Challenge Bootcamp

Your first professional education as an entrepreneur

You have developed a business model that works. Your company is in full operation, but you want to optimize your small organisation and develop it further in terms of sales and team. During this practical bootcamp we will look at the identity, unique features and business model of your company. We will reflect on your role as a founder and support you in building an organisation with many opportunities and a solid growth plan.

Detailed programme

This immersive programme is targeting dynamic entrepreneurs who want to take their small business to the next level.

It’s built around two pillars:

Pillar 1: Management education 

Preliminary phase

Refine your pitch and financial skills at your own pace. As a business owner, it is fundamental to be able to give a strong pitch at any time. In addition, you refresh your financial knowledge. That way you are well-founded at the start of your growth journey. 

Module 1: WHAT - Business model optimisation

  • Define the unique characteristics of your business model and explore potential growth opportunities.
  • Build a unique value proposition (USP) for your customers.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your business model.
  • Optimize the scalability of your business model.
  • Delineate your company’s field of action and learn to make clear strategic choices.

Module 2: WHO – Your role alongside a strong team

  • Reflect on your role in the organisation: are you more likely to be a manager or an entrepreneur?
  • Define different growth paths for yourself and your team.
  • Consider who you need in your team and how you will recruit, motivate, and retain those people.
  • Develop actions for strong and effective team management.

Module 3: HOW – Optimize your business development and financial strategy

  • Explore various ways to optimize your go-to-market stragey.
  • Consider the right sales strategy, with the right balance of sales costs and the expected results.
  • Make a thorough analysis of your company’s financial potential.
  • Discover new ways to finance your growth.

Pillar 2: Individual counselling path

  • Application
    • Interact with our experts at the end of each bootcamp day to apply the management theory and tools into your own business. With the help of concrete reflection questions, you will immediately engage with the content.
  • Boardroom sessions
    • Present two of your main challenges, in an intimate setting, to some Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and other participants. Get hands-on input, advice, and support.
  • Final presentation
    • Pitch your business and action plan in front of a jury of experienced entrepreneurs. They will challenge you and help you on your way to optimization and business growth.

Why this programme

  • Refine your business model and find an effective way to grow your business.
  • Grow your organisation without sacrificing flexibility and focus.
  • Reflect on your role as founder/business owner and continue to build a strong team.
  • Benefit from a sounding board of peers, faculty and experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Make decisions based on reasoned concepts.
  • Over the last three decades, more than 5000 entrepreneurs have participated in our programmes.

Who should attend

  • Ambitious founders and managing partners of small companies in the post-start-up phase;
  • Managing a team of 3 to 10 full-time employees;
  • Leading product-or service-oriented companies from any industry and sector.

Successful entrepreneurship is all about ambition and having the right attitude. So, there are no formal education requirements for this programme. However, you need to be willing to work on your organisation rather than in it, learn from best practice, reflect on your role as an entrepreneur and listen to feedback from experts and peers.

Practical info

  • Bootcamp format: short, intensive, practical and hands-on over 5 days.
  • Registration:  
    • Claim your spot now!  1. Schedule a call to check whether this programme suits you and your organisation at this point in time. 2. Is there a match? Register online via the website!
  • This programme is eligible for the SME wallet, whereby a small company receives 30% of support, and a medium-sized company 20%. With a maximum of €7,500 per year.

Success stories

Ruben Baestaens 2

One of Vlerick’s Entrepreneurs in Residence recommended the programme – and I’m extremely glad he did. Being able to work alongside like-minded participants is really valuable. You also get to stand back and evaluate your own business and approaches. And the network you build is invaluable.

Christophe Boexstaens

The Challenge Bootcamp gave me the self-confidence and self-awareness to turn my weaknesses into strengths. My communication, leadership, innovation, organisational, sales and overall management skills have all improved. I now dare to say I am an entrepreneur. I even have to hold back a little, because the organisation cannot keep up with me! Thanks to this programme, I know I’ll be able to deliver on my long-term objectives.


The programme gets you out of your comfort zone, which motivated me to do things better. In the past we sometimes used to be behind the curve, but now I plan– I made a list of action points for the coming year, for example. I'm also more aware of how important focus is. The discussions with other participants were really valuable too.



Miguel Meuleman

Professor of Entrepreneurship

Prof. Dr. Miguel Meuleman specialises in business models, growth strategies and financing of growing companies. He is the director of the Vlerick Entrepreneurship Academy.


Koen Dewettinck

Professor of Human Resources Management

Prof. Dr. Koen Dewettinck is an expert on strategic HR management and performance management.


Cedric Donck

Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Prof. Cedric Donck is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and business angel. He is also the author of the Pimento Map.


Yannick Dillen

Professor of Management Practice

Prof. dr. Yannick Dillen specialises in SME management, growth strategies and the role of the entrepreneur. He is the director of the Impulse Centr ‘Growth Management for Medium-sized Enterprises’ (iGMO).

Get in touch!