Impossible Futures Berlin Trip

Tuesday, 26 April 2022, 17:41 | Category : International trip, Masters in General Management
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What will the future look like in these times of disruptive change? Within our – Impossible Futures – trip to Berlin, we were provided with inspiration on how we can leverage major societal challenges and key trends to become future-proof and create more effective organisations.

During the week, we had 8 inspiring keynotes, ranging from rethinking refugee camps to autonomous driving and the future of work. We also had the chance to visit some big corporates preparing for the “big shift”, such as Porsche Digital creating technologically advanced business solutions, Siemens developing innovative technologies for Smart Cities or McKinsey having an “experience studio” where their clients can experience the changes they seek for their company. But also for example Gorillas, Fraunhofer HHI, Circular Berlin, REDI School, Flying Health… and many more were part of the company visit list!

One of the company visits that was personally a highlight for me (and where I was very much looking forward to) was Gorillas, a German grocery delivery company. Before the visit, I just wanted to know: HOW? How could this company promise to deliver your groceries within 10 minutes? How were they able to become one of the companies with the fastest rising value? And how were they able to charge the same price as in the supermarket? The company impressed us with its vision for the future of retail and the tremendous growth they have been experiencing over the past 2 years. We even had the opportunity to present them some ideas on how and where they could further develop and expand.

As the program of the trip ended on Friday, our class group stayed longer for a weekend to discover the vibrant cultural scene, intriguing museums, cosy food halls and impressive historical buildings of Berlin. This resulted in some beautiful images!

From the future of food, the future of mobility to the future of medicine, this trip truly inspired us and we got to know Berlin as a city that blends creativity, technology and culture!Written by Habi Sow (Master in General Management student)

 

 

Bootcamp: Retail and Marketing of FMCG

Wednesday, 13 April 2022, 16:44 | Category : Bootcamp, Masters, Masters in General Management
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Interested in sport business or supply chain, or more interested in gaining knowledge within the field of healthcare for example? Within the elective part of the Master’s program, every student has the opportunity to deep-dive into one chosen domain within a three weeks during bootcamp.

Having a strong interest in the world of fast-moving consumer goods, I was very excited to embark on this bootcamp. During these weeks, we were provided with insights related to new trends, challenges and the different stakeholders within the field of marketing and retail of fast-moving consumer goods.

Given that Vlerick really wants to provide us with hands-on experience, we had the opportunity to solve some cases for both big, well-known companies and smaller, local ones. Provided with some fundamental marketing knowledge by the House of Marketing, L’Oréal was the first to come up with the question to present them an unconventional solution disrupting the beauty sector. From breakaway products and services that empowered inclusive beauty, over sustainable beauty solutions to the next technological revolutions, the Vlerick students have blown the L’Oréal experts away with innovation and creativity!

Next up was Delhaize: using the marketing fundamentals we learned in class and some creativity, we brainstormed about ways to attract Delhaize’s future customers or new strategic partnerships. We also got in touch with a different type of business innovation that is gaining momentum: the packaging-free supermarket. The story of the packaging-free supermarket Content located in Leuven did not only confront us with the impact of the products we are used to buy with packaging, but also challenged us to come up with ways to increase their client portfolio and broaden the store concept.

Impressed by Tony’s Chocolonely’s mission to make the chocolate industry 100% slave free, we ended the bootcamp with some ideas to create brand awareness for the company and its products in the Benelux, taking into account their “craziness about chocolate, seriousness about people” mantra.

I really enjoyed the bootcamp as it pushed me to think out of the box, think critically and question the status quo. Moreover, I am pretty sure I further refined and improved these skills and I am equipped with the fundamental knowledge needed to kick off my career within the FMCG sector!

Written by Habi Sow (Master in General Management student).

Ca Va Savon wins Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship fund!

Thursday, 24 March 2022, 11:13 | Category : Event, Masters, Masters in Financial Management
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An entrepreneurial spirit flows through our school – inspiring our students to think bigger, connect with the most up-to-the-minute approaches, and achieve. Because of this spirit, we want to help as many of our students and alumni to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams as we can. Which is why we set up the Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship Fund – to give them the opportunity to secure funding to take their venture to the next level.

One of this year’s winners was Masters in Financial Management student Kobe Stienaers together with his partner who came up with the concept of Ca va Savon. Of course, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass to ask them about the process of setting up their startup!

