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  • Writer's pictureKoen Vanderhoydonk

The Connector: a year worth reflecting on

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

While we are celebrating The Connector’s first anniversary, I would like to take a moment to reflect on a year filled with intense adventures, emotions, and successes.

No business without you

After a year of historical geopolitical crises and economic difficulties, let me stand still for a moment with anybody affected. You get my deepest sympathy if you are suffering an impact from it. For many companies, the past years were difficult. At The Connector, we managed to navigate this storm smoothly and proudly celebrate our first anniversary. We wouldn’t have been able to do so without your unconditional support. So, to our clients, partners, contributors, and the entire ecosystem that believe in us: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Our story: solving a real need

The idea around The Connector has grown from a personal scaling experience and my ambition to make scaling scalable and less expensive. I've been working for the most significant part of my professional life in the corporate world within the financial industry, mainly in B2B settings. After many years, my inner entrepreneur took over, and I became the CEO at a fast-growing Fintech scaleup. My mission was to get traction in Belgium, Luxemburg, and Germany and grow the business internationally. We scaled the company from 30-40 financial institutions to about 150, over 6 countries in about 3 years. This learning experience was the foundation to set up The Connector later.

During Covid, I observed a critical evolution in B2B sales: people started buying from video conferences. That was new, as sales used to be typically driven by physical meetings. Fast international expansion became the new norm to stay ahead of the competition. The sales process had to be adapted and tweaked. You need the right tools and people to deliver against the VC’s expectations. You can buy tools, but good people are very hard to find when you need them the most. And that’s where The Connector came in.

We offer our deep market understanding, experience, and personal network to help our customers scale. In the B2B arena, it’s all about understanding the need and being able to navigate someone towards a solution. A trust relationship is needed between the buyer and seller. Unfortunately, trust can only be earned, which is what we have done in the past decades. As Connectors, we have been in the financial industry for many years and have built a track record in scaling companies. Our vision is straightforward: we want to help companies scale faster. Our mission is to do that for many companies and in multiple directions: for Belgian companies that surf international waves, for foreign organisations coming to the Benelux or even Europe. The key challenge for our clients is obvious: they need to get customers.

The first year in a nutshell

I was very eager to get started already during Covid. However, I waited to start the business as soon as in-person conferences were allowed at the beginning of 2022.

In the first half of 2022, I focused on representing our customers at Fintech flag events across Europe and applying serendipity sales for them.

During the summer, I was thrilled to get Olus Kayacan on board. He's been a good friend for many years, and we have worked together professionally on several occasions. We both have different backgrounds but share the same vision of how to do business development. With our past experiences and language coverage, we started offering scaling as a service for the Benelux market, and our first growth spurt was a fact.

The two of us together are humble but proud to be recognised among the top 50 Fintech influencers globally and complement each other.

And our growth continues. Nino Pavicic just joined the team. Besides building his own Fintech newsletter, he's developing several clients' businesses. As he lives and works in Croatia, our geographical reach is expanding.

We also welcomed a seasoned community builder and marketeer, Rozemarijn de Neve. I worked with her in the past, and I’m pleased to have her onboard working from the Netherlands.

Stay tuned as more connectors will join us soon.

What’s coming next

I'm now fully dedicated to growing the business of our clients and The Connector. I am stunned by the speed at which our concept is picking up. That’s why we are upscaling: more people will join the team shortly, and we are always looking for the best B2B business developers that can scale like no other.

After one year at The Connector, I learned the importance of being yourself. Doing what you are passionate about will give you a lot of energy and fulfilment. More importantly, allowing you to radiate that passion to others. This is the key ingredient to building and maintaining trusted relationships. I hope you will or have already found your sweet spot, just like I did. I love my job.

The Connector ecosystem is now growing at a breathtaking pace.

So, keep on watching us. Many more announcements are to come soon.

Thank you for your belief and trust in us.

Cheers and happy connecting!



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