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.

Shayp

Shayp

Alexandre McCormack, Grégoire De Hemptinne & Zineddine Wakrim

What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?

Water costs are rising year on year around the world, yet over 35% of distributed water is wasted due to leaks, ranging from cracks in public infrastructure to leaky household pipes. Some leaks even lead to water damage, which is responsible for 40% of property insurance claims. From one single measuring point installed in under five minutes, Shayp can instantly assess the total cost of water leaks in buildings and provide immediate plumbing assistance when necessary. In just four months, Shayp is already working with top global insurance companies and municipalities to lower water bills by 30%.

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • Brussels is an emerging hub for early start-ups, with tremendous support for young entrepreneurs from the Brussels-Capital Region and its local municipalities.
  • Its geographical position is an advantage since it provides quick access to its neighbouring countries and the rest of the EU. Furthermore, considering its diverse population, there’s never a lack of language skills when hiring.
  • Brussels is an affordable, human scale and trendy city which can be attractive for young talents.

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

  • “So I’ve been observing this problem and I believe I can do something about it? So … now what?” Our first challenge was in figuring out what steps we should take.
  • It definitely wasn’t lack of willpower or ideas, but more about acquiring skills that we never imagined we would need during our lifetime – sales, marketing, human resource management, law, admin, product management, …
  • Financing: how do we address investors, what are they looking at, what is the best way to communicate our ideas? This has been one of the most stressful experiences yet.

Fall in love with the problem your solving not the solution.

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

hub.brussels allowed us to prepare ourselves for every next step and challenge possible. It was reassuring and encouraging to know that we had experts backing us up. Various courses for different skills are made available, from HR management to marketing.

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

  • Fall in love with the problem you’re solving, not the solution. This is a tip we received from a mentor, and it completely shifted our view on developing a business.
  • Being a smart entrepreneur means trying to find the way to validate your business with the minimum amount of resources in the minimum amount of time possible. Entrepreneurship is no longer a big leap of faith. Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup is a great place to learn more.
  • Unless you’ve invented a lifechanging, futuristic technology, talk about your business without worrying that someone might steal your idea. Your ideas need to be confronted; and nobody has the time, passion or energy to set up your dream business.
Rue des Pères Blancs 4 Witte Patersstraat (1040)
shayp.com

Do you want to think outside of the box like Alexandre, Grégoire and Zineddine?

Contact hub.brussels!