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Young entrepreneurs take centre stage at Schuman roundabout

“It’s not just one event, it’s a chain of events,” explains Marion Wolfers and France Soubeyran, friends and founders of the Schuman Square Initiative, which was established in 2013. For the past three years the organisation has been responsible for the ‘La fete du Pain’ festivities in May and, launched last year, Shuman Lights Up, an initiative bringing communities together over a two-week celebration at the end of the year.

The programme which includes food and drink, live music and exhibitions aims to shine a positive light on the Schuman area, showing that it is not only a place for public manifestations. “We wanted to show Brussels that this place is beautiful, central, and can be used for fun events”, says Marion Wolfers.

“The goal is to unite all the institutions (European and Belgian) around Schuman. Last week we had our inauguration together with the city of Brussels and a photo exhibition organised by the Brussels-Capital Region. The embassies offered local products and culinary specialties. We had for example Icelandic products, meat and dried fish that you can’t normally find in Brussels. They were flown in especially by the embassy,” she adds. A total of 12 embassies and countries were present and an attendance of more than 300 people.

Last Thursday, five young entrepreneurs took centre stage on the Shuman Roundabout in front of an audience of around 350 people. ScootyButlerExiinComme Les Loups and Zendo were selected by StartIt@KBC Brussels to address the audience on their innovative solutions. They each received one minute to pitch their ideas in Silicon Valley style. Afterwards the audience was invited to find out more about their businesses, ranging from games to butler services and relaxation drinks.

Jan Joost from Scooty, a Villo for electric scooters, said: “Mobility is a major problem and we wanted to find a solution. We created this start-up in April 2016, going from the initial idea to a live product very quickly, so we had to start focusing on developing the service. We’re glad to be here tonight, as we think that we have a solution that is a very hot topic in Brussels. It responds to the need of mobility and addresses the problem of people losing time in heavy traffic.” Reinforcing his pitch, as Joost was talking, traffic was crawling at its usual snail pace around the Schuman roundabout.

 

Schuman Lights Up Programme

10 December, 12.00-16.00

Seafood, meat, pasta and chocolates will be served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Guided visits of the EUROPA Building, headquarter of the European Council and the Council of the European Union, constructed by renowned Belgian architect Philippe Samyn.

At Schuman roundabout, open event

14 December, 18.30-23.00

Christmas reception by the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, organised by the Slovak Presidency, Vice-President Maros Šefcovic, Representation of the European Commission in Belgium, Embassy of Slovakia And the Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the EU.

At Schuman roundabout, open event

 

To find out about the start-ups featured:

 

 

 

 

 

 

From our editor on location

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