“I started a company in San Francisco and BTC hosted me and my team from the very start. Belgian Trade Commission is a welcoming place for entrepreneurs to work on their venture, meet helpful people and eat good chocolate. Baudouin and Audra were very helpful in making me and my colleagues comfortable in this exciting city and push us towards our next challenges. What a great place to break walls! Merci”
My name is Thomas Vaccargiu. I spent two months at the Belgian Trade Commission while I was doing a mission of Business Development for BioLog Europe.
I had a really good time working with Audra and Baudouin. They helped me perfect my pitch and gave me helpful information regarding the business environment of the Bay Area.
“A Belgian place of excellence – I had the chance to realize my internship for AmplyCell in San Francisco from the Belgian Trade Office, which is greatly managed by Baudouin and Audra. During those three months, I learned that improvement has no limit when everyone works together on a common purpose. It is exactly what they are doing, trying to continuously improve Wallonia’s international notoriety with the help of great people who pass by the office.
Thank you for this rewarding time both from a professional and personal perspective.”
I remember 4 months ago when I landed In San Francisco, to work for a construction-tech Belgian startup. I was feeling quite nervous and intimidated. Baudouin, Audra and Arnaud gave me a big warm welcome and made me feel I was part of something. The Belgian Trade is not only a welcoming office at the heart of the innovation center, it is also a solid community where you share experience, network and human connections. During this journey I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with brilliant entrepreneurs full of big ideas and big dreams. The simple fact that most of the people here are legitimately striving to make measurable improvements around them creates an atmosphere of positivity that’s incredibly inspiring.
This geek-friendly and entrepreneurial environment gave me the kick I needed to start my own company. I will now come back to Belgium with this heavy baggage of knowledge ready to unleash. I highly recommand this adventure to every Belgian entrepreneur!
“C’est énorme” and “C’est excellent” were probably the two sentences I heard the most often from Baudouin when I was doing my internship at the Belgian Trade Commission in San Francisco. And this is what the BTC is all about : Thinking big and striving for excellence.
During my 5 months at the BTC I helped for the organisation of different fairs : GDC, NAB Show and BIO and I also worked on the elaboration of new tools that could help the BTC to extend its network. During this time I learned to work in close collaboration with Baudouin and Audra and they made me feel so involved that at the end I surprised my self saying “WE” need to define the vision of San Francisco’s Office.
I learned to work as a pro-active team member with Baudouin and Audra and I can tell that they are the most suitable team partners for this office: Audra is organized, very thoughtful and understanding and Baudouin is extremely dynamic and a real team leader.
Thank you for this outstanding experience I had in one of the most thrilling city in the world!”
I moved from Belgium to San Francisco to explore the US market for GuardSquare. GuardSquare’s software makes mobile applications faster, smaller and, above all, more secure.
As the only employee of GuardSquare on American soil, I quickly found my bearings here thanks to the warm welcome by Baudouin and Audra in their downtown office. Since then, they have proven to be a great help in giving advice, in making connections and in getting our brand out there.
Working at the BTC office is not only insightful – thanks to their profound knowledge of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem – but it’s also fun! They successfully combine the spirit of the Valley with a healthy dose of Belgian charm, combining the best of both worlds.
I couldn’t have wished for a better place to start our US adventure!
Serendipity. Something I will surely never forget! For two months I was delighted to work together with Baudouin and Audra on ever-exciting projects; from NAB Show, to TiEcon and the investment mission. I learned so much!
Small is beautiful. Out of all the cities in the US, San Francisco is certainly not the biggest, but you don’t have to be big to make an impact! That’s what the Belgian Trade is all about too. This little satellite office moves mountains when it comes to fostering investment and helping Belgians looking to expand.
Eventually, everything connects. I remember these words from the first co-working place I visited, but they haven’t taken such a deep meaning until the very end of this amazing internship (or should I say life experience-ship?): BTC is a crossroad where inspiration, talent, learning, thrill, and joyful people collide.
San Francisco is the core of innovation in today’s world. The Bay Area mindset is very different from anything I had experienced before. The pace is incredibly fast, the motivation and the entrepreneurial spirit takes your breath away. But the most important of all is creativity: the constant willingness to reinvent everything in a different, better way. This not only defines San Francisco, it also suits the Belgian Trade Commission perfectly.
As an intern, my mission to co-organize the GDC and TiEcon gave me the opportunity to fully integrate working life in San Francisco. I can honestly say that I have learned more during a four months internship than during all the years I have spent at university. During this internship, I have developed a little side project, which I hope to show you soon.
In order to perform in such fast moving environment, you really need help from professional local hosts. First you need a strong network, second a confirmed credibility, third a deep sense of negotiation including the ‘hidden language’ of the Bay Area, and last but not least, strong social capabilities.
I’m one of the lucky guys who has crossed the path of the Belgian Trade several times, a real dream team which perfectly illustrates the above statement!
“The Belgian Trade Commission is not just an office, not just a source of information… it’s the best place for inspiration! Baudouin and Audra guide us on every part of our goals, with ideas, consulting and more than anything they’re connecting people together. The BTC is like a big creative family, where we feel so good and prepare for living our passion. Thanks to the amazing team, can’t wait to come back.”
“Dynamism, inspiration and vigour is for me the best description of the Belgian Trade in SF. In the heart of the financial district, there is this small and beautiful workplace where each day, you exchange new ideas and meet inspiring people who keep you motivated all day long. Special thanks to Baudouin and Audra who create this energetic atmosphere!”
“I couldn’t dream about a more perfect place than the BTC to accomplish my mission for the Belgian chocolate company Belvas. Thanks to their knowledge, creativity and never ending dynamism Audra and Baudouin create a blossoming environment to work in. Spending two months in such an inspiring place changed my way of seeing things (perception of priorities, time and human relations). What an enriching experience!”
“Working with Baudouin and Audra was a more than an enriching experience. The Belgian Trade Commission has allowed me to discover the many facets of the ‘doing business in the U.S.’ in a very professional and nice atmosphere. I am proud to have been temporarily part of this team and I hope many others will have the chance to experience this.”
“I had a great opportunity to come and work at the Belgian Trade Commission. Surrounded by professional, wise and knowledgeable persons, the atmosphere and environment were ideal to work in. It was a real pleasure to be a part of that experience and I definitely learned a lot. I recommend it to anyone.”
“I had the chance and the opportunity to meet and work with Baudouin & Audra. Both are very professional and give their time to advise and provide you the best analysis based on their own experience and knowledge of the US market. BTC is definitely a powerful and helpful tool with a great network if you plan to develop your activities on the U.S. west coast.”
“As a laureate of the Prince Albert Fund I am amongst a group of young Belgian professionals that get the opportunity to start up a Belgian company abroad. ‘Starting-up a business’ often means ‘starting to work from home’ – which can be isolating. The motivational spirit and established network are exactly the missing ingredients I found working alongside Baudouin and Audra in 155 Montgomery Street.”
“I received a grant of the Prince Albert Fund to lead a US business development project for the Belgian company Ridley-Bikes. Based in San Francisco I worked many times from the office of the Belgian Trade Commission. The downtown location was convenient and the welcome by Baudouin and Audra was very warm. I can recommend a visit to this place to all Belgian business people arriving in the Bay Area, to get advice, to expand your network or just to get some work done!”