Small Business Awards 2020

Prior to the business accelerator’s success at the Corporate Vision Small Business Awards 2020, imec.istart was recognised as one of World’s Top Business Accelerators in 2019 by UBI Global in the world’s largest survey of university incubators. This was a remarkable achievement, as imec. istart came out in the top 4 of the 1,580 programs that were assessed worldwide, based on more than fifty qualifying parameters. The recognition and growth that imec.istart has experienced is in itself a source of great pride for the firm, particularly combined with the often-global impact being made by the 220 start- ups nurtured by imec.istart in their respective fields. As imec.istart’s team of dedicated and reliable people continue to empower entrepreneurs and their ventures, they are looking forward to a long and sustainable future of making continued significant global impacts. Contact: De Bleecker Sophie Company: imec.istart Website: Since its inception in 2011, imec.istart, a business accelerator that supports tech start-ups, has helped more than 220 enterprises across various sectors to develop into sustainable businesses. Internationally recognised by UBI Global as a world leader of tech university- linked business accelerators, imec.istart takes pride in its comprehensive portfolio and extensive partner and mentor network, which has worked together to generate more 1,800 full-time jobs and over 286 million euro in follow-up funding. As the Belgian firm adds yet another award to its growing collection, we went to find out a little bit more about imec. istart as it nears a decade of operation. imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital electronics, first launched its open accelerator programme in Belgium in 2011. imec.istart was one of the first tech start-up accelerators in Europe when it first arrived on the scene and was created to offer tech start-ups pre-seed funding and tailored support to help them succeed and flourish on a global scale. For imec.istart, entrepreneurship and technology are the future and as such, the team are on a mission to support those tech entrepreneurs who are ready to see their venture take off. Their program offers a complete selection of services for start-up entrepreneurs to take advantage of, including an initial financial injection of 50,000 to 150,000 euros in pre-seed funding, industry- specific coaching and mentoring, access to technology and office facilities, contacts with an international network of partners and investors and much more besides. Instead of the usual three to six-month duration of most programs, imec.istart’s program lasts for twelve to eighteen months. Providing support in the form of expert panels and a dedicated internal coach – or Venture Acceleration Manager - for at least one full sales cycle, this therefore gives start-ups time to lay down the solid foundations for their enterprise and then grow from the initial, difficult stages of inception. Being backed by imec gives the program’s start-ups unparalleled access to no less than 4,000 leading researchers and their work into new digital and nanotechnologies, whilst the imec.istart network of over 1,000 investors and forty structural industry partners consists of influential corporations such as ING, BNP Paribas Fortis, Cronos, Telenet, UCB and Pfizer. In just under a decade, imec.istart has helped more than 220 start-ups to begin building their ventures, of which 25% have evolved into high- growth scale-ups and 85% have survived the initial period to continue developing independent Best Start-Up Support Programme - Western Europe of the program, a statistic that is well-above average for a business accelerator. Being able to measure their start-ups’ progress through Innovatrix, a tool that monitors achievements and benchmarks them against their peers, gives both the start-ups and imec.istart valuable insights into the progress of their ventures in order to adjust to continue on the desired upwards trajectory of their enterprises. Consistently growing its remarkable portfolio, imec.istart organises an Open Call three times a year, to which start-ups can apply to participate in the internationally acclaimed acceleration program. Each year, imec.istart takes on around thirty high-potential start-ups from Belgium and around the world, although for candidates from Europe, the USA and Canada, it is necessary to demonstrate a link to Belgium by committing to set up a subsidiary or branch office in Belgium or setting up a collaboration with a local research institute. Start-ups from other regions must move their headquarters to Belgium in order to be invested in by imec.istart. Sep20709 Small Business Awards 2020 39