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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 fourth 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)).

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.  

Christian Reinaudo

CEO at Agfa-Gevaert.

Since 1 January 2008, Christian Reinaudo is President of the Agfa HealthCare business group and has been appointed CEO since 2010.

Dieter Neirinck

Head of Business Development Wholesale Banking at ING Belgium.

Dieter Neirinck started working at ING in 1998 and has over 15 years of experience in enabling entrepreneurs and business clients to realise their growth ambitions. Since 2013, he is leading the business development team which focuses on using data to create a personalised client experience and challenging entrepreneurs with ecosystem-driven content.

Nikolaas Tahon

Managing Partner Deloitte Accountancy and Deloitte Private Leader Belgium.

Nikolaas Tahon combines accountancy, financial, tax and legal expertise to advise SMEs and family companies. He is also responsible for the full range of Deloitte offerings to private and family businesses and is Programme Leader for Deloitte's Technology Fast 50.

Rising Star process

  • Preselection: all Rising Star applicants are invited for a pre-pitch on 18 October 2017. 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 14 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 2016

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