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About

Internet technology companies

Common Companies is an aggregation of innovative businesses driven by creativity,
a thorough understanding of technology and common sense.

With a clear vision, well-defined principles and methods, a hands-on multidisciplinary team and a sociable atmosphere, we invent, fund and launch cutting-edge technology driven services, products and solutions.
All with the ambition to be a part of or to become successful companies someday.

We have a special interest in Mobile, Tablet, Desktop, Consoles, Connected Hardware.
Basically everything hooked - up to the internet or with a screen attached to it.

We live, love, work and play in Antwerp City, Belgium.

Team

Executive Team

Tom, Vincent, Nick and Thomas are Common Companies 4 founding partners. Their paths crossed and paralleled many times to eventually end up as partners and Common Companies sole proprietors. Their history together, complementary skill sets, common vision and ambition make them the perfect team. Together, they define and direct the strategy and course of Common Companies current and hopefully future establishments.

  • Tom Vroemans

    Managing Director and Co-Founder
    Tom
    • 03/01/1984
    • Antwerp

    Tom is Managing Director at Common Companies and also acts as a Managing Director for most of the Common subsidiaries. He defines the companies’ strategy and is the table-jumper of the bunch. Tom does make a lot of noise sometimes and moves through the office like a category F5 twister, but that’s ok. Everybody has learned to cope with that. :)

    • Defines company strategy.
    • Defines management and operational policies.
    • Manages legal & finances.
    • Heads business development.
    Tom Vroemans
  • Thomas Van Sundert

    Technical Director (applications) and Co-Founder
    Thomas
    • 17/09/1985
    • Antwerp

    Thomas is Technical Director at Common Companies and also acts as a Technical Director for most of the Common subsidiaries. He started his career as the Microsofty of the bunch, but quickly evolved to the #1 technology evangelist. Thomas is an expert in programming languages & frameworks. He makes sure we are always up to date with the latest technologies, and embodies the Common multidisciplinary technological character. Thomas holds a master degree in Computer Sciences (University of Leuven, Belgium).

    Tom Vroemans
  • Nick Verbaendert

    Technical Director (web/server) and Co-Founder
    Nick
    • 16/08/1985
    • Antwerp

    Nick is Technical Director at Common Companies and also acts as a Technical Director for most of the Common subsidiaries. Nick is an expert in web and server programming languages & frameworks. We know Nick as the “notorious wild wild web wizard”. He has been on the wanted list of many organizations (and (un)fortunately not only in the want-to-recruit section). However, women who had the chance to meet him, like to refer to him as "The Black Beauty". You choose how you’d like to call him. Guess what he prefers. Nick holds a master degree in Industrial Engineering (University of Antwerp, Belgium).

    • Defines technological strategy & ensures technological knowledge for all subsidiaries.
    • Defines server architecture and services for applications.
    • Directs & trains web and server development team.
    Tom Vroemans
  • Vincent Pauwels

    Creative Director and Co-Founder
    Vincent
    • 25/05/1984
    • Antwerp

    Vincent is Creative Director at Common Companies and also acts as a Creative Director for most of the Common subsidiaries. When it comes to detail, Vincent is Mr Precise. He makes sure it all looks gooood. Vincent is Creative Director at day and a signed DJ / Producer at night. You might know him from his alter ego VNNR.

    • Directs & trains design staff.
    • Supervises creative processes.
    Tom Vroemans

Management

  • Chiara Marynissen / Assistant Director

    Chiara

    Chiara assists in the daily government of Common Companies and it’s subsidiaries. Besides that, she make sure that everybody is happy working here. Chiara is the Common trustee. We all want to grow together within the aggregation and Chiara will make sure that will be the case in the present & in the future.

  • Sarah Boonen / Management Assistant

    Sarah

    Sarah is the rock, someone we all can count on for no matter what. She makes the office feel like home. Sarah is in charge of all administration and makes sure all partners and suppliers get paid in time. And boy, does she make sure that it goes the other way around as well. Sarah is the first to arrive at the pub when we go for drinks on Friday.

Background story

  • It all started at the end of 2008 when Nick Verbaendert (1985), Vincent Pauwels (1984) and Tom Vroemans (1984) founded Cowboys & Indians. A couple of months later, Thomas Van Sundert (1985) joined as well.

    What brought them together? For starters: they were all personal friends, so they knew each other quite well already. They all proved to have a creative state of mind and a profound interest for everything related to technology.

