We don’t know about you, but we are ready to kick ass in 2023. The holidays fueled us with brand new ideas and wild ambitions. The same goes for our beloved Brain Embassy members. We asked three of them to share their biggest challenge and their biggest opportunity for 2023. Don’t hesitate to drop by and tell us yours!

e-commerce tech: Peter Wellens (co-founder Revend.ai)

BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY: ‘Build a product together with our customers’

"We have just raised 1 million euros to accelerate the growth of Revend.ai. We have developed technology to defend e-commerce revenue in real time, in 2023 we will continue to build our product in co-creation with our first cohort of users. A lot of start-up founders wait to release their product until they are 100% satisfied with it. That’s an illusion. Technology is never really finished. You need to go to market and involve your customers early on. They are the only ones who can tell you if your product is the solution to their real-world problem. It’s their feedback that will shape your product."

"That’s easier said than done, I know. It’s like bringing your kid to school and releasing it on the playground for the very first time. But in my opinion, it’s the only way you can create successful technology."

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: ‘Cross the Valley of Death’

"The investment relieves the pressure; it gives us room to breathe. But we need to watch out that we don’t become too comfortable. We can’t afford to slow down. We need to strengthen our product and at the same time attract new customers."

"My co-founder and I are not first-time entrepreneurs. This is our third start-up. We know that we need to cross the so-called Valley of Death. The first two or three years, start-up life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Get knocked down and get up again. You invest 20 to 30% of your time in things that won’t work. That sucks, but you need to keep in mind that it’s not a waste of time as long as you learn from it."

recruitment: Caroline Devers (director Oliver James)

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: ‘Win the never-ending war for talent’

"The war for talent will continue in 2023. At Oliver James, we recruit technical profiles, mainly engineers, for the manufacturing industry. The demand for technical talents far exceeds the supply. Candidates are in the driver’s seat, and they know it. Companies need to work much harder to attract talent. If they don’t decide on a new hire within days – sometimes even less than a day – talent slips through their fingers. It’s part of our job to convince them of the sense of urgency so companies can continue to secure top talent."

"As an employer ourselves, we are also in the midst of a war for talent. The competition for great recruiters is tough and we must continue to come up with new, creative ways to attract and retain new recruiters and new sales. Our greatest asset is the career path that we offer people, no matter their level. Each target has a clear reward, and people are given a lot of freedom and autonomy to craft their career path.  Through providing an environment where people have the support and opportunity to achieve their career goals, no matter how big or small they might be, is the only way I believe we can win the war for recruitment talent."

BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY: ‘The human touch makes all the difference’

"As a recruitment agency, we are in a people’s business. We use digital tools, but technology is a means to an end. We invest heavily in personal contacts: events, a face-to-face conversation over a cup of coffee, a phone call instead of an e-mail. Recruitment is no longer a sprint; it has become a marathon. At Oliver James, our focus will always be on building and maintaining long-term relationships. We are in it for the long run, not a short-term win. Our work is not done when the candidate signs the contract. We continuously keep in touch to make sure that both the candidates and company’s expectations are being met."

"I believe that the human touch really makes the difference in a digital world, full of remote and unpersonal communication."

affiliate marketing: Ingrid Cleen (country leader Daisycon)

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: ‘Deal with decimated marketing budgets’

"It might sound a little weird, but COVID-19 was a blessing for affiliate marketing. E-commerce skyrocketed and we surfed the waves. But the economy has slowed down and companies are looking for ways to cut costs. In crisis situations, the marketing budget is often the first victim. That’s not the smartest decision, because marketing boosts sales, but it’s a reality we will have to cope with in 2023 after a few exceptional years."

"This is a big challenge for marketing companies. We will need to be creative and innovative to convince companies that marketing – or, in our case, affiliate marketing - adds value. We will need to show them that marketing does not cost money but generates money."

BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY: ‘Innovate with new services and new tools’

"A crisis is not the moment to be conservative and stick to what you have always done. It’s the moment to accelerate and try new things. We are going to launch new services and new tools in 2023. Daisycon is part of Linehub, a group of 7 companies that are all active in different domains of the marketing industry. We will bring at least one new service to Belgium and we will add a local touch. We will also experiment with new tools."

"We have grown our customer base and our team the past few years. As the exponential growth of e-commerce is slowing down, this year will be more challenging. But we are not planning to slow down ourselves. More than ever, innovation will be the key to surprise both new and existing clients."


Team brain embassy

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