Start-ups drive innovation and growth. Due to their niche activities, they often opt for an international trajectory right away. These so-called born globals not only deserve specific services but also a separate category in the Flanders International Business Awards. For 'Startup of the Year,' Loop Earplugs, Sensolus, and TechWolf are competing against each other. Shortly after the announcement of the nominees, we gathered first reactions.
Loop Earplugs was founded by two childhood friends with tinnitus. The startup from Berchem reshaped its industry in no time and made its stylish and always-fitting quality earplugs a sought-after fashion accessory worldwide.
Dimitri O, Co-founder: “Winning Startup of the Year would be huge for the team. Getting an official stamp of approval would really help in the search for our next 100 employees as part of our growth, innovation and expansion plans.
We firmly believe that sound shapes our lives. It’s our mission to elevate earplugs to earwear and inspire everyone to live life at their volume. With 4 million of people around the world wearing Loop earplugs, it’s clear there’s a huge need for it. Each day we strive to make wearing earplugs as commonplace as wearing sunglasses. That’s how we’re pioneering a new category on a global scale.”
Sensolus is bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) to the manufacturing and waste processing industries. The Ghent-based company provides tracking technology that allows companies worldwide to track and optimize their entire supply chain.
Kristoff Van Rattinghe, CEO: “No matter how fast things are going for your business internationally, recognition at home remains hugely important. So, getting this nomination is fantastic!
In nine years, backed by our four founders and a fantastic team, we managed to claim our spot among industrial multinationals. We are proud of this achievement, and our Startup of the Year nomination only adds to that. One thing is certain: innovation is one of Flanders’ strongest export products.”
TechWolf from Ghent helps companies map the skills of their employees using artificial intelligence (AI). As such, their platform enables HR departments in a variety of countries to make data-driven decisions.
Mikaël Woornoo, founder: “As one of the fastest growing AI companies in Europe, we are proud of our local anchoring. From engineering talent to grants and capital, TechWolf is strongly embedded in Flanders’ ecosystem. Together with the other Startup of the Year nominees, we show that Flanders’ ecosystem has what it takes to help tech companies succeed.
Furthermore, this nomination is a major boost for our team; it’s an important internal milestone.”