Business Developer for Cycling Tech start-up

Job ID:  26904


   →   Apply before 05/03/2024 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels Time)
   →   Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences  
   →  Department: GE30 - Bewegings- en Sportwetenschappen
   →  Occupancy rate:100%
   →  Number of positions: 1    
   →  Type of employment: Contract of limited duration 
   →  Term of assignment: 20 months 
   →  Wage scale:  WM1 to WM4 (master degree) 
   →  Required diploma: Master 





Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 15,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.






This vacancy concerns a position as a temporary Business Developer for a cycling innovation project.


Candidates should demonstrate a combination of experience, skills and interests in various domains of exercise training, digital product development and entrepreneurship.


Taking up this position, which is funded by the Industrial Research Fund, leads to an appointment at the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences for a duration of 20 months and implies the privilege of devoting oneself almost exclusively to evaluating the feasibility of creating a spin-off during this period.


The job fits into the ambitions of the Valorisation Centre for Technological Optimization, Research and Innovation in Sports (Victoris) at Ghent University, to create and bring to market science-based sports technologies. The project is based on previous research from the Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition research group at the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences (Prof. Jan Boone and colleagues), in collaboration with the sports data science group of Prof. Steven Verstockt at the Internet Technology and Data Science Lab (IDLab-UGent-imec).



Academic background and aim


An algorithm/tool that allows real-time quantification of the energetic balance of the individual cyclist during exercise has been developed. This model is based on the Critical Power concept. Basic information can be found here. The team working on this project will be further developing this model and related product not only in a lab-based but also in a field-based context (taking contextual factors as ride in group vs. single ride, weather conditions, etc. into account). Therefore, a sensor logging set-up is being created. In addition, a linked pacing plan modality will be made and implemented.


The goal is to develop a product roadmap and a mature go-to-market strategy for the valorization of the model, based on the initial go-to-market options as they have been explored during previous projects, with a spin-off as the primary option. Consequently, your primary focus will be on translating the sports scientific and technological advancements into marketable products and services, ensuring the commercial viability and sustainability of the (still to be created) spin-off.


With that, the team aims to improve training outcomes of cyclists of various levels and contribute to healthy sports participation (e.g. by avoiding overtraining and occurrence of illness or injury). Collaborations with various cycling teams as well as potential co-founders for the startup are already set up (with the latter not yet set in stone). The candidate should at the moment of selection, at least has the ambition to co-found the startup on the basis of the information available at that moment in time. A back-up plan for the spin-off would be to license the IP to an existing player in the market.


What will you do


  • You will be working in a team of exercise physiologists, sports data scientists and cycling enthusiasts and will be leading the product and business strategy for the spin-off.


  • Conduct thorough market research to identify potential opportunities and trends in the cycling industry.


  • Analyze competitor landscapes, assess market positioning, define and execute the company strategy towards the successful development and commercialization for the model / technology.


  • Leverage your broad network in sports, technology and innovation in general and cycling in particular to translate the prototypes and customers’ needs into product specifications that drive the development roadmap. Identify new business opportunities and develop strategic partnerships if required.   


  • Work in close co-operation with the technical team to build and execute the product development roadmap by e.g. defining the business model and the go-to-market strategy and ensuring alignment of short-term and long-term objectives.


  • Align the suggested roadmap with the key researchers and the Victoris’ leading Business Developer (Kristof De Mey).


  • Close deals with the first paying customers and/or partners.  


  • Identify and attract key resources to build a high-performing and ambitious team and ensure the full engagement of the team for company success.  


  • Prepare for setting up the company’s legal structure, founder agreements, financial plan, etc.


  • Assembling an advisory board with the key opinion leaders in the fields relevant for the business.  


  • Attend and present at relevant events and coordinate the broader communication actions regarding the project.


  • Develop an exciting yet realistic business plan, set-up agreements with co-founders and raise the necessary funds.


  • Build trust relations with customers, key partners and stakeholders and act as a liaison between the project team, investors, and the wider cycling community.





  • You have an academic degree (Master level) in movement and sports sciences, engineering or business management or similar expertise by professional experience.  

  • You are an enthusiastic entrepreneurial minded (potential) CEO or business lead with proven experience in building or managing sports or health tech ventures towards individual athletes, teams, federations, companies, or other stakeholders.


  • You have a demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with academic researchers, translating their work into viable business opportunities.


  • You’re knowledgeable in terms of user-centered design, digital product creation, market validation and go-to-market strategies, preferably in a sport or health startup context.


  • You have a passion for cycling and have built a significant network in this area.


  • You’re familiar with intellectual property (IP) management and the ability to navigate the commercialization of academic research while respecting university policies.


  • You possess outstanding organizational and leadership skills with proven experience in driving a talented team to reach its targets within the set timing and available budget.  


  • You have experience with fundraising (from business angels, investment funds and/or grants).


  • You are an excellent communicator and have strong public speaking skills. You can articulate the company strategy into a comprehensible storyline for non-experts.  


  • You are familiar with diverse business functions such as sales, marketing, finance, IP, etc. Hands-on experience with these functions is a plus.  


  • Previous experience with a cycling related tech startup is a plus.


  • You are based or willing to be based in Belgium (and you are legally allowed to work in Belgium) with potential to operate in hybrid mode (on-site and partial remote).




  • We offer you a contract of definite duration for the period from 1st May 2024 to 31st of December 2025.

  • Your contract will start on the 1st of May 2024 at the earliest.

  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1 to WM4 (if you hold a Master’s degree). Click here for more information about our salary scales.

  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).


Selection procedure


After a pre-selection based on the submitted and assessed as admissible application files, the selection committee may hear the candidates about their vision and planning regarding the spin-off. Candidates are asked to further discuss their 5 most impactful achievements. These competences are also taken into account when evaluating the candidates. 



Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late or incomplete applications, or applications that are not sent through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:


  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents”: a reference letter, an overview of your study results,



For further information regarding this vacancy, please contact Prof. dr. Jan Boone ( for exercise physiology related questions, Prof. dr. Steven Verstockt ( for data or technology related questions or dr. Kristof De Mey ( for business related questions.

Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read our FAQ or contact helpdesk ( - tel. 09/264 98 98).