Learn & HRTech

Imec.istart and its partners launch a specific track on Learn & HRTech. The partnership between imec, Syntra, VDAB, Mediahuis and VRT Sandbox, bundles extensive experience and networks in the domain of education and learning. This consortium aims to support the creation of new solutions and start-ups in these industries.

Constant change

The Education, Learning & HR industries are under constant change. Continuous learning, from kindergarten over university education until lifelong learning in professional careers are essential in a world in full transition. This special track seeks to support ambitious entrepreneurs developing solutions for this domain, both on the content side as well as on the supporting tools’ side. Solutions can include, but are not limited to, products and (scalable) services for schools, universities, HR departments in companies or end users seeking to improve their knowledge and skillset. The consortium wishes to support and spur the development of innovative solutions that can help shaping the Education and Learning products and services of the future.

Tailor made coaching and training

During a period of 6 up to maximum 18 months, the Education and Learning partners organize coaching and training sessions, tailored to your specific needs, such as workshops with specialized coaches and mentors, or trainings focusing on specific themes. Aside from the coaching and training offer, the support might potentially include additional financial means, on top of the imec.istart offering which already consists of 50 kEUR.


The support provided by the Education and Learning partners is additional to the support provided by the imec.istart program. Both organizations -imec on one side and the Education and Learning partners on the other side- take an independent decision. Hence, if you apply for the Education and Learning specific track, you automatically apply for the general imec.istart program and agree with its conditions.

Even though a minimal support towards further technology development can be given as well, the main focus lies on business development. More concretely, this entails the development, validation and implementation of a business plan, the clarification of the intellectual property situation, market analysis, and customer contacts through fairs, marketing and sales activities.

“The final purpose is to help develop a business idea up to the point where it has found product-market fit, is ready to attract financial support in the market, and to continue developing independently.” Sven De Cleyn, imec.istart program manager.

How to submit

In order to be eligible, you will need to submit a proof-of-concept or prototype of the core product/technology. At submission, your start-up does not need to be established yet. However, when you are selected, we expect you to establish a type of legal entity. The imec.istart manual (look for it here) describes all details on the program, the conditions that apply, the evaluation criteria, and the support offered by imec.istart and the different Education and Learning partners. Keep in mind that for the imec.istart support, imec receives 6% of the equity in your start-ups and an additional 3% goes to the Education and Learning partners per additional 50 kEUR invested.

The imec.istart program was named the world’s number 4 in the 2018 UBI Global’s ranking of ‘Top University Business Accelerators’ and the number 1 in Europe. 

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