 

How did you come up with the idea for ÇA VA SAVON?
We already started the idea behind ÇA VA SAVON a long while ago when we wanted to
create our own soap for personal use. While we were trying to figure out how to do it, we
found that water was the main ingredient. When we then realized that 80% of our favorite
soap was basically just water. It took us another year before we launched ÇA VA SAVON, by
participating in an incubation course at the Technical University Delft. Here, we were able to
validate our idea(s) and start building our first prototype and gain our first pre-orders. A small
flash-forward later, we found ourselves applying for the Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship
Fund, which accelerated our journey immensely

Can you tell us a bit about how the process of the Entrepreneurship contest?
We came across the Fund contest through an email sent out to all Vlerick students. We
immediately decided to apply. First, we had to explain what ÇA VA SAVON stood for, what
we had already achieved, what our goals were, etc. Later, we received news that we were
invited for the “Pre-Pitch” round, where we had to give an initial pitch of ÇA VA SAVON.
Here, we immediately received helpful feedback, which we could consider for the next and
final round. Once we were invited for the final pitching round of the contest, we had to
provide a full pitch of our idea, progress, achievements, and future to an extensive jury. After,
the jury also provided us with critical questions relating to our market, competitors, channels,
and financials. The entire contest was very insightful for us, as many jury members were
(ex-)entrepreneurs themselves, and their feedback and questions made us think about
crucial points and potential pitfalls.

How will the funding of the Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship fund help ÇA VA
SAVON?
From a financial perspective, the Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship Fund was a tremendous
facilitator to continue our testing and start producing. But from a broader perspective, it
enabled us an extensive network of precious connections, which allowed us (and still does)
to grow ÇA VA SAVON to another level. And we are very grateful for this opportunity!

What would you tell other students who have an idea or are thinking to start
their own business?
You might have already heard this quote, but we believe it to be true: “You miss 100% of the
shots you don’t take!” Starting your own business is not rocket science. It’s about
perseverance and dedication. Therefore, if you have an idea that you are passionate about
and you believe can solve someone’s problem(s), start developing it today! Don’t wait for
tomorrow, don’t think you can’t do it, and especially don’t be afraid to share it with other
people.

Any tips or do’s and don’ts?
First, validate your assumptions and get customer traction as soon as you possibly can!
You’ll realize that in the end, it’s all about your customers. Secondly, talk to people who have
experience creating a business themselves. Their expertise is precious since many start-ups
face similar issues. And finally, don’t focus on a problem or a customer you don’t care about.
Facing the many hurdles you will come across is much easier when you can truly dedicate
yourself to your mission.

 

Thanks a lot to Kobe and Alix for the inspiring interview. We hope it will inspire others to chase their dreams and compete in the Vlerick Student Entrepreneurship pitch!

MDT CHARITY

Tuesday, 8 February 2022, 8:22 | Category : charity, Marketing
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Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”.

The members of the Master in Marketing and Digital Transformation wished to answer this humble question by organizing a fundraiser to help the Belgian Red Cross, and more specifically the victims of the 2021 summer floods.

How did we raise the money?

To raise this money, Louise Lequeux and Caroline Feyder, the two responsible for the initiative, organized a sale of homemade chocolate truffles.

box of chocolate chocolate truffles

We offered our products to the students of the MDT program as well as to the administrative body. Our advertisements were mainly via email, word of mount in the class as well as posts on MDT’s social networks.

In the end, we had 31 orders and all profits were donated to the Red Cross!

Why the Red Cross?

As you know, or not yet, this summer 2021, Belgium has been affected by severe floods. These devastated a part of the Belgian territory, leaving some inhabitants still in a precarious situation. We wanted to have a contribution to our fellow citizens in need of help. The Red Cross being an organization that has been helping them since the beginning of the incidents, it seemed logical to us to turn to them.

In addition, Louise has been volunteering in summer camps for many years, so the choice was even clearer.

What did we learn?

This experience was very rewarding. First of all, it taught us how to manage the production and sale of a product, from start to finish. Secondly, it taught us how to manage a budget and how to make the most profit while offering a quality product. Finally, it has taught us more generally to look out for others.

Our visit to AB InBev’s headquarters in Leuven

Friday, 19 November 2021, 11:33 | Category : Masters
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Most of us have had at least one of AB InBev’s famous beers, such as Stella Artois, Jupiler, Budweiser, Corona, and my personal favorite, Modelo; but if you have not AB InBev it’s a global brewer company that sells their products around the world and we had the opportunity to have closer look to their operations!

