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New Beginnings

EBN wishes luck and success to some of the family who have moved on after years of service and to others who have recently joined us 

Obrigado, José de Almeida Martins

After 20 years of devoted and passionate service to the Portuguese entrepreneurial community, Director General of NET - BIC Porto and President of BICS – Portuguese BICS Network, José de Almeida Martins, retired in September last year.

José holds a Graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Engineering Faculty of Porto University (1976), and a post-graduate degree in Full Management from CIFAG. At EBN, he served as an accredited evaluator and a board member representing Portuguese EU|BICs between 2014 and 2016.

He is also an accredited trainer of Education for Entrepreneurship and a published author of papers on entrepreneurship, innovation, creation of technology-based companies, cooperation and internationalisation.

During his career at NET - BIC Porto, José coordinated the implementation of several national and European projects on cooperation, innovation and technology. He also helped in developing and implementing several projects for new enterprises and SMEs. In 2012, NET- BIC Porto received a prestigious award within the EU|BIC community being named the ‘Best Soft Landing Incubator’.

For the past two years, José has also served as an Editorial Board member of i9magazine, a Portuguese-based magazine on innovation. During his career at NET - BIC Porto, José coordinated the implementation of several national and European projects of cooperation, innovation and technology “

Upon his retirement, José expressed deep gratitude to all the partners he collaborated with over the years, and expressed his satisfaction with his career in entrepreneurship support. “During these 20, truly rewarding years of my professional life, I had the opportunity to serve this landmark institution in the North of Portugal, nationally and abroad. I always worked with a large group of entrepreneurs, companies, economic and innovative agents, institutions, with EBN and its complement of full and associated members who were very supportive of my work in furthering NET’s mission.”

José has been an integral part of the EBN community and his presence will be missed.

Opening and closing the Gate

After almost 14 years as a Managing Director of Gate Garching, Dr Franz Glatz decided to take up a management position at WERK1, a coworking centre for digital startups in Munich, which he had been involved with since 2013. Christian Heckermann took over as MD in his place, and his enthusiasm and talents will undoubtedly build on Franz’s successful work in branding Gate Garching as one of the leading incubators in the Bavarian startup scene.

Dr. Franz Glatz holds an MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in semiconductor technology. From 2000 to 2002 he worked as a senior consultant for the investmentbanking arm of a German bank and was on the founding team of a VC company.

In 2002, he became Managing Director of Gate Garching, and from 2007 onwards he was active in several EU-funded projects, and a key enabler in the first and only media incubator in Germany, b-neun Media & Technology Centre in Unterföhring. In 2010, Franz also joined EBN’s quality expert group and became an EBN Board member, representing the German EU|BICs. He is currently also a lecturer at the Munich University of applied science for innovation management and methodology of idea generation. His motto is, “Simple ideas are usually the best.”

Christian Heckermann, the current Managing Director of Gate Garching, EU|BIC, based in Munich, was appointed as the Managing Director in March last year. Previously holding management positions in sales, Christian has brought his expertise in sales and marketing to Gate Garching, with the aim to expand Gate Garching’s network and opportunities and market it as a high-tech startup centre. Ultimately, his vision is to create a positive climate for young entrepreneurs in Bavaria, making the region one of the most attractive innovation hubs in Europe.

After a business management degree in Munich and Rotterdam, Christian Heckemann initially worked as an equity analyst in investment banking at Bayerische Landesbank before switching to a Munich startup company, where he was responsible for the development and distribution of capital market software.  

Christian’s association with Gate Garching started during that time: and between 2010 and 2011, he rented one of Gate Garching’s startup centres to grow his own startup.

After an intermediate position as a division manager with a Munich real estate service provider, his passion for startups and entrepreneurship saw him return to Gate Garching: ”I am thrilled by the dynamism of startup companies and the wide variety of ideas and business models, I cannot imagine a more exciting job.”

Commenting on the new position, Christian believes cooperation with other key actors in Bavarian scene, and with the tenants themselves, will build Gate Garching’s brand as a leader in the Munich scene. His vision is to help as many young entrepreneurs as possible who will later be able to say: “We started at the Gate, which was a very helpful ecosystem and an important milestone in our company history.” 

EY(e) on Bruno Wattenbergh

Bruno Wattenbergh, popularly known in Brussels as ‘Mr Entrepreneurship’ for his vital role in building the entrepreneurship scene in the Brussels Region, joined EY, as Senior Advisor in February this year.

With over 25 years of experience as a business consultant, Bruno has had a dynamic and varied career ranging from business consulting, coaching, teaching, to even starting his own reality show on entrepreneurship. Additionally for the past five years, Bruno has been sharing his expertise on business and entrepreneurship every morning on Bel RTL radio in French-speaking Belgium.

He graduated from ICHEC and ULB in Brussels, where he studied labour sciences. In recent years he attended programmes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Programme). He teaches an Entrepreneurship and Strategy course as a part of the MBA programme at Solvay Business School in Brussels, where he also holds the position of Academic Director for two Advanced Master’s degree programmes in Business Management.

Up until the end of last year, Bruno was CEO at, (previously known as Agence Bruxelloise pour l’Entreprise) founded by him in 2003, after the merging of two public institutions (Technopol & Ecobru). While acting as CEO, Bruno set up many innovative initiatives to support entrepreneurs in the region.

Besides specialising in SMEs and entrepreneurship, Bruno also has considerable expertise in re-engineering and development of public institutions supporting businesses, as well as strategic management.

Shortly after joining EY, Bruno expressed his excitement with his new position. “After 15 years in the public sector, I am looking forward to a new challenge in the private sector. What convinced me to take this step is that, like me, the people of EY are fired with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. This is a crucial point for me, because I am convinced that these are two vital factors in enabling Belgian companies to stay competitive.”

Source: EY website

Published on 17-07-2017 00:00 by Lana Blagojevic. 603 page views

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