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‘Companies are looking for new ways to digitally boost employee engagement’

Ambassify makes it easier for companies to turn employees into – what’s in a name? – true ambassadors. Almost ten years ago, founder Koen Stevens was part of one of the first imec.istart batches. Today, the Ambassify platform builds communities for international giants like Allianz, Barco, KBC and Swiss Life Group.


“Authenticity was a key element from day one. That’s where we make the difference”, Koen says. ”We want to attract real ambassadors, not just price hunters who constantly switch between brands. Only people with the ‘ambassador gene’ get access to the platform. They can be employees, but they can just as well be partners or suppliers or loyal customers.

“We combine both push campaigns (push messages at customers and stakeholders) and pull campaigns (pull them towards your company and your products) to boost ambassadorship. Companies can use our platform to gently ask their ambassadors to share messages. Brands communicate with their customers on all sorts of channels. But it’s much more credible when employees tell their peers that company X is a great place to work or how much effort they put in making product Y.”

Promised land

Next to the push campaigns Ambassify pays a lot of attention to pull campaigns. “We set up polls, surveys, ideation exercises, etc. to ask ambassadors for input. I won’t get into the internal kitchen of our customers, so let me give you an in-house example. A while back we started to notice that our weekly team meetings weren’t as productive as they used to be. So we used our own platform to gather ideas to make them more dynamic again. I put the ideas together and came up with a new format. We kicked it off last week and the team meeting was much more dynamic, with much more listening and much more engagement.”

“Ideally, push and pull go hand in hand. Employees will be more likely to share a message when they feel like their voice truly matters. Involvement boosts engagement. Employees who feel so valued and included that they are eager to promote their employer, that’s our promised land. But organizations need to put in a lot of time and a lot of hard work to get there.”

Imec.istart: sounding board and investor

When Ambasssify was part of imec.istart – almost ten years ago and back then under a different name – the startup landscape was totally different. “Accelerators were a brand new thing”, Koen remembers. “There weren’t many startups around, there was no such thing as an ecosystem. That only made imec.istart more relevant. It was the only place where we could meet other startups and other founders. Although imec.istart was still in the early stages, the quality of the startups and the program was very high. There were always sounding boards around.”

“The investment imec.istart made, had a huge impact. It was a facilitator. We got a higher post money valuation very soon and that’s something we still carry with us with every new funding round for Ambassify.”

Employee engagement from a distance

Today, Ambassify has a team of 20 people and has customers in 15 different countries, Koen explains. “Mainly bigger organisations, that often go through a huge digital transformation. Their employees are a vital part of their change management, so they look for tools and platforms to get them on board.”

“Covid-19 has pointed a lot of new customers our way. As everyone worked from home, companies needed to find new ways to overcome the physical distance and keep their employees engaged. We onboarded some big new clients who use our platform to keep the interaction with their employees going and to ultimately raise ambassadorship.”