Imec.istart is awarded no.1 university-linked accelerator in Europe by UBI Global. What’s so unique about imec.istart?

We offer a combination of technological and business knowhow. Being backed by imec, our startups have access to the expertise of no less than 4,000 researchers. And they can plug into our strong network of over 1,000 investors and over 40 structural industry partners such as ING, BNP Paribas Fortis, Cronos, Telenet and Pfizer.

Secondly, our support lasts longer than that of most programs: 12 to 18 months instead of the usual 3 to 6.

Finally, we have an unparalleled experience: over 260 supported tech start-ups, of which no less than 25% are high-growth scale-ups with an above-average survival rate of 80%. That results in support practices with proven efficiency and a wide network of entrepreneurs that are eager to share their experiences.

How does imec.istart relate to the venture capital world?

All our ventures receive a pre-seed investment of 50,000 euro and we can decide to make an extra investment of up to 200,000 euro. On top of that, we help them to define their funding requirements. Their imec.istart membership – a true quality seal – opens doors towards Belgian and international investors.

Finally, we facilitate high-quality deal flow to our investor community (with over 1,000 different parties), for example through direct introductions or via the imec.istart Investors Days.

Do you notice trends in the ways corporates reach out to collaborate with or invest in startups?

Some companies that enter the corporate venturing domain quickly realize that sourcing and qualifying startups is not straightforward. Partnerships with ecosystems like imec.istart help them to structurally scout the most promising startups and collaborate with them. Given our experience, corporates increasingly ask us to support them in running programs to interact with startups.

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