• By Sin Mei Chiu
  • August 10, 2015

Introducing Philip Van der Putten, VP Mobility at Sentiance

Philip Van der PuttenLet’s welcome Philip Van der Putten, who joins the Sentiance team as VP Mobility. Philip holds a MSc in Geography and has gained over 25 years of experience in product & market development for various new tech companies.

Philip held various international management positions in sales, production and general management and has worked with large international structured companies as well as some small highly skilled/academic teams of local technology incubators and startups.

Viewing your background, you are bringing an extensive amount of experience to Sentiance. What was your main motivation to join a startup and more importantly what made you decide on Sentiance?

Startups and new technology are the ‘fil rouge’ throughout my career. The creative aspect of technology startups always brings bright, open and positive-minded people together, and in a professional environment this is what I value the most.

Joining forces to reach goals that previously seemed unreachable gives the best job-satisfaction! Why Sentiance? Sentiance’s field of activity offers enormous future potential. Furthermore, it’s a Belgian initiative, and the team is ‘Top Level’!

As our VP Mobility, what challenges do you think you will be facing and how will you tackle them?

The expected challenges would especially be to develop robust market-ready products that are tailored to the most important market needs or opportunities. This would require listening to the market and finding the right solutions to translate our knowledge & technology into killer app solutions. One of such challenges is how to market and sell the Sentiance proposal within the mobility industry.

It’s all about balancing the long term objectives with current reality, being eager to learn every day, being open to new ideas and technologies, and being at ease with ambiguity and complexity in a fast changing environment.

What are the main mobility shortcomings within large cities at the moment and how do you think Sentiance could help develop a smart & sustainable mobility system?

Solving the traffic congestion problem has – up until today – mainly been tackled in a car-centric way (detecting or predicting traffic jams and guiding cars accordingly)

As that traditional approach is reaching its limits and major cities suffer continuous traffic congestion on the complete territory, the real solution is much more focused on avoiding traffic congestion and making transport & mobility much more enjoyable, sustainable and effective, using multiple transport modes with focus on traditional public transport (train, bus, subway…), but also on ‘green/sustainable’ biking, e-vehicles and upcoming share-mobility (car sharing, short term vehicle-rent, taxi, e-hailing or delivery services, operated or ‘self driving’)

Two major challenges in this evolution to ‘smart mobility’ are:

  1. making the right tools available for seamless planning and realization of such multi-modal ‘smart mobility journeys’; and
  2. realizing the necessary attitude switch from decades of pure car-centric mobility approach towards a smart mobility solutions mindset

I am positive that contextual and profile based mobility suggestions are key to the successful realization of the mentality switch towards smarter mobility! This means that Sentiance’s sensor-based profiling will offer great opportunities to the development of smarter cities.

Aside from work, what are you passionate about in life?

Family & friends always come first! Furthermore, I appreciate and enjoy any form of artistic creativity & harmonic beauty with a special passion for (making & listening to) music, food, wine & beer tasting, motor riding, bicycle touring & walking. My background with www.routeyou.com obviously plays a role in this ;).

If there is one piece of advice you could give a person, what would it be?

I’m not a big fan of giving one-way advice to others, because I believe everybody must build their own unique life-story. I’m convinced that what really matters in life is to enjoy it in a sustainable way. The key to that would probably be to continuously try and create beautiful things.

Philip joined the team last month and has already been so busy that we could hardly catch him for a short interview. Welcome to the Sentiance team!

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