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Paul de Lange


Paul de Lange, founder of Calabi, is a theoretical physicist turned digital with a passion for short supply chains. He connects local producers and farmers with supermarkets, providing a digital B2B marketplace for local producers with Calabi.

What gives you satisfaction as an entrepreneur?

To be independent. To take all the decisions myself. This is something I'm trying to achieve for my clients too. I want the same freedom, independence and autonomy for local providers and farmers as I have. Being an entrepreneur is both a blessing and a challenge. Even the unpleasant things about being an entrepreneur are better. I’m doing these annoying tasks, but they are for my own benefit, not for someone else’s.

Imagine your house catching fire. Apart from loved ones and pets, what else would you want to save and why?

Next to our loved ones, I guess our house in Antwerp itself is our most precious possession. We live in Kiel, next to the Beerschot stadium. What’s so awesome about this area is that football plays such a big role here. When they score, it feels like it’s in our backyard. When it’s match day, everything’s purple. It's a nice family club with one of those old stadiums, right in the heart of this residential area.

What gives you energy on a really dark day?

Ticking off my to-do lists. I always try to accomplish them before noon. That way you can turn around a day that started badly. Or at least try to turn it around. Every time one of those tasks is crossed out on my to-do list, I have the idea of going forward.

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

Absolutely not. To everyone who wants to change something about their life in the future: What is holding you back right now? People excel at not working towards or achieving their goals and dreams. Lowering the bar every time for yourself. If you expect you can’t do it, you are underestimating yourself every time. You don‘t need valid or sane reasons to do something, like starting a business.

What in your life are you most grateful for?

I am grateful for my sweet wife and healthy daughter. I am also very aware of some privileges I have that allow me to be an entrepreneur. I live in Belgium, in Antwerp, have no health issues, have a certain degree, a healthy financial situation and an aptitude for programming. I am aware of my privileged situation, but don't express my gratitude for it because that would mean I am satisfied with how divided in resources our world is. That’s not the case. I really don't believe in the American Dream as such. I don't think you can own that kind of story about being an amazing business risk taker when you don't realize and acknowledge that you are privileged to start with. There are many starting entrepreneurs worldwide who have less mental and practical room, space, opportunities, freedom or liberties to start their business and I realize that.


Lange Gasthuisstraat 29-31, 2000 Antwerpen