Imec.istart Business Accelerator Program Opens Call for Applicants

LEUVEN (Belgium), Sept. 16, 2019Imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, today announced its globally-ranked business accelerator program, imec.istart, call for applicants is open through Oct. 1, 2019. Start-up projects with technological inventiveness, an initial proof-of-concept, and the potential and ambition to be a global company are encouraged to apply.

Selected startups in the year-long acceleration program receive €50,000 (~$55,000) as pre-seed funding, tailored coaching and a range of business development support including drafting business plans, financial road mapping, clarifying intellectual property, market analysis, customer contracts and more. While funding is crucial for start-ups, imec’s international network also provides insight into foreign markets and broadens the scope of the start-up’s potential audience for sales and related growth opportunities.

Eligible companies must have some form of proof-of-concept or core product prototype. Verticals in which companies may apply include:

  • Logistics, Mobility & Smart Cities
  • Health
  • Media, Telecom & Entertainment
  • Fintech, InsurTech & Cybersecurity
  • HRTech & LearnTech
  • Sports
  • Industry 4.0

Once the call for applicants closes, imec and imec.istart funding partners will select the top submissions to pitch their idea in-person in Antwerp. From there, final selections will be made. During the last call, more than 40 submissions were reviewed, half were invited to pitch their plans and eight were selected to join the program.

“Beyond business support, our team focuses on follow-up funding through external investments,” said Sven De Cleyn, program manager of imec.istart. “We have helped our start-ups to procure more than €195 million (~$215 million) in additional funding to help them grow beyond the accelerator program and scale up.”

Founded in 2011, imec.istart issues a call for applicants three times each year, investing in and supporting tech startups for a minimum of 12 months. Its current portfolio consists of nearly 185 tech start-ups across all industries with an 84% continuation rate through acquisition or management buy-out. Portfolio companies are responsible for creating more than 1,200 full-time jobs. Examples of start-ups currently in the program include Creative Therapy, Alexandria.Works, Arkane  and Epcon.

Read more
Hanne Degans
press communications manager - imec
Explore these related topics

About imec

Imec is a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, energy and education.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together more than 4,000 brilliant minds from over 97 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, and offices in China, India and Japan. In 2018, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 583 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Government of Flanders), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.), imec India (Imec India Private Limited) and imec Florida (IMEC USA nanoelectronics design center).

This website uses cookies for analytics purposes only without any commercial intent. Find out more here. Our privacy statement can be found here. Some content (videos, iframes, forms,...) on this website will only appear when you have accepted the cookies.

Accept cookies