Closing Plenary

- Current trends in the Belgian & European Startup Ecosystem - Karen Boers - Managing Director at
- Keynote - Pieterjan Bouten - Co founder & CEO at Showpad
- Tech Startup Day Awards ceremony
- Panel on the importance of fast internationalisation of startups:
    • Ann Collet - Founder Le Wagon
    • Pascale Delcomminette - CEO Agence Wallone pour l'EXportation (AWEX)
    • Benedict Wilders - CEO Brussels Invest & Export (BIE)
    • Claire Tillekaerts - CEO Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT)

Plenary speakers

Karen Boers

Managing Director at

Karen Boers has a degree in German philology and started her career with View Interim, as an interim consultant. Karen was promoted to office manager and HR consultant, before making the transition to iMinds (formerly IBBT) on January 1st 2005, where she ran the daily office affairs.

In 2006 Karen became Marketing & Communications Manager and started developing the corporate marketing & communications strategy. Six years later, she headed a team of 6, organized massive conference weeks and competitions and pulled off the name change. Also taking on in 2012 the development of our Human Capital strategy. Her drive to matching the right people and allowing them to develop while working efficiently and effectively towards a common goal led her to Co-Found and become its managing director.

Pieterjan Bouten

Co-Founder & CEO Showpad

Pieterjan holds master degrees in both Communication Sciences and International Business. He started his professional career at Netlog and Accenture, where he held senior roles in both companies.

In 2010, he co-founded the mobile development agency, In the Pocket, and still serves on its board.

One year after the foundation of In the Pocket, Pieterjan founded Showpad, together with Louis Jonckheere and Peter Minne. Today, he is co-founder and CEO of this leading sales enablement platform, with offices in Ghent, London & San Francisco.

Showpad helps to align sales and marketing and recently raised $50M dollars to fuel its growth. The company has more than 1.000 customers worldwide, including enterprises like Xerox, Coca Cola and Roche.

Bénédicte Wilders


Bénédicte Wilders is CEO of BIE (Belgian Invest & Export), which is a public institution who takes care of export promotion.

    Pascale Delcomminette

    CEO chez Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX) et Wallonia Brussels International (WBI)

    Pascale Delcomminette has a degree in Translation and in social and economics sciences. She worked in Academia and at the European Commission before joining the Walloon public service. There she has held various important posts concerning international affairs and economic development. In 2014 she took over as acting CEO and now she works as CEO of AWEX (Wallonia foreign trade and investment agency). Her job is to guide international action of Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation as a relay for economic, academic, scientific and cultural actors in their development projects or efforts abroad.

    Claire Tillekaerts

    General Manager at Flanders Investment & Trade

    Claire Tillekaerts worked for 20 years as a lawyer with her brother in their own lawfirm Tillekaerts & Tillekaerts after she obtained her masters in Law. Because she wanted more time for her family she switched careers. So, she then started as chief of legal department at Hogeschool Ghent where she made several mergers with other colleges. Now she travels the world as CEO of FIT to look for more export and investments for our regions. Claire’s main job is to make sure prosperity goes well in Flanders and Belgium.

    Anne Collet

    Founder of Le Wagon

    After working for 10 years as a Knowledge and Information Manager, Anne went back to university to follow a degree in ICT. End of 2014, she launched (and since then, drives) Le Wagon Brussels. End of 2015, she started (and since then leads) Le Wagon Amsterdam. An ambassador of Rails Girls, she loves helping others to overcome the sometimes frustrating learning process and seeing the bright light in their eyes when the magic of coding gets unveiled!