hub heroes

Portraits of a city’s success stories

We team up with, 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.



John Prigogine & Xavier Chen

What would be your two-minute elevator pitch?

OLD BOY is an Asian bistro focussing on small Thai and Chinese plates to share and combined with a unique wine list composed mainly of natural wines.

List three factors that make Brussels’ entrepreneurship landscape unique.

  • Multicultural: we have both French- and Flemish-speaking customers, but a lot of Eurocrats too.
  • Complex, from an administrative point of view: there are a lot of measures put in place to help entrepreneurs, but you really have to dig through and find your own way to benefit from it the most.
  • Challenging: the market is rather small and thus pretty competitive.

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

  • We had no experience in the food service industry prior to opening our restaurant. We had to learn the hard way. In fact, it was our first business launch as a whole.
  • Recruiting the right people to build a strong team.

Challenge all your ideas, even those you’re confident about.

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

With their knowledge on the different neighbourhoods of Brussels, and their contacts to facilitate the launch of our business.

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

  • Prepare yourself well: think and rethink your concept; every component of it. Understand your market and consumer. Have a clear vision of what you want to build in the long term.
  • Surround yourself with the right people. Get help from those who can advise you and push you forward.
  • Challenge all your ideas, even those you’re confident about.
Rue de Tenbosch 110 Tenbosstraat (1050) 

Do you want to take your idea to the next level like John and Xavier?