Lying in the heart of Europe, Belgium is expert in logistics and innovative logistic solutions. These are of great importance to the Belgian economy. Maritime and inland ports, aviation industry as well as logistic and distribution centers are the key parts of an innovative and efficient logistic network. Very much related to this, is mobility. Technology will help us to develop ‘smart mobility’ solutions, aiming for comfortable and safe transportation for everybody, with less traffic jams and car accidents. And thanks to this, life in the city will become more pleasant too. Cities will become more and more important since the majority of people will choose to live there because it’s more sustainable. New technologies – like the Internet of Things (IoT) – will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s smart cities.
The partners in this imec.istart track are experts in each of these domains. Imec develops technologies for smart industries, cities and mobility. The university of Antwerp and specifically their ‘Transport and Regional Economics (TPR)’ department are expert in transportation research. VIL is the single point of contact for the logistics sector in Flanders, representing over 500 companies and cooperating with prominent strategic partners, both national and international. Belfius Bank & Insurance believes in all local talent to cocreate smart solutions for Belgian governments, industry, health care and school to contribute to a sustainable and Smart Belgium. Bpost, Belgium's leading postal operator, is well-positioned on the Belgian parcel delivery market thanks to the wide range of delivery options and an outstanding international network. DP World Antwerp is a leading stevedore in the Port of Antwerp, offering a wide range of high quality container services. And finally, Brussels Airport, the airport in the Heart of Europe connecting Belgium with the rest of the world, focuses on customer centricity and connectivity. And Brucargo, the logistics hub, plays an important role in international logistics and in the success of specific industries including the pharmaceutical industry.
During a period of 12 up to maximum 18 months, the Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities partners provide financial means (max. 50kEUR on top of the imec.istart offering of 50 kEUR) as well as coaching and training, depending on the specific needs (specialized coaches & mentors, training focusing on certain themes, …).
The support provided by the Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities partners comes on top of the support provided by the imec.istart program. Both organizations (imec and the Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities partners) take an independent decision in this. If you apply for the Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities special track, this automatically means you also apply for the imec.istart program and you 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 (developing, validating and implementing a business plan, clarifying the intellectual property situation, market analysis, customer contacts through fairs, marketing and sales activities …).
“The final purpose is to help develop a business idea up to the point where it is ready to attract financial support in the market, and to continue developing independently.”
In order to be eligible, some form of proof-of-concept or prototype of the core product/technology is a necessity. At submission, your start-up does not need to be established yet (if you’re selected, we expect you to establish a kind of legal entity however).
The imec.istart manual includes all details on the program, the conditions that apply (e.g. for the imec.istart support, imec received 6% of the equity in your start-ups and potentially an additional 3% for the Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities partners), the support offered by imec.istart and the different Logistics, Mobility and Smart cities partners and e.g. the evaluation criteria.
The imec.iStart program was named the world’s number 4 in the 2018 UBI Global’s ranking of ‘Top University Business Accelerators’ and number 1 in Europe.