Last Thursday, Bart Van Acker was elected Antwerp Young Entrepreneur of the Year by JCI. The founder and CEO of the consultancy firm Quality By Design from Wilrijk (Antwerp), was chosen over three other finalists during the ceremony at the Antwerp Management School.
Every year, The Junior Chamber International (JCI), an organisation for high potentials, leaders and entrepreneurs between 18 and 40 years old, hands out the award to someone with a proven track record in exceptional sustainable entrepreneurship. On 6 June 2019, Bart will compete for the title of Flemish Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
A story of growth
Bart Van Acker, a bio engineer who specialises in cell and gene biotechnology, founded his consultancy firm Quality by Design in 2011. QbD quickly grew into the Belgian reference in consultancy for industries such as life sciences (including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices), cosmetics, healthcare and food. Today, the company employs over 175 people and is also active in the Netherlands, France, Spain, Mexico and Colombia.
The jury was impressed by this story of international growth and chose Bart over the three other finalists, Alexander Van Laer (Poppy), Nick De Mey (Board Of Innovation) and Martijn Joris (Twikit).
Needless to say Bart is very proud: “I’ve been fascinated by science, and especially by biotechnology, ever since I was a young boy. When I grew older, this interest quickly entwined with my passion for entrepreneurship. I still remember vividly planning the start-up of my company at my own kitchen table in my apartment in Wilrijk. At that point, I never dreamed that QbD would be where it is today, nor that I would ever compete against exceptional entrepreneurs like Alexander, Nick and Martijn in an election like this one. This award is the result of the efforts of the entire QbD team, a family of extremely competent people who always go the extra mile – one of our company values – for the company and for each other. We are all looking forward to the award show with the winners from the other Flemish provinces on 6 June.”