hub heroes

Portraits of a city’s success stories

We team up with hub.brussels, Brussels’ Business Support Agency, and shine a light on 50 of the Region’s start-up success stories driving the capital city’s economic landscape forward. From the eco-conscious manufacturer to the technology-enabled post-production imprint, our 50-strong selection of portraits and interviews plays testament to the Region’s dense and dynamic culture of entrepreneurship.

Brussels Beer Project

Brussels Beer Project

Olivier de Brauwere & Sébastien Morvan

What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?

Brussels Beer Project aims to refresh the Belgian beer scene. Belgium shouldn’t just be a beer museum concerned with the past – we ought to write its future too, and with bright colours. Collaboration and exploration are essential elements of our DNA and help us shoot for the stars with our community of stupid dreamers.

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • Multiculturalism: the city breathes a cosmopolitan air that very few European cities enjoy.
  • Connection: Brussels is just a stone’s throw away from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
  • Accessibility: warm vibes and inexpensive real estate results in a homely city where you’ll burn less cash than in other capital cities!

What are the three biggest challenges you faced when starting up your business?

  • Pressure to conform: we entered a market where many of the present actors expected us to respect and conform to a set of imaginary rules. Still, we managed to break out and breathe fresh air.
  • Multitasking: when starting a company, an entrepreneur becomes the closest living equivalent of a Swiss knife.
  • Saying goodbye to freedom: there’s this myth that entrepreneurs are their own boss, and as such can manage their day as they like. This is far from the brutal reality. Your project becomes an extension of yourself, following you wherever you go, so be sure to pick something you really like!

Collaboration and exploration are essential elements of our DNA and help us shoot for the stars with our community of stupid dreamers.

How did you benefit from hub.brussels’ expertise in the conception of your business?

hub.brussels has changed its name a few times over the years, but its spirit has always remained intact. We were blessed to work with dedicated people who were truly motivated to help our company take off and grow. They looked at different aspects of our model and challenged our finance plans while helping us apply for subsidies and manoeuvre around the intricate administration. We thank them for their huge support. Kudos!

List three pieces of advice you would give to the budding entrepreneur.

  • The best way to avoid being a lone wolf is to not be one. Find like-minded, risk-taking entrepreneurs who share your challenges and dreams. There are too many half-alive zombies out there who’ll unconsciously try to refrain your ambitions just because they gave up on their own. Finding a co-founder can take you a long way.
  • “Ever tried. Ever failed. Fail again. Fail better.” To borrow Samuel Beckett’s words, no one ever said it’d be fast and easy, so prepare yourself for a series of sprint. Every success story starts with its fair share of failures and frustration. Take a deep breath, stay hydrated and jump back into the dog fight.
  • Dive in with a leap of faith, but never lose the helicopter view. Step outside your comfort zone and leave the safety net behind. Anyone who overthinks it ends up at home on their couch. Go all in, and go now. But this also doesn’t mean that this ruthless “street action” is an excuse to forget about the bigger picture; about your direction. And of course, make sure to enjoy the ride, every “first moment”, the ups and downs – everything. You’ve made the right choice. 
188 Rue Antoine Dansaertstraat (1000)
beerproject.be

Do you want to explore new horizons like Olivier and Sébastien?

Contact hub.brussels!