'My job at Innoptus as an account manager in a technical environment completely matches what I did for the Solar Team'

The Innoptus Solar Team is a group of Belgian engineering students building the most innovative and efficient solar car. Starting in 2023, Innoptus will be the main sponsor of that team. Ine Verhaeren was able to join Innoptus as an account manager via the Solar Team. She explains why this collaboration is such a strong match.

The Solar Team was a household name on the Leuven campus, where Ine Verhaeren studied industrial sciences (electromechanics): 'It immediately struck me as a fun project. After my bachelor's, I was able to start there as a post-graduate. My function there was the head of marketing. I was busy with PR, events, corporate relations and finance. So it was a non-technical position in a technical environment. But it was that social aspect and those soft skills in particular that appealed to me. There, we started looking for companies that wanted to support the project. Personally, I found the negotiation process and the search for suitable partners highly fascinating. That's how I came into contact with Innoptus, which was called CadCorner at the time.'

In the meantime, Ine has been working at Innoptus for over two years: 'My job as an account manager in a technical environment is right in line with what I did for the Solar Team. I am provided with all the space to take the initiative here. This would not be possible in a large multinational with tight procedures. Thus, I'm involved in organising internal activities such as team building and internal development projects. It's a versatile job that fits my personality and ambitions perfectly. My engineering studies are also very useful here.'

Sponsorship connects education to industry

With the partnership, Innoptus wants to assume its social responsibility and form a bridge with the world of education to prepare the next generation of engineers for a career in industry. The team forms the bridge to the world of education to prepare the next generation of engineers for careers in the industry. 'It is a pleasure to see that we are now working with four former Solar Team members at Innoptus and Infinite. We have known each since during the project and share the same entrepreneurial mindset. They are people who know each other and have the same entrepreneurial mindset,' says Ine.

Shared core values and the technical link

The content of the partnership is also closely aligned with Innoptus' core values: the promotion of renewable energy, advanced technology, science and entrepreneurship: 'Innoptus and Infinite support companies in product development, and we do the same for the Solar Team's solar cars: drafting, managing data, simulations... We provide the advanced technology and resources they need like we do for other customers.'

Open and friendly corporate culture

Although Ine had started in the middle of the Covid period, she got to know all her colleagues in Belgium and the Netherlands well in the meantime: 'It just clicks. There is an open, friendly culture where everyone is on the same wavelength. You can always turn to someone.' 

Long-term cooperation

As a former team member, Ine is still closely involved in the follow-up of the Solar Team: 'The team can always turn to former team members with questions, tips, or to pitch an idea. In this way, knowledge and experience are transferred.'

Innoptus has been supporting the Solar Team since 2016. Due to its success, the cooperation may be expanded further over the next three or four years.

Want to know more about the Innoptus Solar Team?