    Moreover, they shared the same vision and ambition, the selfsame business ethics and work-drive. But what really got them going into business together is that they had an amazing complementary skill-set and built-up expertise. That’s what made them feel strong and confident, and triggered them to embark on that great adventure together.

    Tom had the chance of working for a few years as an executive assistant / right-hand of the CEO of a large and internationally active organization (several companies). Large, but still a family business. A family business that he knew very well. That’s where he got his ethics, drive and ambition from. The CEO actually requested and got the approval of his mom to drop out of university for that position. (Tom was studying Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp). Since he was only 19 years old at the time, his mother definitely had a say in the matter. Those who know his mother will understand why he let someone else do the dirty job.

    Vincent got bitten by design virus at the age of 12, creating flyers in MS Paint. With the rise of the personal computer and connected devices, Vincent became more and more intrigued by the continuous evolution of interfaces and usability, and started experimenting on his own. At the age of 19 Vincent dropped out of college to become a self-employed freelance graphic & web designer (Vincent was studying Marketing at the time). After a few years of working on smaller projects and as a freelance Art Director, Vincent realized that what he really wanted to do was create and enhance user experiences for all things technological. Vincent (VNNR) is a signed artist active in the indie electronic music scene as a DJ and producer.

  • Nick got into the programming ‘business’ at the age of 13. His first website, Bundyz Warez, was a direct hit, but after some international legal complaints he unfortunately had to shut down his shop. Quickly afterwards Nick created his very own Facebook preamble, which was primarily used to post embarrassing stuff about friends. Nick succeeded in getting his Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering (electronics and ICT). While in his Master year, Nick met Tom. He had a great idea to conquer the online packaging industry. They spent hours developing their first online platform. Although it never got released, the urge to keep working together on cool and exciting technological stuff never subsided. Meeting Vincent & Thomas later on led to to the rest of the story.

    Growing up during the advent of the Internet, Thomas quickly became interested in the mechanisms behind it. This resulted in multiple ugly websites fraught with gif animations, midi intro songs and changing background colors. It was back then that Thomas quickly realized that design wasn’t going to be his calling. At the age of 15, Thomas’ two major interests, rock music and the web, pushed him towards creating one of Belgium’s first websites focused on pure alternative music, reviewing the latest albums, concerts and festivals. Thomas went on to study Computer Sciences at the Leuven University. During his spare hours, he started as a freelance developer for an internet start-up. There, he bumped into some old schoolmates: Nick, Vincent and their new business partner Tom. It quickly became clear that the four of them made a great match, and after some time working together Thomas became part of the founding team.

    From the day the four started working together, they envisioned themselves developing technology driven products and solutions of their own. There is nothing more exciting, more fun than developing something you invented and other people love using. Sounds cliché, but that doesn’t make it less true.

  • Still, developing products and establishing new ventures takes time, expertise and, especially, money. Interesting fact: until recently, Common Companies founded and accelerated all subsidiaries without venture capital or private equity (Geaver seeding through private equity in 2012). Hence, no funding apart from their very own blood, sweat and tears. They knew that additional funding would have resulted in speeding up the company process. However, before making any commitment towards investors, they first wanted to get the most out of their own resources while getting to know their professional selves a bit better.

    And how did they get to know themselves? By working for others. While working for clients, you are confronted with your weaknesses, but also get to know your strengths. Within the process, you develop skills, ideas and some kind of projection towards the future. What you want to do, and definitely don’t want to do. And, not unimportantly, working for clients generates income. Combined with a conservative way of doing business, i.e. keep the money in the cookie jar, they were able to auto-fund their companies and their growth, keep away from investors and make their own decisions.

    So they took the time they needed. The first 2 years (2009 - 2010) of their existence, they put the product and solution development part on hold and focused on their role as a service provider for third parties. They did so by founding two service-oriented companies (Cowboys & Indians in 2008 and Appstrakt in 2009), driven by what they are passionate about: being creative and having fun with technology. Eventually, they created their first product / solution driven companies (Appmiral in 2011 and Geaver in 2012). Hopefully, there will be many others to come...

    Common Companies was founded as a holding in 2012, to make it all manageable and to act as an incubator for its subsidiaries, making sure they would put all their efforts in what they do best. Common allows them to focus entirely on their operations. It delivers a stable environment, fundamentals to generate optimal company growth and room for dynamics between subsidiaries mutually.

