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10 Things You Didn't Know about Felix van de Maele

Felix van de Maele

Are you familiar with Felix van de Maele or the company he is in charge of, Collibra? There are plenty of things about the CEO that will likely surprise you. Below are just 10 of them.

1. He’s all about going global

These days, being successful in business means that you have to be able to conduct that business anywhere in the world. He's certainly no stranger to that, as he had a global business strategy long before it became popular to do so. As a matter of fact, he made the decision to adopt this strategy years ago when a lot of business professionals were still focused mainly on their specific geographic area. It was almost as if he could foresee what was coming in the future. More importantly, he acted on his belief that businesses would truly become global and started planning for that years ago. That has allowed him to be even more successful now.

2. He tends to stay the course

He is definitely an entrepreneur, there's no doubt about that. However, he doesn't necessarily handle business like a lot of entrepreneurs choose to do. Where so many of them get something going and then sell it for a profit, he has a tendency to stay the course with his projects. Once he builds something up, he simply isn't too keen on the idea of letting it go so easily as if he had nothing to do with creating it in the first place.

3. He studied in Brussels

While studying, he chose some of the most challenging degree programs in existence. He always has had a tendency to gravitate toward the things that are most challenging, and this was no different for him. As such, he ended up with a Master's degree in Computer Science and Engineering, as well as a separate Master's degree in General Management. That education set him up well to be versatile in the business world, something that he has used to his advantage ever since.

4. He used to work in a lab

Prior to co-founding Collibra, he worked for the University of Brussels, at their Semantics Technology and Applications Research Laboratory, more commonly referred to as STARLab. There, he worked with computer technology, engineering new types of technology based on cutting-edge technology that was largely developed by his own lab.

5. He has the attention of both business professionals and scientists alike

As a direct result of his prior work as a scientist and because of his work as a business professional and entrepreneur, he is in a rather unique position. Over the years, he's been able to get the attention of scientists and business professionals alike. At the same time, he also has a great deal of respect within the entrepreneurial community. It's quite rare that a single individual is well-respected in all three fields, but there's no doubt that he has indeed achieved a high level of respect from virtually everyone that works in these types of industries. It serves as a testament to his ability to lead others and be successful at the same time.

6. He likes the beach

He grew up in Belgium, so close to the beach that he was able to go there every day. He has commented a number of times how much he loves the beach. As a matter of fact, he spent an enormous amount of time at the beach when he was a kid, making it a point to spend a number of hours there each day if it was at all possible. He even commented that up until he was about 10 years of age, it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would grow up to do something associated with the ocean. However, he then got into computers and everything changed.

7. He traveled the world while studying in college

He has always loved the idea of traveling all over the world. When he went to college, he attended the University of Brussels. He fell in love with the idea of traveling in order to study so when he finished his first degree program there, he made the decision to go on and achieve another degree that would allow him to travel to other parts of the world while he worked on his thesis. Ultimately, he ended up spending a little more than five months in Argentina writing his thesis and then wrote the basic elements of a business plan for what would eventually become Collibra.

8. He grew up with supportive parents

His parents are both professionals, one a doctor in the other a lawyer. Not all parents are entirely supportive when they find out that their child wants to become an entrepreneur, largely because it can be difficult to find success in that arena. That said, he has always been grateful for having supportive parents that allowed him to do the things that he wanted to do in order to achieve his own goals.

9. He almost always tweets about work

If you look at his social media posts, the overwhelming majority of them are about his work. As a matter of fact, he very rarely posts about anything on a personal level. That said, he does routinely use his platform on social media to talk about anything and everything related to his profession.

10. He has a sense of humor

Even though he doesn't tend to post about a lot of personal things, it doesn't mean that he doesn't have a sense of humor. Just because he prefers to keep things on task doesn't mean that he can't see the funnier side of life once in a while. Again, this is something that you will see by looking at the types of things that he posts on his social media accounts. Even if you can't relate to some of the more technical things that he posts, there are some other things which are still work-related, but quite comical.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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