Reality check

Entrepreneur Jan Van Hecke is the owner of a furniture business named Boone International as well as the initiator of the PRoF project. During a business trip to China, he spotted three major, long-term trends. One: energy prices are through the roof. Two: people are clinging to ever more items and gadgets. And three: people's living spaces are getting smaller and smaller (micro living).

Jan recognized an interesting opportunity here. He predicted a growing need for efficient furniture that fits into a micro-living environment. 

With 8 year's experience in developing and selling space-saving furniture, he saw a chance for a specialized care and at-home care industry. Various organizations in ICT, lighting, furniture and construction thought the growing market was too difficult to enter. As a result, the industry suffered from a lack of innovation.

Jan took all of this into account and defined his challenge: cater to the growing need for space-saving furniture and other room utilities for the European senior care industry. His goal was to make a profit, but also to improve the patients’ quality of life. This challenge was put in abstract terms to appeal to as many different types of cross-industry partners as possible. Nevertheless, Jan also came up with specific examples, like retractable beds. These were meant to stir the imagination of potential partners and get them motivated.

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