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The Recipe to Build Startups

The Recipe to Build Startups

Oper - Geert Van Kerckhoven

“It’s my personal ambition to find the perfect recipe to build companies”


Birgit Everaert invites founders of startups and scale-ups for a comfy chat in the Startup Sofa. In a second virtual edition, we talked with Geert Van Kerckhoven, co-founder and CEO of Oper. Oper is one of 0smosis‘s ventures, a fintech company builder Geert also founded only 3 years ago.

Rationalize the startup process

Geert (an ex-EY colleague by the way!) is a firm believer that you can build companies using the right components. He states many startups fail when hiring the wrong team and when the founder is that focused on his/her passion, it becomes the holy grail and only way to go. “We need to rationalize the process and define the right building blocks for success“, Geert explains.


That’s exactly the reason why he started 0smosis, together with Jori Clijmans and Len Adriaenssens. One of 0smosis’s ventures is Oper, a digital mortgage product builder. With the right ingredients in place, this promising FinTech startup immediately focused on the international market, more precisely on the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland). Today, Oper has a second office in Zurich. The startup recently raised €500K pre-seed funding, with participation by (a.o.) Barclays and Pitchdrive.

Starup Sofa Oper
Founders of Oper: Geert Van Kerckhoven, Wouter Lachat and Nick Van Berckelaer

Table of content:

  • Where it all began… 0smosis (0:35)
  • Company builder model (2:00)
  • Believers & non-believers (2:55)
  • Why so many startups fail (3:33)
  • The recipe for success (4:14)
  • The challenges of FinTech in Belgium (5:45)
  • How Oper came to life (8:00)
  • How the international focus defined Oper’s growth (10:43)
  • What about Brexit? (12:16)
  • Barclays: how to find the best funding mix (14:19)
  • Oper’s future plans (15:28)
  • Why Geert switched from 0smosis to Oper (17:09)
  • Geert’s ambitions as an entrepreneur (19:43)

The Factory, EY’s one-stop-shop for startups

The Factory helps you define the right funding strategy and connects you with potential investors, both in Belgium and abroad. For more information, go to our startup website or book a free EY expert session to get free advice from our team.

What’s your entrepreneurial story? Anything you want to share with our audience? Apply for Startup Sofa here!

Read: How to raise funding in the new normal?