My China Story
30 years of China fascination
First China love
1988 - 1995
During my studies Sinology, I traveled on a shoestring for 4 months with a backpack through China. It was love at first sight and I knew back then China would one day become a globally leading economy. As such, I decided in 1992 to do an extra degree in Business Engineering to prepare myself fully for this incredible exciting adventure.
When China woke up
1996 - 1999
My first professional years in China were during the true awakening of the Dragon. The building of Three Gorges Dam, death of Deng Xiaoping, return of Hong Kong, China's entry in WTO, Beijing winning the Olympic Games bid. This was the best time for me in China. It was cheap to live & work, full of energy, very hopefull and everything was possible as the legal framework was still in its infancy.
From East to West
2000 - 2005
As most Belgians working in Shanghai, my first stop was Alcatel. Soon after I got the taste of Silicon Valley when working for Wind River (part of Intel) and moved to the San Francisco in 2001. This got me passionate about the software industry, and short after the dot.com burst faded, I co-founded Polycore Software in the Bay Area.
China Start-up Love
It may sound strange, but after many China years , Silicon Valley was not as exciting as I had hoped for. But the virus I got there as a first-time entrepreneur never left my body afterwards. I moved back to China and for next 10 years built up a company, great team and many products ranging from R&D solutions for government & MNCs to building dozens of event APPs for brands.
Back to Europe
If I would have stayed any longer in China, I probably would have become a Chinese. As a family we decided to move back and our daughter (then 14) started school in Ghent. As transition, I was commissioned to create Sinnolabs, a growth accelerator in Shanghai for Belgium innovative SMEs for which I source, select and prepare companies still today.
A new adventure begins
2017 - today
Today, I am sharing how China went from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China' and what it will soon mean for us all. As nexxworks speaker, I deliver workshops and keynotes and guide groups on the China innovation tours. I am most passionate about the swift transformation in China around Artificial Intelligence and its 'go global' trend. Always a true entrepreneur, I am now involved in a new start-up building a conversation starter for retail associates: Tweedle