Building Startups Outside the Corporate Walls: First Steps & Structure — Intrapreneur Stories #5

Featuring Seppe Van Sever, intrapreneur at Belfius.

When Seppe de Sever saw a call for creative entrepreneurial people within EDF Luminus, he never imagined he would be one of the two employees that kickstarted the company’s first corporate venturing project.

Completely detached from EDF Luminus’s environment, resources and data, Seppe set out to solve their clients’ biggest needs, while making sure that the solution would be limited to those only.

On this episode of Intrapreneur Stories, we sit together with Seppe Van Sever, intrapreneur at EDF Luminus.

At Start it @KBC, Seppe and his colleagues developed bCheck, a device that monitors the activity of your gas boiler by linking IOT technology with artificial intelligence. It predicts and prevents problems before they occur, automatically contacting relevant parties if any troubles arise.

This was not only Seppe’s first project but also the first corporate venture within EDF Luminus. Seppe told us all about this process, from his role as a regular employee, applying to a vague call for creative minds, the interview process, being selected and how he was placed in an external location, with no access to Luminus data or resources besides a laptop and a credit card.

Setting up such an ambitious project is still an ongoing process, but the learning curve is steep and even though the path might be uncertain, it is highly rewarding.

“They gave us a laptop, they gave us a credit card with a few thousand euros on it, and they just said: okay, test it, validate the idea, and go for it! (…)
We see everybody is learning: we are learning, EDF Luminus is learning, on how to do it quicker and better.”

In the Interview:

  • The first startup project —1:00
  • Why that was the right problem to solve — 2:03
  • The validation & fine-tuning process — 3:02
  • The company’s selection process — 3:41
  • The structure of implementing the program — 5:18
  • Data, privacy and keeping things separate — 6:09
  • Funds, resources, & getting started with the startup mentality — 7:05
  • The first steps to igniting the creative flame within the corporation — 8:33
  • Why choose to be an intrapreneur VS entrepreneur? — 9:48
  • Running parallel tracks — 11:00
  • Visible changes within the corporation— 12:42
  • How far from your current market should you go — 13:39
  • Joined ventures & collaborations — 14:19
  • What would you do differently? — 15:11

Do you want to share your story with the community, or do you have a question for the next intrapreneur? Get in touch!

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Mariana Abreu

Creative Content Creator