The process started with an introductory round in which the four participating companies introduced themselves to the young audience. Based on this, the doctoral students were allowed to show their preference. "C-SITE caught my attention because it brings an innovative concept to the sometimes very traditional construction sector," says Jono Van Belle. “But I was particularly charmed by the ambition that Luc and Tim radiated. In retrospect, this attitude turned out to be typical of the entire company, because the corporate culture is very closely linked to the personality and the values of both leaders. ”
During the process, the doctoral students also took some theoretical lessons on topics such as strategy, leadership, structures, and so on. With that knowledge in their pocket, they fed back to their mentors. “From the beginning we got the feeling that Luc and Tim took us seriously. They really listened to us and also took our comments into account, ”says Jasper Dezwaef. "Luc and Tim were also very open towards us and I think that is the crucial success factor," adds Kim De Nolf.
"We were sometimes surprised about the questions we received," responds Luc Feyaerts. “They were always very to the point. We always worked hard to formulate a solid answer. "
Doctoral student becomes entrepreneur
The four PhD students look back with pleasure on the past year. “It was an educational period. There is nevertheless a big cultural difference between the academic and the business world, "says Jasper Dezwaef. “As a researcher you work under the supervision of a professor, but otherwise you are working on an island. In the business world, communication and teamwork are so much more important. "
José Pedro Pereira also sounds satisfied. “I already had the technical knowledge, but I was particularly interested in getting to know the entrepreneurial life and that worked out well. I was a bit surprised about the work ethic in Flanders. I regularly saw people here who closed their laptop at 5 pm and left. With us in Portugal, people beat more hours. "
This route was an important experience for Kim De Nolf and she wants to put it into practice immediately. She is in the process of starting her own business. QustomDot is a UGent spin-off that investigates the improvement of LED screens and lighting through the development of cadmium-free quantum dots.
Text Dirk Van Thuyne - Photo Johan Martens
Wanted: four hospitable SMEs to guide researchers for one year. Interested? Get in contact.
Source: Voka news