• Ruben Gees

Studio Start Leuven & Ativo.be (Diary EP02)

As you might remember last week I decided I am going to share (for what is possible) every single step in my start-up process. Why? Because it challenges me and it keeps me razor sharp. Furthermore, it's content, content my network likes and as such influences my SEO.

So this week I have two big announcements to make. Two very concrete results of my work of the past weeks.

Studio Start Leuven

Wall painting at Studio Start Leuven Incubator

Let's start with some good news. In my first week as a start-up I went looking for a shared office space at Studio Start in Leuven. I had an interesting conversation with Sarah Vandendeal. She asked me a question I didn't expect... Would you like to become the Studio Start coach in Sales & Marketing. Obviously I said yes. Not only because I believe that would become a very interesting journey, also because it's in the city of Leuven, a city that has given so much to me throughout my entire life so it's time to give something back.

What is Studio Start? It's the brand new pre-start co-working space in the city center of Leuven, organized by the city of Leuven, LE(J)ON and KU Leuven Kick. It's a place where people with an idea can start working on it. Where students will come together and start mini-enterprises. Maybe the word to best describe it, is a pre-incubator.

What else am I excited about? Studio start is well connected with the student organisations of AFT & AFC. As I have had very good experience working with them when I was working both at Twipe and THEO Technologies, I would love to keep that connection.

When can you meet me at Studio Start? I'll be working there every Wednesday from 10am to 6pm. So if you are starting and you have some questions, feel free to come and ask your questions.


Ativo is a company founded by Edwin Rozie. Edwin and I studied management together 10 years ago at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Now Edwin had an interesting story to tell. Last year he and his team developed a Jira plugin to do Program Management in Scrum for Acerta, a very big social security fund of the Belgian economy. Acerta was so enthusiastic he decided to further develop it as a stand alone plug-in.

As I'm expecting a lot of developers and project managers are reading my post as well... in short, Ativo's Program Insights plugin gives you (1) insights on a feature progress (2) insights on dependency stories (3) insights on issues and risks (4) prediction on the end of period. Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you want to learn more about the plug-in.

Ativo's Program Insights plugin Burn-Up Chart

So I decided it's the right time to team-up with Edwin. I will support him every Friday with his sales & marketing activities. Our first target? Organize 10 interviews with people who are Jira pro's and give us some feedback on how they could potentially use the tool. So if you're regularly using Jira, and you would like to give us feedback, drop me an e-mail with a single click!

What else have I been up to?

So besides having tons of meetings, I'm making some progress on my marketing activities as well. I'm able to keep up the pace of publishing 2 blog posts a week. Where one is this story and the other one is more related to industry insights (it's about SKAGs, read it, you won't regret it).

I'm also finally able to record a somewhat acceptable level of video. It took me a while, especially because I thought, let's be smart and record the video in portrait mode, like that I'll have a lot more real estate on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn't support that format, so I had to record it all over again. That said, I now have the tooling, the outro music, the style guide elements,... so recording and finalizing such a video won't take me more than an hour.

If you have paid a little attention you might have noticed a little quiz on my website. It's a first type of bait to see who's interested in what I'm doing. Which makes me want to thank all my LinkedIn connections as well. It's you liking and commenting on my posts that help generate traffic as well! So keep up the great work :-).

So what to expect for next week?

I'll continue to create content, as I'm obviously a strong believer of inbound marketing and the results it will bring you in the long run. Inbound marketing scales by definition, outbound doesn't. On top of that, I might start to do some outbound activities as well. Although I get some nice questions, it's time to start and close some more business.

Oh, and next week I promise I'll give some updates on my website statistics as well.

See you all, next time!



Tel: +32 497 39 10 19

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3020 Herent


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