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Five Belgian accelerator programs to boost your startup’s growth

As a startup, you might feel ready after a while to scale up. However, that’s easier said than done. At that point, it is wise to seek some assistance.

One way to do so is to join an accelerator program in which you receive guidance, tips and tricks, insights about things you might not even have considered in the first place, and so on. To help you find the right fit between your startup and an accelerator program, we listed five Belgian accelerator programs that we recommend.

1. Imec.istart

The business accelerator program by imec, an international R&D and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, supports tech startups in their early development phase. Even though imec has international reach, their headquarters are situated in Leuven and imec.istart is a Belgian accelerator program. It is an acclaimed program as well, as UBI Global put it on the first place on its list of university-linked accelerators in Europe. Concretely, the business acceleration program supports entrepreneurs in the early development of their tech start-up for a minimum of 12 months.  

The program offers access to finance (a pre-seed funding of €50.000), coaching and mentoring, a large community of partners and investors, technology, working facilities and other types of support (e.g. software deals, marketing and communications advice, etc.). For example, Evoke is a PR partner of imec.istart and as such offers an approach tailored to startups and scaleups for their PR and content marketing.

Some convincing numbers: 

  • Imec.istart has so far helped 185+ startups and 45 scaleups

  • The businesses in the program have created 1200+ jobs

  • More than €120 million revenue 

You can apply here to join imec.istart from May, 4, 2020.

2. Amplitude+

As a joint program by ICAB Business & Technology Incubator and the Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels, this accelerator helps tech startups to scale up for high growth. Thanks to the collaboration between ICAB and MIC, the program is able to incorporate the acquired experience from both organisations which is something startups will only benefit from.

The Amplitude+ program assists startups to overcome the challenges that accompany the desire to scale up. Specifically, a phased approach with three stand-alone modules over a period of 18 months is taken. All in all, startups receive over 100 hours of individual and collective coaching. And perhaps most importantly, there is no cost involved nor any equity needed. 

You can apply now to enter the Amplitude+ accelerator program. 

3. Start it @KBC

The unique selling proposition of Start it @KBC is that there are no strings attached when you participate in their  acceleration program. As an ambitious startup, you don’t have to pay any money nor provide any equity. The only thing that is expected is that you are dedicated, open-minded and willing to learn. That should not be a problem if you’re interested in partaking in an acceleration program in the first place. 

Start it @KBC welcomes startups in every stage of their growth, whether in the ideation phase or already scaling. If you are accepted into the program, you gain access to more than one million dollars of perks via the GAN network. The program allows you to build out an expansive and top notch professional network, provides local ad hoc workshops and accommodates a place to work in co-working spaces in 6 Belgian cities (Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Kortrijk and Leuven).

Some impressive numbers:

  • €200+ million funding raised

  • €150+ million revenue

  • 120+ startups each year

  • 1300+ startup founders

You can apply now to join the Start it @KBC program. Don’t miss out: applications close on March, 3. 

4. BEyond

BEyond is an accelerator program that is supported by Pulse Foundation, a philanthropic initiative of entrepreneurial families in Belgium. Both the foundation’s and the program’s aim is to encourage and support future entrepreneurship.

Each year, 10 scaleups are selected to join the accelerator program in which a focus is placed on community, connections and confidence. That way, these scaleups can boost their growth through the inspiration and knowledge they gain in bootcamps and workshops. Moreover, a personal mentor is appointed to your scaleup who will share his expertise and international success stories. 

The program is aimed at tech scaleups that have a strong link with Belgium. If you are such a startup, take your chance now. Don’t wait around, applications close in a few days!

5. Birdhouse

Birdhouse offers an invaluable network for entrepreneurs. Their mission is to support startups in their journey to become a successful scaleup by sharing knowledge and expertise. To fulfil that mission, they established an accelerator program. For each startup a tailored six-month program is put together in which multiple components help you to reach your targets. 

The program is rather intense, with dedicated mentoring, raising money, growing a valued network, participating in goal oriented workshops, receiving personal coaching and access to a well-equipped office space in Ghent or Antwerp.

You can pre-register now for the summer 2020 acceleration program of Birdhouse. 

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