Molecubes is pushing the boundaries, just like you
Ask the founders of Molecubes about the secret ingredients of their success, and they'll tell you right away: Passion and an innovative spirit. And never giving up. So it's no surprise that this Ghent-based company has just been awarded the Lion of Export 2021, a prize with which Flanders Investment & Trade rewards Flemish companies that excel in export.
In 2016, Ewout Vansteenkiste, Roel Van Holen and 4 colleagues got together. With Molecubes, a spin-off from Ghent University, they wanted to conquer the preclinical imaging world. How? By using state-of-the-art technology to build miniature scanners for research. Their devices are used to image organs, tumors or the effects of medicines. In vivo, 3D, and even 4D. All hardware, software and production technology are developed in-house, from the bottom up.
The last few years, the company's turnover has grown by 25%. Meanwhile, Molecubes has expanded its activities all over the world, from the American West Coast to Japan. In order to fully exploit its growth opportunities (4 out of 10 Ivy League research institutes are already using Molecubes technology), the company recently set up its own subsidiary in biotech and pharma hub Boston.
"Molecubes was born global. As a start-up, you rarely have the luxury of choosing who to partner with. And it just so happens that our first two customers, our early adopters, were based in Chicago and Philadelphia. So, we had no choice but to shift immediately to an organizational structure that was ready to export and offer services on all continents. If our first five customers had been in the Benelux, we would undoubtedly be a very different company now." - Ewout Vansteenkiste, Molecubes co-founder
Most of Molecubes' expats are on the Belgian payroll and covered by their employment contract here. "We do have someone who will be living permanently in the States on a work visa, so we will need to look into how to ensure his social security and hospitalization locally. Our French and German colleagues also work with a local contract that regulates their rights according to French or German legislation", says Ewout Vansteenkiste.
"As a European company, it is easier to transfer your culture internationally with employees 'from here'. When you work with American or Asian salespeople, you notice a certain cultural difference. They don't necessarily share the same values, such as being ready for our customers 24/7 or gender equality in the workplace. Things that, for us as a Belgian start-up, are the most normal thing in the world." - Ewout Vansteenkiste, Molecubes co-founder
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