Companies

Common is mission control. We act as an incubator for our subsidiaries and make sure that they put all their effort in what they do best. Common is allowing them to focus by extracting everything not related or relevant to their operations. We deliver a stable environment, fundamentals to generate optimal company growth and room for dynamics between subsidiaries mutually.

  • “We position Appstrakt as a structural technology partner for its clients. A partner able to think beyond mobile or web. Being creative with today’s technologies while looking ahead into the future. Appstrakt is the key driver of our technological knowledge and growth of the entire aggregation.”

    Appstrakt builds custom digital solutions to help organizations promote their brands, facilitate their customers and improve their company operations within today’s connected and technology driven society.

    Thanks to their thorough understanding and unique orientation towards past, present and future technologies, the people at Appstrakt are able to build solutions for any relevant device or operating system (Mobile, Web, Desktop, Console & other connected hardware), and act as a knowledge center to help clients face the fast evolving technology landscape.

    Appstrakt is a structural technology partner for advertising agencies such as: Y&R, BBDO, Duval Guillaume & TBWA, and Top Tier companies such as Belgacom (Belgian Telco / Quadruple Play), VMMa (Belgium’s #1 commercial TV network), Spotify (Global Partner), Nokia (EMEA) & Barco (EMEA).

    Appstrakt is founded & funded by Common.

  • “Appmiral started as one of our first lab projects. A set of frameworks for cross-platform and native mobile event guides. Today Appmiral has evolved to a company that develops turnkey mobile event solutions that generate a massive amount of CRM data brands are dying to get their hands on.”

    Appmiral provides a turnkey solution that allows event organizers to communicate with their attendants and associated brands to connect with their consumers.

    They integrate event / brand content and functionality to enrich the event experience and extend customer relationships (CRM) in a non-intrusive way.

    Appmiral created their own set of native frameworks. This allows them to develop fully customized cross-platform event applications - with a tremendous amount of useful features - in just a few days time.

    Appmiral have developed solutions for events such as Rock Werchter (BE), Tomorrowland (BE), Pinkpop (NL), Oppikoppi (SA) and Flanders Classics (Tour of Flanders). They work for organizations such as Live Nation, The European Commission, AB InBev, and brands such as Jupiler, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Bacardi - Martini, KPN Group and Belgacom.

    Appmiral is founded & funded by Common.
    A joint venture between Common and Zanzibar

  • "In the preliminary phase of this project anno 2012, a feasibility study supported by IWT was completed. After the successful validation of its business case, the development of a ‘proof of concept’, and receiving the first seed investment, it is now time to bring the company and its product to the next level".

    Game To Cure NV is a tech startup founded in April 2013 by renowned physiotherapist Lieven Maesschalck and Common.

    Both complementary parties, each with a proven track record within their field of expertise, sharing the vision and ambition to bring physical rehabilitation and prevention to the next level. We’re talking telemedicine solutions with a ‘patient first’ approach.

    Game to Cure is co-founded and co-funded by Common.
    A joint venture between Common and Move to Cure.

  •  

    Tablebooker is an incubation project by Common.
    An Angel investment of Common in an existing product, company and it's team.

  • “With the rise of social media the traditional postcard and e-card are becoming redundant. People quickly post something on a Facebook wall or send a brief text message or Tweet. With Geaver we want to challenge people to start thinking about the message and the form of their greeting once more by offering them a solution to make it as personal as possible.”

    Use Geaver to create birthday-cards, christmas-cards, holiday-cards or an invitation, for any reason or occasion. Be as creative as you want. Create cards with content available on your favorite social media. Add Images from Facebook, video from Youtube, songs from Spotify,... Go nuts, add whatever you want! Use Geaver instead of sending an e-card, Facebook message, a text or a tweet. It’s just more fun!

    Geaver is co-founded and co-funded by Common.
    A joint venture between Common and Private equity investors.

  • Appstrakt
  • Appmiral
  • Game to Cure
  • Tablebooker
  • Geaver

Labs

Labs is our idea and talent breed factory that keeps us ahead of things and embodies our entrepreneurial spirit. An environment where products and solutions are developed with the team using knowledge present within the entire Common aggregation. Some things we develop with the ambition to spin off and be part of a successful company someday. Some to experiment, train and learn. Some we do just for the fun of it.

  • mijnTVgids
  • Apptaché
  • Quizify