The annual WOMED Awards highlight strong female entrepreneurial talent. This year, the honour fell to Marie Van den Broeck of My Add On and Femke Hélon of 3Motion. Marie was voted "Promise 2020" and Femke received the prestigious "WOMED Award 2020".
Wednesday 10 March 2021 was once again the time for the annual Womed Awards. A prestigious award show organised by Markant, Artemis, Unizo, Liantis, KBC, Ter Helme and Innovation & Enterprise Agency To award and encourage female entrepreneurial talent.
Five strapping promising ladies and four seasoned entrepreneurs competed for the titles of "The Promise 2020" and "WOMED Award 2020" respectively.
Marie Van den Broek (27) won within the 2020 Promise category. In 2017, Marie started My Add On when she was a student at Ghent University. Meanwhile, she has swum through many waters and she and her team are ready for the next challenges.
Winning the "Promise 2020" title earned Marie and My Add On back some press attention. For example, Marie was interviewed by Radio 2, she was featured in a report by TV Oost and on Focus/WTV and several articles appeared in the online and offline press (HLN, Bloovi, Made-In,…)
When Marie was 17, she was first openly confronted with classic stereotypes surrounding women. For example, her then-teacher of electronics told her that women lack a gene, specifically logical thinking, which means women can never be good at technical subjects like electronics, for example.
Not then and not now, Marie does not let such stereotypes guide her self-image or ambitions. And awards like "The Promise" & "WOMED Award" are therefore wonderful initiatives to break such stereotypes. It is quite an honour for Marie to hold this title and she will do so proudly in the coming year as well. There are many strong women entrepreneurs, but often they do not get the limelight enough. Through the "WOMED Awards", female role models are put forward. This in turn encourages other women to go into entrepreneurship themselves and certainly within STEM, women entrepreneurs also have their place, contrary to what that electronics teacher once claimed....
"Marie is the epitome of the ambitious alpha, who is making it in the tech world and who also wanted to prove that women do have quite a logical brain." said Gudrun Verschuere, chairwoman of Markant. "In addition, she has such unstoppable energy and ambition," continued Gudrun, "the jury also found that she implements diversity as something natural in the workplace. Therefore, the jury thinks Marie will be an excellent ambassador for young, promising and female entrepreneurial camp 2021."
What started with a product idea to help her grandmother grew into an award-winning and renowned product, the MySleeve. This product therefore formed the start of My Add On. Since the beginning, Marie's ambition has been to grow her business by bringing multiple innovative products to market. And even there Marie's ambition does not stop there, currently speaking My Add On of the 20x20x20 ambition:
and that in the next five years!
Meanwhile, two innovative products are already on the market, the MySleeve and the MyBedMaker. The latter is a handy tool to make it easier to change your duvets. They are like an extra pair of hands to help you make your bed. And next month, April 2021, no less than three new trendy products will be launched.
The team has also grown: Jesse Blondeel strengthens the team as product designer and Félice Vandenabeele takes care of Sales and Marketing. Félice will also join the company this year to join Marie My Add On in the right direction and realise ambitions with the whole team.
Within Belgium, the products of My Add On can already be found in more than 150 home care shops and the products are also already sold in France, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries.
The ambitions are big and to realise them will My Add On call on external capital. In 2020, My Add Onalready successfully raised 100,000 euros through WinWin loans. The next capital round will look at banks on the one hand and external capital on the other. For this new financing assignment, My Add On are also professionally guided by The Harbour.
"You don't need anyone's approval. Just do your thing and surround yourself with other entrepreneurs!" Tells Marie. There are numerous organisations that unite entrepreneurs, such as Start it @KBC, Netwerk Ondernemen, Voka, Bryo, Durf Ondernemen! From UGent ... . They organise numerous events (also digital) where you can already get into the entrepreneurial spirit, even if you don't have a concrete idea yet. "That's how it all started for me too" winks Marie.