Creativity World Forum 2014 by Flanders DC
Founder Valentijn Destoop is a design thinker, innovation strategist and mentor. Throughout his career he has built up a unique expertise. He has both founded his own start-ups and worked in the context of corporates, academia, and the public sector. He is equally at home in digital product design and business design. Today, he puts this exceptional combination to use at Quidante to support organizations that want to create a positive impact.
After his master's degree in industrial & product design at Sint-Lucas, Valentijn Destoop joined digital marketing agencies These Days (Wunderman Y&R) and Emakina. He gained experience as a UX expert and got to know the ins and outs of digital marketing and experience design. He was promoted to design lead and worked with international brands on award winning concepts and platforms.
Capitalizing on all this expertise, Valentijn Destoop founded several start-ups himself. In 2009 he co-founded Little Miss Robot, one of the first Belgian digital product design studios. In 2014 he co-founded Wonderland, an innovation and venture studio that assists companies in building start-up capacities. Today Little Miss Robot and Wonderland are part of LeapForward, the design and innovation group of the Cronos technology network.
As of 2009, he worked at Cronos for almost ten years as a business strategist, tech entrepreneur, and expert in innovation ecosystems and innovation hubs. Thus, in 2017, he laid the foundations for Hangar K at Kortrijk. This co-creation hub is a joint initiative of public, private, and academic partners. In only a very short period of time, Hangar K has developed into a dynamic environment that stimulates interaction between start-ups, scale-ups, and corporates. Empowered by the Cronos Group, Valentijn Destoop also took the lead in scaling up Hack the Future. This hackathon, the largest one in Belgium, lets students work on inspiring cases from the technology companies of the Cronos network. In 2014, this hackathon for students had about 120 participants. Four years later, Hack the Future had grown into a two day-event, reaching no less than 800 students.
In 2018, Valentijn Destoop was head of the Howest VR / AR technology lab. He was responsible for connecting manufacturing companies with Digital Arts & Entertainment (voted best gaming school in the world), to explore new technologies together.
As a creative entrepreneur he gave guest lectures at academic institutions such as Vlerick Business School and Berlin School of Creative Leadership. He also collaborated with Flanders DC and Creative Network, a renowned network of creative professionals and agencies, on the creation of Creative Fair Play.
With Quidante, the company he founded in 2004, he now works together with entrepreneurs and executives to explore new technologies and market evolutions. He supports them in effectively selecting opportunities and transforming these opportunities into actual innovation and growth. He combines creative future thinking with design-driven execution and knows how to connect organizations with innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
In 2016 he was nominated as East Flemish Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Each year JCI puts young entrepreneurs in the spotlight who are exceptional role models of sustainable entrepreneurship.
"Design has everything to do with imagining and creating the world you would like to live in.”
TEDx Scotland 2014, Business By Design
"We are very proud and so thankful to have you onboard as part of our team! You help us focus and excel, while keeping our feet on the ground and above all offering us the so needed “bigger picture”."
Xavier Leclair, CEO Slow cabins
"I met Valentijn during the development of MaterialSource. During that year, he was an important person for the entire team (± 120 people). Valentijn is good at creating within a certain business context. He knows what is technically feasible and can therefore motivate programmers to go to the limit. He is an inspired creative leader with a focus on quality. Moreover, he maps pros and cons in meetings quickly, clearly, and above all honestly."
Veroniek Hermans, Coordinator at Innovation and Design Euregio (IDE)
"I enjoyed seeing Valentijn so dedicated - very insightful and always focused on ensuring we're on track."
Giovanna Zaaruolo, Unilever, European Operations Manager.