With My Add On, founder Marie Van den Broeck pimps stools and wheelchairs with colourful add-ons, a sort of universal attachment. Not only to make the stools and wheelchairs more beautiful, but also more comfortable and convenient to use.

Not a stranger, but a female

Only a small fraction of the startups that apply to Birdhouse’s accelerator program are female. Curious, especially since Birdhouse encourages female entrepreneurship. “Research shows that women and men can be at least equally innovative,” Marie tells us. “It’s just that women are a little more risk-averse, while men are usually more willing to make an uncertain decision.”

Marie is convinced that entrepreneurship requires a good dose of guts. The guts to show your ambition, but also the guts to stand firm in your shoes. “After all, you face a lot of risks both financially and socially,” she continues. “Often smart and confident women receive buckets of criticism and are considered intimidating. Just look at Olga Leyers from “The Smartest Man in the World”.

Practice hour for further growth

Marie looks back on her time at Birdhouse with great satisfaction. When she was chosen for the accelerator program, she could hardly believe it. “When I look at the road I’ve traveled, from 6 months back to today, I realize I’ve learned a tremendous amount,” she nods. “Both professionally and personally I have evolved. I really experienced first hand how important it is to further professionalize, to maintain your network and above all to stay true to your vision. The practical skills that Birdhouse gave me also played an important role in this.”

During this practice hour, Marie also learned a lot from the fellow start-ups at Birdhouse. “You can learn so much from each other, and what’s more, the other entrepreneurs really give you that extra gusto to go for it 100%!“, says Marie.

Marie’s mindset has not failed her. In December 2016, she took the grand prize of the sixteenth edition of Bizidee. 15,000 euros will help Marie to realize her first product ‘MySleeve’. This will be a stocking for the handles of crutches that takes away hand pain and sweaty hands and most important: prevents falling crutches. So we will hear more from My Add On soon. We wish Marie Van den Broeck a lot of success!