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Imec.istart, World’s number 1 start-up accelerator, is coming to La Grand Poste

Liège, 23 May 2023 – Imec.istart, imec’s business accelerator program, is expanding its operations to Wallonia and will be based in La Grand Poste, the digital and creative heart of Liège. This move is a strategic partnership between imec.istart and Noshaq, the reference financial partner for SMEs creation and development in the Liege region.  

World’s number 1 acceleration program 

Since its inception in 2011, imec.istart has supported over 290 tech start-ups in diverse sectors, enabling them to grow into successful tech companies. Together, these start-ups have already created over 2,800 full-time jobs and raised over 700 million euro in follow-up funding. Imec, a world-leading research center for nano- and digital tech, backs the program, making it an excellent fit for technology start-ups seeking financial and non-financial support. 

The program offers start-ups an initial financial investment of at least 50,000 euro and 12-18 months of support to help them grow, while attracting customers, employees, and follow-up funding through imec's vast partner ecosystem. On average, each euro invested by imec results in 39 euros of external follow-up funding. Imec.istart received recognition as world’s number 1 university-linked accelerator by UBI Global during the World Incubation Summit last week in Ghent. 


From Ghent with love

In 2021, imec.istart ambitiously crossed the borders, launching its accelerator program in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Noshaq, imec.istart now also offers a hub to start-ups in Wallonia. For years, the two organizations are working hand in hand on several projects, including the funding of large, cross-regional investment. With the opening a Walloon desk as part of the istart expanding strategy, both partners are further joining their forces to offer world-class support to promising tech start-ups across Belgium.   

Sven De Cleyn, Program Director of imec.istart, expressed his excitement, saying: "We are thrilled to expand our presence to Wallonia and partner with Noshaq. Our program is dedicated to supporting innovative technology start-ups, and we look forward to strengthening the Walloon ecosystem of tech start-ups and scale-ups through this collaboration."

La Grand Poste, the place to be 

Noshaq is delighted with the partnership, which materializes the relationship between the two organizations, as well as with the choice of its location, which reinforces the positioning of La Grand Poste as a vibrant innovation hub.  

Gaëtan Servais, CEO of Noshaq, says: "imec.istart is the first international acceleration program worldwide, run by a leading economic player, with whom we are happy to strengthen our collaboration here at La Grand Poste. This is good news for La Grand Poste, and more especially for tech entrepreneurs in Wallonia and beyond. It is also a good signal and an acknowledgment of the region’s potential for innovation in tech-related industries, which are amongst the top priorities for Noshaq”. 

Organized as hub, La Grand Poste is located in the historical heart of Liège and features 200 coworking places,  8,000 m2 of office space, a food market, a craft brewery, classrooms, several multimedia studios and numerous conference rooms. It also has exclusive spaces designed for the organization of unique events, such as its panoramic rooftop, which offers an amazing view of the city of Liège and the river Meuse. More than just a place to work, La Grand Poste is a space of emulation dedicated to creative companies and entrepreneurs. A unique place that aims to stimulate innovation in all its forms and encourage connection between professionals from the new economy. 

Applications to join the imec.istart accelerator progam in La Grand Poste are now open. Candidates can register until June 1


About imec.istart
Imec.istart – imec’s business accelerator – aims to help tech companies successfully launch. The imec.istart-program offers a variety of services, including an initial financial injection (50-250K pre-seed funding), personal coaching and mentoring, access to technology and office space, and access to imec’s broad international network and investors. Since its launch in 2011, imec.istart has supported more than 290 tech start-ups. The UBI Global report ranked imec.istart first in the category 'Top University Business Accelerators' of 2023.

About imec
Imec is a world-leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Imec leverages its state-of-the-art R&D infrastructure and its team of more than 5,500 employees and top researchers, for R&D in advanced semiconductor and system scaling, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, beyond 5G communications and sensing technologies, and in application domains such as health and life sciences, mobility, industry 4.0, agrofood, smart cities, sustainable energy, education, … Imec unites world-industry leaders across the semiconductor value chain, Flanders-based and international tech, pharma, medical and ICT companies, start-ups, and academia and knowledge centers. Imec is headquartered in Leuven (Belgium), and has research sites across Belgium, in the Netherlands, and representation in 3 continents. In 2022, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 846 million euro.  

About Noshaq 
Noshaq is an investment fund and project developer with a portfolio of 474 companies and share capital amounting to €700 million. Noshaq is the reference financial partner for the creation and development of SMEs in the Liege region. Over the years, Noshaq has developed a variety of financing vehicles, which are fully in line with market needs and trends, as well as its strategy. All services offered by Noshaq are always designed according to the needs and requirements of the client investor. The goal is to ensure that, at all times, we have a lever effect on the development of the clients’ business.