Founders Anonymous - Leadership, Stress & Conflicts

22 April 2020, 11 AM - Online

Working on a start-up can be exciting and fun. However, this endeavour is full of demands that can impact founders’ life: how they sleep, feel, perform, or their relationships. Startup life sucks you in and you’re constantly rethinking and iterating your business model, your product offering, your UI, your marketing and sales approach, your… This constant process tends to blind and wears out even the best of us. That’s why every now and again you need to take a step back and look at what you are doing from a distance. That’s why every now and again you need to look in the mirror and question whether you are doing the right things or just doing things right. That’s why every now and again you need to have deeper conversations with other Founders because they are the only ones who can truly understand you. Conversations that allow you to break through the conscious and unconscious assumptions that are holding you back from achieving the results you want. The Founders Anonymous is a meetup of Founders which facilitates such conversations. 

The participants set the agenda by sharing what’s going on in their life as a founder.

Veerle Huygen, co-founder from Shots of Ginger will moderate the discussion. This can be anything going from working with co-founders to keeping your passion burning, balancing your professional and private life, struggling with investors, your morning routine, the impact on your health,… If it’s part of your life as a Founder, anything goes. The aim of the Founders’ Anonymous is to open up your perspective, by sharing, by listening, by giving feedback, by asking questions, by being present. It’s a moment to slow down, catch a breath, connect deeper with your inner drivers and other Founders. One of those moments you need to accelerate afterwards.

30 imec.istart founders already joined our live and online sessions where they learned how to cope with leadership issues, stress & conflicts, and how to create more team energy. Catch their 5 key learnings:

  • Team conflicts and stress need to be managed, open conversations with the team are required.
  • We face similar challenges and struggles. Hearing other people having the same concerns, issues, stress and difficulties really helped to openly talk about it.
  • The conversation was much more spontaneous than expected. I was surprised by the openness of everybody and it was nico to talk with founders about something else than typical business stuff. Not knowing what to expect, it may have started somewhat awkwardly ("each will present himself and propose an issue they want to talk about, but first they will look into everybody's eyes"). However, after just one topic the group conversation got going and felt very natural.
  • Reminder to keep an eye for the team dynamics and personal/private issues that can be forgotten due to the continuous sprints of the startup life. Take a few minutes each week to reflect again on the team and persons.
  • It's normal to take breaks and not always work & keep more contact with sparring partners outside of your company. Find methods to relief stress: it became clear that everybody seems to need some sport/meditation. Let's run together!

About  Shots of Ginger
As an entrepreneurial couple Jochen Bessemans and Veerle Huygen know first-hand Startup life means. They combine this experience with the insights they have gained over the last 5 years through their involvement in transformation projects, in building teams and communities, as mentors and advisors to founders, CEO's and managers. In this time span, they have facilitated over 300 people in various group trajectories. Earlier this year they launched Shots of Ginger, an initiative to empower entrepreneurs and their teams.


  • Wednesday, April 22th, 11:00 - 12:00 AM, in Dutch via Zoom 

Note: Bring your own drinks and food! We will send the links to the participants per email. 


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