Who is Sébastien Lebbe?
- Co-founder and CEO of Wooclap.
- From Brussels, 29 years old.
- Passionate about education, new technology and neuroscience.
Education is the keyword in the career of Sébastien Lebbe, the co-founder and CEO of Wooclap. Education through innovation, which relies on digital technology and an understanding of how the brain works, thanks to neuroscience. Education, which becomes dynamic, interactive, more pleasant and more effective as a result.
A job at the heart of innovation
Wooclap has developed an interactive platform that enables teachers – especially those in higher education but also in secondary education – to make their courses more dynamic and measure what and how much students have understood. The Brussels start-up has developed technology that enables teachers and lecturers to ask questions (surveys, quizzes, multiple choice, open questions…) to students, who can answer in real time, in the auditorium, on their smartphone. The user-friendly
Wooclap platform integrates with the tools these educators already use (the Microsoft teams developed an integration with PowerPoint). Currently, the platform is used in all Belgian universities and over 100 countries.
Wooclap is innovative on two levels: on the pedagogical level, with an approach that is based on how our brain functions, and on the technological level, by relying on the most recent and efficient digital and design technology, to offer teachers and students a very fast, reliable and efficient interface.
But this is just the beginning. “Education is one of the few areas that has not yet been disrupted”, explains Sébastien Lebbe. “In the years to come, we think this sector will see a huge evolution, there is a lot that can be done to improve education, and a lot of innovation potential too.”
A project in the spotlight
Wooclap continues to develop and hopes to achieve much more, with the creation of a real community of teachers. The main objective will be to collaborate with these teachers and pedagogical engineers, to review the structure of certain courses and offer a different, more effective type of education.
“Currently, Wooclap allows teachers to make classroom teaching more dynamic, using smartphones or with remote quizzes. In the future, we will add new functionality, which will allow them to adopt a pedagogical approach that is really more active, offering adaptive learning for all the students and their teachers”, Sébastien says.
The idea is to reverse the current teaching-learning processes and use digital technology to develop platforms that will adapt to the level of comprehension, knowledge and study methods of students. The auditoriums will become places for debate, interaction and practice with teachers or lecturers. “Currently education tends to be rather passive. The student listens… and soon stops listening. We want to switch to a more active pedagogical model, from A to Z. We are relying on neuroscience to achieve this and will also resort to using artificial intelligence. So we are focussing both on the course structure and the toolkit that students and teachers will need.”
Brussels, City of Innovators
Sébastien thinks that Brussels is a fast-changing city and a dynamic region in terms of innovation. The quality of the engineers and programmers there is quite good. What’s more, Brussels is also very centrally located. Based on its strengths, the region has the potential to continue to innovate and develop its entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Sébastien Lebbe studied civil engineering at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and obtained a Master’s degree from the Solvay Business School. After university, he founded a private prep school to help students prepare for their exams. His lecturers at Solvay suggested that he participate in a programme to create a prototype of an application. That is where he met Jonathan Alzetta, who is currently his partner in business, and Olivier Verdin, a professor, a serial entrepreneur and a neuroscientist. At the end of the programme, the three men joined forces, founding Wooclap, launching their first prototype in 2015. The start-up, which initially relied on own funding, raised funds on two occasions, in 2017 and in early 2019. In addition to its original investors, including Be Angels and the businessman Philippe Van Ophem, Wooclap can also count on the support of Alain Dehaze, CEO of The Adecco Group and Pierre-Olivier Beckers, the former CEO of Delhaize.
What he likes about his job…
- The positive impact that Wooclap can have on learning, which is so vital for the development of individuals and society
- The amazing diversity of a sector in which you learn a lot, in varied yet complementary domains, from neuroscience and business to technology.
- The start-up mindset, working with a small team, which ensures a lot of flexibility and autonomy
“Our goal is not just to generate a turnover. We are tackling a colossal challenge: to make learning exceptional – in every possible way and for everybody – and ethical.”
3 tips for Brussels innovators
- Be passionate about what you do, about the goal you are pursuing
- Surround yourself with the right people because you can’t have all the required competences, in every discipline
- Work with people with whom you have an affinity, in terms of competences and values
Education and learning: figures
- More than 70,000 teachers and lecturers use Wooclap.
- The application is available in 6 languages: French, Dutch, English, Spanish, German and Russian.
- After 10 minutes of classroom teaching, the span of attention drops substantially.
- Today’s teaching is geared towards sharing too much information in a very short time frame : the human brain can only retain 5 to 7 bits of information simultaneously.