Sean Carter & Lex Willems

For 15 years now, IQONIC, the incubator of Tilburg University, has been guiding starting entrepreneurs to the top. With advice, coaching, a workplace and funding, they have helped many success stories become reality. In this series of short articles, we let entrepreneurs from the incubator react to famous statements by well-known entrepreneurs: do they think the same, what drives them, and where do the entrepreneurs stand in direct opposition to each other? You can read it here!

Sean Carter (Jay-Z) & Lex Willems (Spectrum Group)


Jay-Z is a rapper, right?

True, but in addition to being a rapper, he is also a songwriter, record executive, businessman and media owner. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history and is also known as the founder of Roc-a-Fella Records, which discovered great artists like Rihanna and Rick Ross. In 1999, he founded the Rocawear clothing shop and in 2003 the 40/40 Club luxury sports bar chain. Both companies have grown into multimillion-dollar businesses and allowed Jay-Z to fund the start-up of the entertainment company Roc Nation, which was founded in 2008. In 2015, he acquired the tech company Aspiro and was put in charge of their media streaming service Tidal.

Why he is successful:

Turned his 'hard knock life' into art, kept trying, and never gave up. He has a good sense for business opportunities. 

Famous quote:

"I'm not a businessman, I'm a company, man!"  

Who is Lex Willems?

Lex is Commercial Director / Managing Director at Spectrum Group B.V. (Spectrum AV, Live & Audio Integrators). In the past twenty years, Spectrum AV has grown into an audio-visual company specialised in the festival & event sector and in the installation sector for audio-visual installation technology. Under Lex's leadership, they have already completed countless beautiful and successful projects, including 7th Sunday Festival and Paaspop. With Spectrum Live, they focus entirely on facilitating online events.

Lex, do you identify yourself with the quote of Sean Carter?

It is wonderful to see how Shawn Carter has built a brand around him as a person. Unique, if you consider how many different industries he is active in! However, I do not believe that the success of an organisation depends on one person. With the whole team you have to, as we say at Spectrum: "stay in the same movie". Every employee contributes to the success of the whole!

What success did that bring?

Spectrum Live is a good example: at the beginning of the corona crisis, there was a lot of uncertainty about the future of events. Instead of waiting to see what the rest of 2020 would look like, we immediately went to work on Spectrum Live! With Spectrum Live, our services have expanded to Digital / Hybrid events, and our "spectrum" of services is only getting wider! We now have 5 enthusiastic employees who work as a self-managing team within the organisation.

In the meantime, we have managed to build up a nice team, with which we can support events with other digital tools in addition to interaction. The focus on the wishes of our clients (event managers) ensures that we can make better tools every day.

Name one thing that has always stuck with you from your time at IQONIC.

You are not alone! Many more young student entrepreneurs run into the same problems as you! Ring the bell, and ask for help!         

IQONIC – represents and supports all aspects of entrepreneurship within Tilburg University. They help students, alumni, academics and employees of Tilburg University to further develop their entrepreneurial mindset, so that they can make a difference in society. IQONIC does this by stimulating and supporting creativity and innovation.

Did you know that: Tilburg University also has a dual career arrangement for entrepreneurs in addition to the top-level sports arrangement? Want to know more about combining entrepreneurship and studying? Visit