Brussels, 8 October 2019. During the official ceremony of ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2019 in the Auditorium 2000 at the Heysel, the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ 2019 was also presented. This award is given to Flemish growth companies which have performed impressively during the past year. This year, the honor fell to Guardsquare from Leuven, founded by Heidi Rakels and Roel Caers, a world leader in the development of security technology for mobile applications. The scale-up from Leuven beat Intracto, Lansweeper and Silverfin. Guardsquare received the award from Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Flemish government. As the 14th winner of the prestigious title, Guardsquare follows in the footsteps of Ontoforce from Ghent, the 2018 winner. Kinepolis won the award for ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2019.
Guardsquare, founded in 2014, is a global leader in the development of security technology for mobile applications. The company has built a strong reputation thanks to open source product ProGuard, which is used by millions of developers to make their applications smaller and faster. The company’s software is used all over the world by organizations such as major banks, media and telecom players and e-commerce companies in their fight against hackers. Guardsquare is based in Leuven, with an office in San Francisco.
The ‘Scale-up van het Jaar’ award is a prestigious prize, given by the Flemish Government to reward fast-growing, strongly developing companies for their efforts and motivate them for the future. The jury chooses the candidate which it believes could one day be a winner of ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’.
“With its high-quality, innovative product, Guardsquare is a worthy winner of the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’. Guardsquare’s technology has broad applicability and also enjoys widespread approval among the initial users of the product. Guardsquare’s customer base has grown strongly, not just in Belgium, but internationally too. As a result, the scale-up from Leuven can call itself the international market leader. At a time when the security of data in digital applications is becoming more and more important, the jury is also convinced that the business has great potential for further growth”, Hans Crijns, Professor of the Vlerick Business School and chairman of the jury, explained the choice of Guardsquare.
“The ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Scale-up van het Jaar’ is intended to reward and shine the spotlight on fast-growing, promising Flemish companies. Guardsquare shows that Flemish companies can lead the way, internationally as well. The company from Leuven was born global from day one. If the company continues to develop in the same way, in future, it could be a favorite to earn the title ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’, commented Stefan Olivier, partner and Growth Markets Leader EY Belgium.
List of winners ‘Scale-up van het Jaar’
As the 2019 winner, Guardsquare joins the fine list of winners in recent years: Ontoforce (2018) – Playpass (2017) – MediaGeniX (2016) – Destiny (2015) – CMOSIS (2014) – Medec (2013) – Itineris (2012) – Skyline Communications (2011) – Clear2Pay (2009) – Netlog (2008) – Financial Architects (2007) – Transics (2006) – Televic (2005).