Learning at an American Startup from the Perspective of a Belgium Citizen

Business Operations Manager: Lotte Vandewalle

At OmniVis, we pride ourselves on being learners from a diversity of backgrounds all contributing to our common mission of elevating humanity in healthcare. We are a motivated team that learns from each other and persists through challenges to help everyone on the team grow and reach their fullest potential.

Today, our Employee Spotlight showcases our Business Operations Manager, Lotte Vandewalle! Meet Lotte and learn about her journey to OmniVis.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I am Lotte and I am originally from Belgium. I have been living in the Bay Area since September of 2019. I love being outdoors and everything that has to do with hiking, exploring, being on an adventure. I have traveled a lot, mostly in Europe, but I hope to see more of the world in the future! Some activities I enjoy are biking, snowboarding, and being in nature. However, I also really enjoy being in cozy cities and enjoying the old buildings while enjoying a nice dinner and some wine. I have a Bachelor’s degree in social work and a Masters degree in political science with an emphasis on European studies. I have 6.5 years of experience within HR and recruitment of IT profiles and since March I have been a business operations manager at OmniVis which I absolutely love.

What does your day-to-day look like? What are your key responsibilities for OmniVis?

My day to day actually differs every week. I wear many hats as the business operations manager. A few of my key responsibilities are as follows:

  • I do one of the most important key responsibilities that I have is managing all of the grants that we have making sure the company reaches milestones associated with those grants. Making sure we send reports on time, meet the milestones, follow up with the team to check progress are a few of the things that I do related to grants. Additionally, I am in charge of staying in touch with our partners and reaching out to new partners, and building those relationships.
  • I am also very active in looking for people who can help us with the manufacturing of our device since we want to bring our product to market soon. It is very important to find someone who can help us deliver a quality product therefore I set up meetings with potential manufacturers and discuss product manufacturing.
  • Another thing that I do is I am responsible for HR. At the moment we have 2 open positions at OmniVis, mechanical and bioengineer. So we’ve found a mechanical engineer and my responsibility is going through the whole recruitment process, guiding candidates through the recruitment process, keeping everyone updated, giving feedback if people are not a match for the company. Also once people are hired, I am responsible for the whole onboarding process, making sure we have all the documents filled out and making sure new employees have a few good first days scheduled out for them so people are smoothly on-boarded into the company and know what to do for the next days and weeks and making sure they feel very welcomed inside the organization as well.
  • Something else I have been working on is developing an operations efficiency plan that is a document that actually tells us about every business process within the company. I wrote all of our current processes down but also created new processes and updated existing processes to make them more efficient for the company in the long run.

What is your favorite thing about working at OmniVis and what do you think makes OmniVis special from other biotech startups?

I think both of those questions are super relevant and definitely really similar answers for me. What makes OmniVis special compared to other biotech startups is that we have a clear mission and vision. We want to help people who don’t have access to certain medical devices and that is something we want to provide. I love that we actually give something back to the community, countries, and people who don’t have it as easy as we have and contribute to the world and health. I love having a clear idea of why I am doing certain things and having the end goal in mind. Another thing that I like about working at OmniVis is that even though we are small, we are really fast-paced so there are a lot of things happening all the time. I really enjoy being involved in so many different things and learning so much in such a short period. The team is super friendly and very helpful towards each other and it’s just a super fun group to work with.

What has been your favorite project you have been working on and why?

One of my favorite things has been finding manufacturers for our product. I don’t have a technical background so it was all new to me when we started looking into manufacturing our test kits for the microfluidic chip. I didn’t know that much about microfluidic chips and I didn’t know that much about manufacturers and so I had to learn how everything worked step by step. I was able to work closely with our Global Health Engineer Jordan who also taught me a lot about the technology.

I really enjoy getting to follow the whole process of manufacturing and bringing our product from a prototype to a device being delivered to customers. I get to learn so much about our technology and different processes that go into delivering a great result to our customers which I have really enjoyed in the past few months.

Fun Fact About Yourself!

I used to be a good gymnast, especially on the trampoline and I did that for like 10 years. I wish I did it longer because I was actually pretty good at it. I also speak multiple languages! I am from Belgium where we have 3 national languages so I speak Dutch, a little French, a little German too and of course English.

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