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Meet the Rising Star jury

The Rising Stars are assessed by an external jury, whose members will be present at the Fast 50 Business Forum following the Rising Star pitches.

For the fifth year in a row Duco Sickinghe will preside over the jury

Duco Sickinghe, CEO of Fortino and former CEO of Telenet.
Fortino is a company that provides expertise and long-term investment capital to small and large businesses with growth potential. Duco Sickinghe was elected Manager of the Year in 2011 for the growth and innovation achieved during his 10 years at the helm of the telecom company Telenet.

He is assisted by:

Veroniek Collewaert

Professor in Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School.

Veroniek Collewaert is a professor, researcher and author who has published articles in journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Small Business Economics.

Omar Mohout

Professor in Entrepreneurship at Antwerp Management School.

Omar Mohout, a former technology entrepreneur, is a widely published technology author, keynote speaker, and C-level advisor to high-growth startups as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Ben Piquard

CEO & Coach Principal at LeanSquare.

Ben Piquard is the CEO of LeanSquare, a startup seed investment fund in Liège. He focuses on innovations, startups and digital transformations of the economy. He graduated in 1992 from HEC Business School in Liege and worked 15 years for Software Corporations in Sales, pre-sales and bus dev positions (for Business Objects (BI), Siebel (CRM), PeopleSoft (HR), SAS (Analytics), Microsoft (CRM)).

Pattie Maes

Professor Ambient Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Pattie Maes runs MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces research group, which aims to radically reinvent the human-machine experience. Her awards include Global Leader for Tomorrow from the World Economic Forum. Her “SixthSense” Ted Talk is among the most watched. An active entrepreneur, she co-founded Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft) and Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet).

Heidi Rakels

Co-founder & CEO at GuardSquare.

Heidi Rakels oversees the global operation and development of GuardSquare. Relying on her expertise in software engineering and project management, she makes sure the company continues to thrive. She was 2016’s Rising Star winner.  

Rising Star process

  • Preselection: all Rising Star applicants are invited for a pre-pitch on 18 October 2018. The jury, made up of Deloitte industry leaders, presided by Duco Sickinghe of Fortino, will select 10 Rising Star candidates based on company data and the pre-pitch. The selected companies will be announced at the end of October.
  • The 10 Rising Stars that are preselected will present a two-minute pitch in front of the external Rising Star jury on 15 November. The Rising Star jury will deliberate and announce the Rising Star and Most Disruptive Innovator during the Awards Ceremony.

Rising star pre-selection pitches in 2017

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