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Collibra: AWS Startup Stories Notes from Founders Vol1

Amazon Web Services Resources EMEA

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19 STARTUP STORIES Notes from Founders: Collibra Getting people within a business to agree on what data means isn't always easy. Collibra makes sense of the chaos. The company was something of a slow-burner, but as 'big data' became a buzzword, so did Collibra. Six years after inception, Collibra raised $131 million in funding. Today, it operates across North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Felix Van de Maele Co-founder of Collibra 'I was inspired by a book' I was born and raised in Belgium, which isn't really known for its entrepreneurial climate! There aren't many business role models and only a very small venture capital community. A well-known Dutch expression is: 'Just be normal.' Basically, you're supposed to do what's expected of you. It's not like in the United States, where businesses can raise a lot of money from the start, just go for it and where failing is good because you learned something. Belgium has a really risk- averse culture. In my early 20s, I read a book about Silicon Valley called 'Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days'. That book really inspired me, and I thought: 'If people in Silicon Valley can do it, why not here? Why not me?' And that's when I co-founded Collibra. 'We knew from the beginning we were going up against the big guys' The name 'Collibra' is down to a combination of things. We're focused on bringing people together to agree on what data means, which is a social process. That's where the 'coll' part comes from, as in collaboration. Then the word 'libra', like library books, knowledge, equilibrium. Also, 'colibri' means hummingbird and we liked that analogy. We knew from the beginning we were going up against the big businesses, and we liked the agility and flexibility of a hummingbird versus the larger, slower moving incumbents. It's hard to imagine a world without big data; but back in 2008, few people gave it much thought. Felix Van de Maele had the vision and foresight to spot an opportunity. At just 23, he co-founded one of Belgium's first data governance platforms with Stan Christiaens, Benny Verhaeghe and Pieter De Leenheer. Collibra's headquarters are in New York City, where Felix now lives with his wife and 10-month-old baby. Making sense of the chaos of big data

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