No matter how strong their positions in their home markets, international scale-ups often face difficulties in Europe: they may be unfamiliar with the different business cultures, lack specific market insights or need access to local corporate or institutional networks. With the support of Flanders Investment & Trade, imec set up an intensive program to help them tackle these challenges. The first edition of imec.scale-ups is planned for spring 2019.
Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, joins forces with Scale-Ups.eu, a dynamic global ecosystem aimed at boosting scale-ups’ growth for a new program to help international scale-ups break into the European market, also with the support of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT).
Imec.scale-ups has its roots in Flanders’ stimulating environment for start-ups. “The program builds on imec.istart, our start-up business accelerator. Now, our partnership with Flanders Investment & Trade also enables us to develop a program for scale-ups with European ambitions,” imec.istart manager Sven De Cleyn points out.
Though the program is located in Flanders, its scope is much broader with Flanders as an initial test market and gateway to the rest of Europe. Claire Tillekaerts, CEO Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT): “Flanders is a small region, but it has strategic advantages that make it an excellent home base to break into the European market. Attracting international tech scale-ups is important as it enriches our region with new ideas, technologies, mentality and talent. FIT plays a crucial role in attracting and assisting these foreign investors. Thanks to our strong local network in the 5 Flemish provinces and in 100 offices across 70 main economic centers worldwide FIT can actively support this program by sharing knowledge and contacts.”
The program offers specialized workshops over a period of eight weeks. Topics covered include tax and legal requirements, privacy regulations and local funding opportunities. Armed with this knowledge, participating scale-ups can more easily find their feet in European ecosystems.
Besides knowledge, realizing European ambitions requires a local network. Building one is the hardest part about expanding a business. As international scale-ups participate in the new imec program, they become part of Flanders’ ecosystem for microelectronics and nanotech success. However, the program’s scope is broader: located in the center of Western Europe, Flanders serves as a strategic gateway to the entire EU.
Get to know Flanders’ scale-up scene at SuperNova
If you want to learn more about Flanders’ stimulating environment for start-ups and scale-ups, Supernova is the place to be. From 27 to 30 September 2018, this tech fair connects entrepreneurs, professionals and creative minds. Discover where you can find experts from Flanders Investment & Trade and partner organizations at www.supernovafest.eu.