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Things to know about Flanders’ start-up scene

American tech website VentureBeat has a lot of positive things to say about entrepreneurship in Flanders. It has voted Ghent – East Flanders’ largest city – the start-up capital of Belgium, and praises imec for its relevance to tech innovation in Flanders. Find out why the region is the place to be for new businesses, and discover four interesting facts about Flanders’ start-up scene.

The city of Ghent is a start-up hub

Ghent owes its new title to the presence of flourishing start-ups such as Showpad (sales software) and Engager (marketing software). Together with TeleAtlas (a creator of digital maps), Drupal (open source software specialist) and Teamleader (developer of company software), these successful new companies have put Ghent on the map as a start-up hub.

An important factor contributing to this success is iMinds, a Ghent-based digital research center that actively supports and accelerates the growth of many local technological start-ups

Imec is one of Europe’s best research centers for start-up support

imec building and cleanroom

The start-up scene in Flanders has even more to offer. Even though VentureBeat suggests that universities are losing relevance to the creation of innovative technological businesses, the website makes an exception for imec (Flanders’ premier research center for micro- and nanotechnology, which is connected to Leuven University). Imec was ranked third on the list of Europe’s most influential university research centers.

B2B start-ups score big

Additionally, the region – and Belgium as a whole – is right on trend with its B2B approach. More than half of European tech ‘scaleup’ companies – start-ups on the verge of growing – are business-to-business, and Belgium leads the European pack, with a whopping 74% of the country’s start-ups being B2B-oriented. 

Fintech is a flourishing start-up industry

When it comes to fintech – one of the most popular industries in the scaleup ecosystem – Belgium makes a great showing. The country ranks fifth on the list of European nations with the most fintech deals made.

About Belgium and Flanders

With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.

19 September 2016

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