Testimonials

In the last three decades 416 talented young professionals and over 200 international companies have benefited from their association with the Prince Albert Fund.  Find out how the Fund has contributed to their personal career development and international business expansion, as they share with us their experiences below.

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Karolien Claes - Participant 2013-2015

"I expected this year to be a practical MBA, and I really do think that this is true."

Role

The Materialise Group works closely with surgeons for the planning and execution of complicated surgical procedures. Karolien Claes’s mission was to continue the search for partnerships that had already been initiated by a previous Prince Albert Fund candidate.

Responsibilities

A year before Karolien joined Materialise in Malaysia, the company had already started to explore the opportunities in the region and conducted preliminary market studies. The project then consisted of developing partnerships in the Asia Pacific region. When Karolien came on board, the exploration turned into proactive business development. She looked into the different areas where the company hoped to establish partnerships, and systematically started searching for possible solutions in order to launch a franchise business model.

Karolien thinks choosing Materialise as her Prince Albert Fund project was a smart decision, as they are world leaders in additive manufacturing software, and their printing service is very reputable. Moreover, the 3D printing market is growing very quickly, paving the way for future growth.

How she benefited

For Karolien, the Prince Albert Fund year has been a huge success; it even exceeded her expectations. “After working for six years as a self-employed architect I wanted a change”, she says. She was after a more business-oriented job, but she still had much to learn before starting up her own business. Now she considers that the future has much more in store for her than she ever thought possible. “This experience really was my ticket out of a frustrating situation that completely turned my life around and put me on the path to a more promising career.”

The company – Materialise

Through its work with Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D Printing, Materialise helps bring great products, aimed at niche markets, directly to the marketplace as well as making the prototypes of products that will subsequently be manufactured by the millions. The company offers services for Engineering professionals.

Thanks to Karolien’s involvement, we were able to finalise Materialise’s first (worldwide) partnership agreement in Singapore. Once the partnership in Singapore was signed, Karolien took the lead, implementing and overseeing the collaboration. She was tasked with a combination of project and account management. ln short, Karolien’s role in getting the business development efforts ongoing has been instrumental, both in the region (directly) and beyond (indirectly).”

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