BlinkLane Consulting

Mathias Cobben

Mathias Cobben (1984) is the practice leader for Innovation & Venturing at BlinkLane.  His expertise lies in business model innovation and corporate strategy. He advises C-level management on keeping the balance between the exploitation of existing opportunities, and the exploration of new ones. He holds a master's degree in General Management of Vlerick Business School and was exchange student at the University of California at Berkeley. Clients mostly value Mathias’ wide-angle perspective on problem solving, as he is constantly scanning the outside world on how trends and changes can impact the future of what they do. He is good with challenges that have no obvious solutions, and therefore require a resourceful approach.


Practice Leader & Senior Consultant


  • Business model innovation
  • Business agility
  • Business strategy
  • Design thinking


  • 2013 – now      BlinkLane Consulting
  • 2010 – 2012     Research associate at Vlerick Business School, Belgium


  • Master in General Management at Vlerick Business School, Belgium
  • Master in Architecture at Antwerp University, Belgium
  • Master exchange Program at University of California at Berkeley, USA

Negotiating innovation with compliance

Posted by Mathias Cobben on September 23rd, 2016

Innovation requires experimentation. Developing a proof of concept to show that a certain technology works, or testing a value proposition with a small sample of customers are both simple ways of generating insights with a modest investment. Such experimentation comes naturally for … Read more

Selecting technology drivers of innovation

Posted by Mathias Cobben on June 29th, 2016

We currently distinguish 4 technology drivers of innovation when we consult our clients on innovating their business models: Big Data, Machine Learning, The internet of Things, and Decentralized ledgers (which includes Blockchains, amongst others). On a regular basis, we get asked … Read more

The second machine age: book review

Posted by Mathias Cobben on September 20th, 2015

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, is an accessible overview of information technology’s expected impact on society in a time where artificial intelligence is looming around the corner. The … Read more

Thinking, Fast and Slow: book review

Posted by Mathias Cobben on August 12th, 2015

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman a robust overview of practical insights in human decision making, derived from the author’s life long academic career, during which he pioneered the field of behavioral economics, together with his friend and colleague Amos Tversky. … Read more

3 focal points for corporate Incubation

Posted by Mathias Cobben on June 30th, 2015

As corporates find start-ups and their ways of working ever more interesting, they stage the environments deemed ideal for entrepreneurship in order to spur their own innovation. Amongst these environments is the incubator, also referred to as accelerator, which is an organization that helps … Read more

Exponential Organizations: book review

Posted by Mathias Cobben on June 18th, 2015

Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, cheaper than yours, by Salim Ismail, is an analysis of the extremely scalable tech start-ups that we have seen in the past decade, as well as a guide to implement the principles on … Read more

Ten types of innovation: book review

Posted by Mathias Cobben on May 29th, 2015

Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs by Larry Keeley, Bansi Nagji, and Helen Walters is a practitioner guide for implementing innovation in your organization. In a nutshell, the authors outline ten types, say patterns, of innovation which stretch … Read more

Why leading innovators is different

Posted by Mathias Cobben on March 26th, 2015

In an insightful TEDtalk, Linda Hill, management professor at Harvard Business School, unravels the links between leadership and innovation. She points out that innovation is about the management of many talents going through a rather messy and unpredictable process. Hence the name of Hill’s … Read more

Managing the unknown

Posted by Mathias Cobben on February 27th, 2015

In their latest Harvard Business Review article, Leading Your Team into the unknown, Nathan Furr and Jeffrey H. Dyer shed light on how great managers empower their employees to innovate. They do so by putting forward heuristics that show great … Read more

The innovator’s bookshelf, disrupted.

Posted by Mathias Cobben on January 20th, 2015

Few topics received so much attention in business media over the past five years as innovation and entrepreneurship. They are often framed as the answer to corporate survival. This includes the popular – yet methodologically contested – gospel of Disruption that Clayton Christensen … Read more