Patrick De Pauw
CEO, Social Seeder
It's the kind of story met with, "No, way!" or "That's crazy," but it's still true. Founder Patrick De Pauw was invited to a lunch at Google headquarters. Some of the other guests? Then-President Barack Obama and Richard Branson to name a few. At the time, Patrick had spent nearly 30 years in the travel marketing industry forming relationships and connections--one of whom invited him to this select roundtable.
On the flight home, Patrick reflected on the power of connections. In travel, he had seen that other people's opinion was more influential than most marketing tools. As ads got more expensive and algorithms more unpredictable, Patrick decided to focus on the one thing that consistently worked: word-of-mouth.
Once he returned, Patrick promptly developed a concept around connections; social media being the obvious starting point. In reviewing online posts, likes, and discussions, he noticed people happily act as de facto ambassadors for things they like whether a destination, brand, cause, or organization. They do it without money and often without even realizing it.
After mapping out specific ways to capture the untapped ambassador goodwill, Patrick joined forces with friends, Jo Caudron and Dado Van Peteghem, who were working on a compatible idea which became Social Seeder.