January 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm , by Philippe Silberzahn
So yesterday was the official launch of the book. We are told that some copies had already been smugled and were circulating across Europe in advance but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Because each guest was promised a free copy of the book signed by the authors, the afternoon started for Walter and I by a chain-signing session of the books. I should have known that free food is never really free.
It was nice to see that some 150 people turned up and it was feared, at some point, that the auditorium would be too small but eventually it worked out fine.
So the afternoon started with a short introduction by Hilde Vanmechelen from our publisher Lannoo. Then Walter and I presented the book and our main findings with a few examples. Perhaps the quote of the day is “There is no mature market, only mature marketeers.” Philippe Haspeslagh, Dean of Vlerick, gave a few words and thanked the featured companies for allowing us to tell their story.
After the speeches, there was an interesting panel debate moderated by Olaf Du Pont (University of Gent) with:
- Tom Aelbrecht, Director, Venturing & Incubation, Janssen Pharmaceutica / Johnson & Johnson
- Jo Daris, General Manager, Studio 100 Animation
- Wim De Veirman, CEO, GreenPan
- Pieter Geeraerts, General Programme Manager, KPNGB Managed Network Services, Alcatel Lucent
A special thanks to all four of them for sharing their insights with us. The event was supposed to finish at 6pm, but when I left at 7:15 to catch my flight back to Lyon, some 40 people were still around. You might think it was an excuse to stay longer to enjoy the (great) deserts, but overhearing showed that people were actually discussing about innovation. Hard core!
As could be expected, the event was superbly organized, once again demonstrating one of Vlerick’s core strengths.