Every month, BeAngels highlights an entrepreneur member who has become a business angel. The first in this profile series is Louis Cornet, founder of Movify. He tells us how he became an entrepreneur and business angel.
What is Movify?
Movify is a scale-up company specialising in the design and development of digital apps for businesses. We are a digital consultancy, which means that our 70-strong team of experts, including UX designers and developers, support our clients in the creation of their digital apps. For example, we work with Belfius and KBC on their mobile banking apps, with Proximus and Telenet, and with DPG Media on the VTM Go and Streamz streaming apps.
What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
The adventure! I liked the idea of forging my own path, both personally and professionally. Of creating a company in my image, based on the values that I hold dear. And building a team and going on an adventure together.
But it didn't happen just like that! It was quite a long process. It took me almost 10 years to build up skills in different business areas before I started Movify. My first job was in a consultancy firm. That’s where I started out. I had several roles in different areas including technical, management, sales, recruitment and people management. With this experience, I felt more confident about starting my own business. But I still lacked the content and expertise. I wanted to start a business in the field of mobile apps, but I didn't know anything about them... So I started as a freelancer to learn more and get to know the sector. After a while, I became confident that I had gathered the necessary skills to start my own business and Movify was born.
« But it didn't happen just like that! It was quite a long process. It took me almost 10 years to build up skills in different business areas before I started Movify. My first job was in a consultancy firm. That’s where I started out. »Louis Cornet
What have been your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
There are challenges every day! (laughs) The life of an entrepreneur is a frenetic one. In 2021 I achieved a goal that I am particularly proud of, by opening up the equity of Movify to the company's employees, after more than 8 years of being the sole shareholder. We never had to raise funds for Movify because we were lucky enough to be profitable quickly. By opening up the equity to employees, we now have a better share of responsibilities and ownership. This has a big impact on motivation and it is already impacting positively on our financial performance. However, implementing this employee ownership scheme raised many questions at the outset: Which employees should be included? Is it more of an incentive for employees to get bonuses? Stock options? Warrants? Or shares? It is this last option that was voted as the most innovative and incentivising solution in the long term.
Another major project we have undertaken is to improve well-being within Movify. This involved setting up a dedicated team who interviewed all employees to identify our strengths and weaknesses and to establish how people feel about working at Movify. We analysed the feedback, presented the results to the whole company and five projects were launched to address the areas of improvement together. In this way, employees are involved in building the Movify of tomorrow in a participatory way.
« By opening up the equity to employees, we now have a better share of responsibilities and ownership. »Louis Cornet
Today you have joined the BeAngels network as an investor. What were your motivations for moving over to the other side?
First of all, I love learning new things! And the investment group formula (BAC) is really great for learning about being a business angel in a collaborative way. Also, on a personal level, I have always wanted to invest in venture capital. But what I really wanted to do was to take the first step towards gaining experience in corporate acquisitions. At Movify we have ambitious growth targets, mainly organic, but this will also almost certainly involve the acquisition of other companies. As someone who has never had to call on external shareholders for my business, it is interesting for me to see how a due diligence process works. Although the acquisition and fundraising processes are different, there are many similarities between them. I'm currently doing due diligence on a Movify acquisition and everything I've learned at BeAngels is proving really helpful.
« I'm currently doing due diligence on a Movify acquisition and everything I've learned at BeAngels is proving really helpful. »Louis Cornet
Has your image of business angels changed since you joined the network?
Yes, my perception of business angels has changed as a result of being around them more. I particularly enjoy taking part in the face-to-face events. Each time I meet really interesting people who are facing the same problems as me. So the conversations are always really rich. I love this about it.