In 1999, I was working at Coca-Cola in Belgium and realized how important the internet was becoming. I felt I had to work in that sector! Alongside my husband, François Derbaix, I thought about a niche: rural tourism. Our friends in Spain had been flipping through books looking for houses to stay in on vacation; we wanted to create a site with a search engine, photos and opinions. So we left our jobs and went to Spain. François founded Toprural.com in our house, and I helped him as co-founder. In 2012, I also founded Soysuper, a solution that helps users buy their groceries in big online supermarkets with complete price transparency.
Working on a startup is like a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you’re motivated, sometimes you’re afraid – but you have to learn to enjoy and control both. Work and life blur together. You are the first and last person to row in the startup boat, so you’d better be prepared to make enough space in your life and mind. The freedom to ship new things to market at your own pace and with your own vision – and witness how the market reacts – is strong motivation to overcome any obstacles as a founder.