Yesterday I had the great honour of sitting at the head table at a Royal Luncheon with King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Yes, that’s me in the photo sitting between the King and Queen. So what led to me sitting here?
Prime Minister Mark Rutte initiated the exclusive, invitation-only luncheon to encourage open collaboration and discussion around innovation across Belgium and the Netherlands. Held in honour of King Philippe’s visit to the Netherlands, the top entrepreneurs and tech pioneers were invited to celebrate how the two regions are successfully collaborating to inspire innovation. And as Co-Founder of successful expense management solution Xpenditure, I was honoured with the top seat.
This support from the Belgian and Dutch royal families, as well as the Dutch political leadership, clearly showcases the huge impact that FinTech initiatives are having across Europe. We have witnessed this boom first-hand with the exponential growth of Xpenditure. Founded just 3 years ago, we now have over 100,000 users across 60 countries and continue to expand at a phenomenal rate.
So what was the main takeaway from yesterday? That if innovative Belgian and Dutch companies continue to collaborate at this rate, then we will be a force to be reckoned with across Europe. We have long regarded Belgian and the Netherlands as one market, and our successful partnerships with Dutch companies have hugely influenced Xpenditure’s growth across Europe.
Maybe this is why I was invited to sit at the head table- an honour that we will not forget anytime soon. Did we think that this would happen when we started Xpenditure a couple of years ago with a small team of 8? That I would one day be sitting sharing lunch with my King and Queen? In a word...no. It just goes to show what can happen with a great idea and dedicated talent. With FinTech in Belgian and Netherlands, the sky really is the limit.