[Interview] - Creating the WOW - How InnoVEX Changes Lives: from Founder to Angel

 2018-09-11 By: InnoVEX Team

All Colors of Communication is an integrated marketing and business development agency aimed at technology companies with head office in Belgium, Europe; which its owner, Mr. Bart Van der Leenen recently sold as one of the first steps in his transition from a founder to a business angel. After expanding the company from scratch to market leader over the last 15 years, Mr. Van der Leenen now decided to provide his expertise to startups and companies who are interested in expanding to Europe, taking that next global step.

"The shift happened as a result of a combination of factors. One of which most definitely being the operation fatigue I endured after working for 15 hours almost every day for the last 15 years." – Mr. Van der Leenen said. He now wants to regain work-life balance by switching his CEO position to business angel. "For me, time has come to put my expertise in international marketing and business development in favor of exciting new projects".

One of the main triggers to the change was how he felt impassioned after talking with startups during InnoVEX 2018. There, it became clear that his experience and expertise can make a profound difference to the startups and the companies' skillsets, which tend to be more technical oriented. His insight in this skill gap is where Mr. Van der Leenen knows how to create the added value that is required to turn clever ideas into genuine success.

Although his agency served over 60 top-notch world players in technology, as a business angel he has no intent to focus on particular industries, but projects will be chosen based on affinity and clear market potential. Among other criteria, he said that he preferred to work with young motivated teams that he can believe in; with a clever disrupting market approach; with a fresh view on modern sustainable business; providing solution that makes him feel excited. Essentially, his goal is to create a shock and awe effect together with the companies he invests in. That is why he hopes to find "ideas, products or services that create the "WOW" factor, because they make a difference in people's lives". Things that make their life just that little bit more happy, meaningful, comfortable, less stressful, more efficient, relevant or fulfilling. "The world yearns for happiness and positive impulses these days and there's no controversy in generating a lucrative business out of it".

He concludes that "There are a lot of Asian startups with bright ideas, but most of them fail to turn these ideas into a sustainable business. Understanding how to truly connect, with for example the Western world, can mean the difference between failure and worldwide success". That is where he feels he can really make the difference. Both for the startups and for his own personal aspirations.