In the last three decades 418 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.Subscribe to our newsletter
Kristel Van den Bergh was asked to define the entry strategy for 3D printed clinical applications in China, and subsequently launched a new product line, which represented a large part of her assignment.
As the Chinese market was new to Materialise’s clinical unit, the first step of the project was to gather market intelligence via extensive desk and field research, and explore partnership opportunities with leading domestic companies. Kristel then focused on launching a new application in the region. Her mission required extensive travel across the country to meet the company’s target customers/partners and to participate in industry events.
Kristel encountered challenges on various levels during her Prince Albert Fund year: China-related, assignment-related and company-related. She had to learn “how to navigate the complex Chinese business environment”, more specifically establishing relationships in a short time in a new market and gaining access to reliable data were quite challenging. She also had to meet the stakeholders’ expectations, while working in a remote office and across different time zones, which was quite demanding.”
The Prince Albert Fund helped Kristel to progress much faster compared to a traditional career path. “The strategic business development role, the Medical 3D Printing industry and the Chinese business context were all new to me”, she says, “It was the triple challenge I had hoped for”. She also gained experience in how to operate more efficiently at C-level and learned about making sound decisions under uncertainty. But she took it all in her stride and laughs: “It was a fulfilling journey during which I learned about the do’s and don’ts along the way”.
Through its work with Additive Manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D Printing, Materialise helps to bring great products aimed at niche markets directly to the marketplace as well as making the prototypes of products that will later be manufactured by the millions. The company offers services for Engineering professionals.
“After having conducted extensive market research and presented the results to the board of directors in our headquarters in Leuven, Kristel received a positive reply regarding the extension of our product portfolio in the market in China. She is a very committed candidate that took on the project and the position wholeheartedly.”