Meet Mantis’ team: co-founder, Denis Hellebuyck

Meet Mantis’ team: co-founder, Denis Hellebuyck

Mar 6, 2024 | About Mantis | 0 comments

Hey there! Ever wondered about the awesome people who make things happen behind the scenes?

We are starting our journey to meet the team now! 

Can you talk a bit about your background, expertise and role at Mantis Photonics? 

I have a bachelor degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Ghent University and for my master I embarked on an Erasmus Mundus program in Fire Safety Engineering which is how I ended up in Sweden writing my thesis there. I initially stayed in Sweden where I worked first in corporate after which I founded several start ups. 3 years ago I founded Mantis Photonics with my university friend Diego. Needless to say the learning curve has been both steep and rewarding. This role really enabled me to put use all of my past work experiences in this exciting space that is digital healthcare.

What do you like the most about your job? 

Working with incredibly talented people on problems that are impacting people’s lives – and hopefully finding the solution soon. 

If you were to describe Mantis in 3 words, what would they be? Describe yourself in 3 words as well. 

Team team team. It is true we have a patented technology but it is the team that makes it happen and brings the magic.
Me, I consider myself uncompromising in redefining risks. 

What inspired you to pursue this technology/this career and made you want to be part of Mantis? 

6 years ago, I decided to get off the corporate ladder to become an entrepreneur. Today, looking back, I could not see myself do anything else. When my rugby friend Diego came to me with his patent, I understood its potential. Together with him – and later Jan and the board – we built the company’s mission and vision.  

For an ambitious and revolutionary product such as Mantis’ HSI camera, what would you say is the biggest challenge you faced so far? 

Digital transformation is causing -desperately needed- paradigm shift in healthcare towards more preventive care. Mantis is pioneering on the forefront of this evolution. However since these health economics are still taking shape it makes showing revenue to investors not an easy task.  

If our team came to your place for dinner, what would you cook? 

Pasta with truffles that I found with my dog. We did this already.

What do you do for fun? 

I am a very active person and do a lot of sports. In fact in the office but also at home most of us have stand-up desks which is a lot better for the back. 

Besides sports I also really like cooking. 

How do you define success personally? And how does it influence your professional pursuits? 

Success for me is the journey, with all its ups and downs, moving forward and working relentlessly towards common goals to better people’s lives. 

What advice would you give to young aspirants in your field (or entrepreneurs) based on your experience and lessons learned?

Devour knowledge, literally anything, it will come useful at some point in some place. And be patient, demanding but kind to yourself and others. Rome was not built in one day. 

Where do you see yourself/the company in 5 years? 

Impacting people’s lives, bringing solutions to people globally where it is needed the most. 

Being part of an international team, is there a language you like to use more? Maybe one you would like to learn now? 

I have always made a point of switching up languages during meetings if we can. For example we often have meetings in French, Dutch, Swedish and even Spanish besides the traditional English. 

This is not only fun and interesting, but also is a great way to train the brain and in the long run prevent dementia. 

Bonus questions

What is your bedside table book?

‘Le Medecin d’Ispahan

Favourite sport?

White water kayaking

Want to start a conversation with Denis?