Lately, Belgian start-ups are doing remarkably well – both in Belgium and internationally. Last year, for instance, Flemish start-up neoScores was voted the second most promising starter in the world – while, last week, Turbulent from Antwerp won the Startup Nations Summit in Mexico And the success of these start-ups is not a one-off, since – in addition to the hard work of the entrepreneurs – the supporting entrepreneurial framework has become increasingly professional and efficient too. Exemplary of that observation is iMinds’ incubation activity.
More than 300 full-time jobs; a turnover of more than 16 million euro
iMinds’ portfolio currently includes more than 100 companies. About half of them are less than two years old, and thus – for obvious reasons – show limited impact figures. In total, however, the iMinds start-ups have already created more than 300 full-time jobs; and they have a total turnover of more than 16 million euro.
Given the young profile of the iMinds start-ups, those numbers grow very quickly: compared to the second half of 2014, their total revenue in the first half of 2015 grew by as much as 60%; in terms of jobs created, the increase was more than 50%.
Each euro invested by iMinds leads to 3.6 euro of external follow-up financing
"One aspect in which iMinds clearly stands out from other incubators, is the success rate of our start-ups’ quest for external follow-up financing. Since 2010, the iMinds start-ups have already secured more than 24 million euro of external funding, despite their young age and the observation that venture capital remains a scarce resource in our region. Specifically, for every euro of iMinds support, 3.6 euros are invested by external parties in the Flemish start-up economy. An international benchmark study shows that iMinds belongs to the top 3% best performing incubators when looking at that number," says Danny Goderis, acting CEO of iMinds.
"Increasingly, investors see iMinds – and its iStart program in particular – as a quality label," says Kris Vandenberk of investment company PMV. ”After all, iMinds applies a very strict selection process for its programs. As we know that iMinds’ start-ups have successfully passed those tests, investors can be more confident of their potential.”
The world’s number four in UBI Global’s ranking of ‘Top University Business Accelerators’
Based on the above numbers, iMinds’ iStart program has been named the world's number four in UBI Global’s ranking of 'Top University Business Accelerators’. A steep increase compared to iStart’s 25th position last year, even though the ranking is based on a screening of more than 500 university business incubators from all over the world.
iStart also remains very much in demand: while in 2011, ’only’ 31 project proposals were submitted, that number has increased to 183 in 2015; and the end of that success is not in sight yet (although in 2015 only 15% of the project proposals passed the rigorous iStart selection procedures).
The next call for iStart project support will be launched in January 2016; stay informed of deadlines and selection procedures through www.iminds.be/istart.