Tour of company’s brewery

As part of our investment research assignment on AB InBev, our entire MFM group got the opportunity to visit AB InBev’s office in Leuven. The goal of our visit was to learn more about the company, understand its operations, planned projects, and ask questions on topics we considered would be useful when evaluating the company. The start of our visit started by a tour of the company’s brewery.

The day began with a tour to the company’s brewery, which produces a variety of beers such as Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Jupiler. We were able to follow the history of AB InBev from its beginnings to the present day thanks to this tour. We then took a closer look at the brewing process. Without doubt one of the highlights of the visit was the tasting. Indeed, at the end of our tours we were able to sample various varieties of beers. We were also given gifts bags containing different types of beers, non alcoholic and alcoholic ones. The second half of our visit was a business briefing that included themes such as investor relations, ESG, and debt. This kind of briefing came in handy as we will be writing our sell-report on the company. Furthermore, all hosts were friendly and eager to answer our burning questions.

Overall Experience

Overall, we had a wonderful time touring the AB InBev headquarters. It was not only informative but also enjoyable. Despite the fact that the company is a global brand, we were pleased to observe that its roots are still firmly planted in Leuven, its birthplace. When going about the city, one may perceive such a relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start of an entrepreneurial journey

Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 16:19 | Category : In-Company Projects, Masters, Masters in Innovation & Entpreneurship
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Hello everyone, we are Nathan and Oscar. We are currently enrolled in the Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and have been working on our start-up Thirty5 over the past few months.

How it started

We came up with Thirty5 by discovering that the disposable camera market was booming again. However, there were many disadvantages related to the use of disposable cameras, such as plastic waste, convenience, price and so on. Taking all of this into account, we believed we could do a better job and we started working on an idea to create the modern version of the disposable camera with a mobile application.

How it’s going…

Starting up our own company has been a journey of many challenges. For example, when we needed to decide on how to develop the application, we came across different alternatives. We considered developing it ourselves, working with other students, outsourcing, etc. After weighing all the possible options, we chose to partner up with the app studio Nightborn. Nightborn was a perfect fit as it was very important to us to find a partner that believed in co-creation and was willing to challenge us from a business perspective as well.

During the ICP period, Vlerick offered us the opportunity to work on our start-up full time, with the guidance and support of our coaches. This allowed us to really make big steps on many aspects, such as market research, setting up a legal entity, and working on the UI/UX of our mobile application for example. The alumni network also made sure that we could benefit from the experience of previous groups.

What’s next?

We are currently organizing a reward-based crowdfunding in order to test our product-market fit and to lower the capital that needs to be raised to finish the back-end development of the app. By participating in our crowdfunding, people can already buy film rolls in advance at launch prices instead of the prices when we go live. This is an incentive to the early backers to already purchase some of our film rolls now. You can find the crowdfunding on: https://nl.ulule.com/thirty5/

After a hopefully successful crowdfunding campaign, we’ll be ready to officially kick off the summer with the launch of Thirty5, so that everyone can use our app to capture their favorite summer memories!

 

Graduation Challenge: cast your vote now!

Wednesday, 9 June 2021, 15:43 | Category : Graduation, Masters, Vlerick Experience
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Who will win the Graduation Challenge 2021? You decide! Check out the videos made by our Masters capturing their year at Vlerick and vote for your favorite one on YouTube. The video with the most likes on YouTube (genuinely acquired likes only) will win the Graduation Challenge 2020.

👇 Take a look at the videos below and cast your vote now!

Masters in Financial Management

Masters in General Management Ghent

Masters in General Management Leuven and Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Masters in International Management & Strategy

Masters in Marketing & Digital Transformation

Our In-Company project at Neuhaus: a quick update!

It has already been four weeks that Alexandre, Guillaume and I kicked off our ICP at Neuhaus. We started without expectations about how it would go: what will we learn? Will we have a lot of contact with Neuhaus, as everything is online? Will we receive a lot of freedom? How is the culture at Neuhaus? Will we meet a lot of people in the company? So, the first day we were really excited to find out answers to all those questions.

All those questions quickly disappeared, as we immediately felt a good connection with Tim, our supervisor from Neuhaus. He immediately explained the project and what he expected from us. Moreover, we would have a weekly meeting to discuss our progress and questions we might have. After that first meeting my team and I were very excited and wanted to start immediately, as the project is so valuable and interesting.

