(Brussels, September 24, 2020)
Agoria and Sirris join forces with accelerator imec.istart and put a turbo on the Scaleup Vlaanderen guidance program for startups and scale-ups. The comprehensive program responds to the main challenges that digital product companies face in their growth trajectory.
The Belgian technology federation Agoria and the Belgian collective center for the technology industry Sirris have been the tandem behind Scaleup Vlaanderen (an intensive guidance program for digital product companies that are on the verge of an international breakthrough) for four years now.
The companies that have been supported already raised 130 million euros in VC money and created more than a thousand jobs. More than a quarter have opened an office abroad.
“Scaleup Vlaanderen is the high-impact program of choice for ambitious technology companies that want to move to the next phase in their growth trajectory,” says Joke Dehond, Growth Engineer at Sirris and former director and co-founder of a successful software company.
This autumn, Agoria and Sirris join forces with imec.istart, the reputed business accelerator of the Belgian imec research center, and the Scaleup Vlaanderen offering is expanded with numerous new modules that respond to the main challenges that fast growing companies are struggling with.
“Many support organizations, including our own imec.istart program, mainly focus on the start-up phase of a company,” says program manager Sven De Cleyn of imec.istart. “But in a healthy ecosystem it's also necessary to support more mature companies. The range of imec.istart and Scaleup Vlaanderen is a good match in that regard. ”
In addition to the existing coaching program of Scaleup Vlaanderen, the consortium introduces masterclasses and individual coaching on themes such as internal scaling, funding and internationalization. Scale-ups can receive in-depth technology screenings, learn from peers during inspiration events and are linked to potential partners via the network of the three initiators. Economic missions to promising foreign markets are also added to the program.
“Internationalization, financing, making their technology future-proof and attracting and retaining top talent are the main challenges for scale-ups,” adds Expert Innovation & Growth Frederik Tibau of Agoria. “We cover all those points with Scaleup Flanders. It will be the most comprehensive and most complete guidance program for start-ups and scale-ups in Flanders. ”
For a complete overview of the various building blocks in the Scaleup Vlaanderen program, please check the Scaleup Vlaanderen website. In attachment we provide some more key facts about Scaleup Vlaanderen and imec.istart!
“The Scaleup Vlaanderen group coaching offers a framework and holds you a mirror,” says alumnus and founder Bart Baeyens of martech scale-up Hashting. “Valuable concepts are provided on relevant topics, supplemented with practical experience of speakers and peers. As a result, we have been able to accelerate our growth in a responsible and sensible way. ”
"The real added value of Scaleup Vlaanderen lies in the unadulterated and applied input of experienced experts", adds founder Bertrand Anckaert of document management scale-up Contract.fit. "No theoretical platitudes, but specific advice that you can use immediately. We’re looking forward to the new program components that will be launched in the coming weeks! ”
“Scaleup Vlaanderen was the right formula for us,” concludes CEO Mario Huyghe of Oncomfort, who develops virtual anesthetic technology. "To-the-point sessions, solid networking and professional personal coaching that keeps you focused on your goal."
Scaleup Vlaanderen is supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and by a limited number of carefully selected partners, including the independent law firm Daldewolf and the Belgian investment fund Invest for Jobs.
“Start-ups and scale-ups make an important contribution to our Flemish economy through direct and indirect employment growth, high productivity and above-average innovation. Due to their agility, they can also play a pioneering role in the economic recovery, and contribute to a structural change towards a more knowledge-intensive economy. Stimulating scale-ups is therefore a priority in my entrepreneurship policy. ”
The initiators, VLAIO and the other partners are responsible for the lion's share of the costs for the various program components. The participating companies pay less than a third of the real cost. The consortium stresses not to claim shares or IP.
Visit the website for more info on the Scaleup Vlaanderen guidance program