Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Thomas Beke


Thomas is a Business Coordinator within the life science investment team of PMV (Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen, Belgium).

In his early career he mainly worked as a researcher in start-up biotech companies such as argenx. Before joining PMV, Thomas worked for almost five years at Modis Life Sciences where he was leading a small team of project managers and was also assigned as a project/program management consultant at Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium, to support several drug development projects across therapeutic area. In addition to Aphea.Bio, Thomas now serves as board observer at Biotalys.

Thomas holds a MsC in BioScience Engineering with a focus on plant biotechnology from the University of Ghent, Belgium, spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) of Vienna, Austria and has a post-graduate degree in Business Economics from KU Leuven, Belgium.

Luc Basstanie


Luc is a senior investment manager at Agri Investment Fund since 2007. He is a board member of various companies including B3F, Capricorn Cleantech Fund, AgroSavfe, ViroVet, Aphea.Bio. He has a broad knowledge and experience related to inputs for agriculture and horticulture: animal feed, fertilizers, crop protection products, seeds and automation for greenhouses. He is also involved in the field of food production, animal health, green and white biotechnology, clean tech, renewable energy and biomaterials.

Luc started his career as researcher at the University of Leuven and Wageningen University. From 1984 he worked for the ARVESTA Group, the largest supplier for the agriculture and horticulture in Belgium, where he was managing director for the subsidiary companies Hermoo, Huntjens and Hortiplan.

Luc holds a Master of Bioscience Engineering from the University of Leuven (1979) and a MBA from Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School(1988).

Willem Broekaert

V-Bio Ventures

Willem Broekaert is co-founder and Managing Director of V-Bio Ventures.

Before setting up V-Bio Ventures, Willem spent over 15 years working in and growing VC-backed life sciences companies as entrepreneur, consultant and executive. He was founder and CEO of Fugeia NV (now owned by Cargill), and Vice President R&D of CropDesign NV (now part of BASF). Before joining CropDesign NV, Willem was professor of Plant Biotechnology and Plant Pathology at the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Willem holds an MSc and PhD in BioScience Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium, and a Master's degree in agricultural economics from IGIA/ESSEC in Paris, France.

Johan Cardoen


Johan Cardoen is managing director of VIB, a life science research organization based in Belgium. In this role, Johan is responsible for VIB's Innovation and Business Team and represents VIB on the board of Agrosavfe (BE), Aphea.Bio (BE), ConfoTherapeutics (BE), Oncurious (BE), GlobalYeast and FlandersBio. In the past he held board positions on behalf of VIB in Actogenix (now Intrexon), and Pronota (now Mycartis).

He is independent chairman of Meiogenix (an Institut Curie spin-off, FR). Johan Cardoen is also chairman of the LP Board of V-Bio Ventures, a dedicated life sciences investment fund, which is focused on early-stage investments in life sciences. Over the past years he held various board positions in biotech companies, in addition he was Chairman of Flandersbio, the umbrella organization for life sciences and biotechnology sector in Flanders from 2007 until May 2012 and he was an independent board director of argenix BV from 2008-2011 and Applied-Maths (now bioMérieux). Until May 31, 2012, he was CEO of CropDesign N.V., today part of BASF (Ghent, Belgium). From 1988 until 1999 he worked for Plant Genetic Systems (PGS) as Technology Acquisition Manager and Business Development Manager. Prior to joining CropDesign (July 1999), Johan was Head Technology Acquisition of AgrEvo Hoechst Schering/Aventis (now Bayer CropScience), and was responsible for all biotechnology-related technology acquisitions.

Johan joined CropDesign in 1999 as Vice President Business Development and became CEO of CropDesign in December 2004; he developed and implemented a dual track strategy (IPO/trade sale) which led to an acquisition of CropDesign by BASF in June 2006. Johan Cardoen received his Ph.D. in biology from KU Leuven, Belgium (1987) and a business degree from KU Leuven (1990).

Jean Van Nuwenborg


Jean Van Nuwenborg, Ph.D., MBA, combines a scientific and business background. Following a career start as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company and as a CEO of a young company, Jean has been active as a Venture Capital and Private Equity partner for over a decade at Theodorus, specialized in Biotech and Med-Science spin-offs.

He accompanied numerous capital increases and has held director positions at Bone Therapeutics and Ovizio Imaging Systems.

He holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and an MBA from Vlerick Business School.

Johan Desaegher


Johan De Saegher holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and started his career as engineer with UCB in 1994 and held several operational and technical functions.

In 2005, he became responsible for the Crop Protection Business Unit, which was extended to Life Sciences including Feed Additives as Group Vice-President Life Sciences and Regional President Latin America and Asia.

Isabel Vercauteren


Isabel Vercauteren is the CEO and co-founder of Aphea.Bio. Between 2008 and 2016 Isabel was employed at Bayer CropScience where she held different positions in R&D with a strong focus on alliance management, technology licensing and new venture management.

Before joining Bayer, Isabel worked for four years at DevGen (acquired Syngenta in 2013) as manager responsible for the plant nematology group and as a project leader for the development of Bt rice for the Indian market.

Isabel has strong expertise in plant biotechnology research, technology valuation and licensing, business development, deal making & negotiation and project management

Isabel holds a Ph.D. in plant molecular biology and a postgraduate in Biosafety and Regulatory in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Ghent, Belgium.