We started by interviewing customers and experts to expand our knowledge. Moreover, we were wondering if our image of a Neuhaus customer was actually relevant and close to reality. Therefore, we worked in a Neuhaus shop for one day and gained a lot of new insights. Last, we have been able to talk to many Neuhaus employees: from data science to customer complaints and graphic design.ICP Neuhaus

We can not put in words how thankful we are for all those opportunities and information we received so far and how impressive the culture is. Even though we will only be working there for 2 months, we already feel part of the team and feel how excited everyone is. The atmosphere is open with a lot of respect for everyone and of course the drive to deliver great results. The same sense of culture can also be found with our mentor from Vlerick, Frank Goedertier. We discuss every step of the process with him and he is able to provide us with good tips and insights as well.

This week, we are already halfway through the project and delivered our midterm presentation. This included our findings of the market research and our recommendations for the project.

We are excited to start the last part of our ICP and Vlerick!

Written by Lara Barrezeele (current student Masters in General Management)

ICP Neuhaus

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Friday, 26 March 2021, 16:35 | Category : Bootcamp, Masters, Vlerick Experience
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My Marketing & Digital Transformation journey is reaching its final – more tailored – phase. The past three weeks I dived into the world of Innovation & Digital Transformation in Sports Business with Professors Philippe BaeckeFrank Goedertier. We were pleased to welcome and learn from top professionals within the sports industry: Prof. Kenneth Cortsen (University College of Northern Denmark & Aarhus University), Bob Madou (Club Brugge), Willem Standaert (HEC Liège) and Niels Famaey (WAVE Agency).

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

We had the chance to pitch strategic sponsor partnerships for Félix Denayer, one of the Red Lions’ key players in their quest for gold in Tokyo 2021 – and Tessa Wullaert, the leading lady in Belgian Football. We were put into the driver seat as a Wave Agency strategist. Bringing together the values of an empowering lifestyle brand with the values and characteristics of these top athletes.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp
Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp
Next, we visited my beloved KAA Gent where alumnus Tyas Kastelijn gave us insights into how they lead this top football club from a commercial side. Next, we got introduced to the KAA Gent Foundation by Wim Beelaert and their beautiful mission to make my hometown a better place for all and inspire other cities/clubs. In the business seats of the beautiful Ghelamco Arena we elaborated on 2 challenges and prepared for pitches. Winning a limited Ghent shirt prize was the cherry on the cake of what was an exciting day.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Last but not least we focused on a Flanders Classics challenge for CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel: the revival of Team Time Trial. He believes the format has huge potential and he trusted our input in sport technical, women’s race, Marketing, Data and Financial matters. My team elaborated on an in-stadium concept that would pioneer a payed fan experience in the world of cycling. We are very curious to see which of our ideas will result into practice in the near future.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Now, I’m ready to devote myself to my In-company Consultancy Project: a digital transformation challenge for Neuhaus, the top Belgian Chocolatier. Exciting times ahead!

Written by Henri Wuyts, current Masters student in Marketing & Digital Transformation

European Strategy Tour 2021

Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 7:40 | Category : Masters
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In January the Master’s in International Management and Strategy had the European Strategy Tour. Originally planned in Luxemburg, Germany and the Netherlands, this year’s edition had to be moved to an online setting for quite obvious reasons. But as a famous citation says: “Never waste a good crisis”, this year allowed the MIMS class to “travel” to much more European countries.

 

We were able to feel the sun of Barcelona with an insightful session in the offices of SAP where we had the chance to get to know their famous ERP system and how SAP acts as a strategic partner towards their customers. We then travelled to snowy Switzerland where we could get a glance of what it was to work at Google in their offices in Zurich. We then flew all the way to Germany where we had two very interesting sessions on the future of mobility. The first one was given by Volocopter where we first had to work on a case on their newly developed Volodrone that would ease the logistics in sectors such as agriculture and health before they could explain how their solution of autonomous drones would revolutionize the transport of passengers in densely populated areas. The second session in Germany was given by BMW and their view on the future of mobility and how we could take part in it. We then had two challenging strategy consulting sessions with Corporate Value Associates and KPMG where we had the opportunity to work real life cases in smaller breakout rooms.

European Strategy Tour 2021: Attending Companies

11 sessions and countless hours after, we can confidently say that this special format or the European Strategy Tour really opened our eyes to different industries and companies. It allowed us to significantly grow our network with various top executives from renowned companies but also to bond with Vlerick alumini during the alumni night where MIMS students could get a view of where previous Vlerick students were now working, which was truly inspiring.

 

With this, we’d like to thank the programme director, management, career services and all others thar were part of the organization of this two-week virtual tour.