped us reach public financing opportunities, through grants and convertible loans. To sum up, they have been our entry point into Brussels’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.
List three pieces of advice you would give to the budding entrepreneur.
We’re both budding entrepreneurs ourselves, since we started Spentys only two years ago. With our short experience, we can give the following points of advice:
Stay focussed on one main goal and the necessary steps to achieve them. You can pivot, but always make sure to consult with experts beforehand.
Do not underestimate the time required to raise funds, and always raise more than you need. This will give you more time for the next round of negotiation.
And finally, you must learn to listen to the people around you and be open to criticism, even if it’s “your” start-up. Listen and turn others’ remarks and comments into constructive criticism.
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